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Cisco acquires Portcullis to boost security consultancy business

The buyout increases Cisco's strength in the security consultancy realm.

Cisco has snapped up UK firm Portcullis to cater for increased demand for security consultancy services.

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Announced on Wednesday, Cisco has announced its intention to purchase Portcullis, a UK-based consultancy firm specializing in enterprise and government security.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The team will join the Cisco Security Solutions group, led by vice president James Mobley.

Portcullis specializes in security analysis, penetration testing and research. The company is active in with ISO 270001:2013 security compliance and PCI DSS audits, a standard used for digital payments.

"We supply scanning and penetration testing services to companies seeking compliance with the PCI DSS, which was developed by members of the PCI Security Standards Council (including Visa, Mastercard, JCB, Discover Financial Services and American Express) with the aim of applying consistent data security measures to card payment accounts across the globe," the company's website states.

Cisco hopes the purchase of Portcullis will accelerate the company's expansion into security consultancy services outside of the United States.

"Through this acquisition, we increase our ability to offer robust security, risk and compliance services to help clients overcome operational and technical security challenges, anticipate and respond to new threats, and drive new business," the firm says.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of FY 2016.

The deal follows the buyout of Neohapsis last year. Neohapsis, a Chicago-based mobile and cloud security provider. The firm provides security advisory services to assess risks, information security levels and compliance issues related to system security.

The latest acquisition reveals how serious Cisco is about pursuing consultancy, which is becoming in itself an important element of modern-day business. Cyberattacks are on the rise, resulting in a renewed interest in risk management -- as data breaches are now a matter of when, not if.

Earlier this week, the software developer announced the launch of a new joint venture in China. Joined by Chinese cloud computing and datacentre company Inspur, the firms hope the new JV will become a strong player in Chinese networking products within the cloud, data center, smart city and enterprise markets.

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