Cisco announced that it's entered into a deal to acquire IronPort Systems for $830 million in cash and stock. Founded in 2000 and now employing over 400 people, IronPort makes a range of appliances that help companies defend themselves against email- and Web-based attacks.

IronPort boasts that its appliances are used by eight of the ten largest ISPs and by more than 20 percent of the world's largest enterprises. The appliances are available in various capacities to serve small, medium, and large businesses.

"We feel there is enormous potential for enhanced email and message protection solutions to be integrated into the existing Cisco Self-Defending Network framework," said Richard Palmer, senior vice president of Cisco's Security Technology Group. "Using the network as a flexible platform to integrate IronPort's technologies, Cisco will be able to build new security applications as customers' demands evolve."

Palmer added that after the deal closes IronPort's employees and product portfolio will operate as a business unit in Cisco's Security Technology Group.