Cisco has pitched to make itself a serious player in cloud security with the acquisition of cyber security specialist Sourcefire.

The IT systems company – whose activities extend to cloud computing, data centres, networks and mobile computing – announced the planned takeover with a $2.7 billion (£1.76 billion) price tag.

Cisco has portrayed the deal as a move to provide protection on a fast changing computing landscape. It said that Sourcefire will be able to strengthen protective capabilities of its activities in cloud, mobility and the 'internet of everything' – the collection of data from a wide range of devices such as sensors and monitors.

Alignment

Hilton Romanski, VP for Cisco Corporate Development, said: "Sourcefire aligns well with Cisco's future vision for security and supports the key pillars of our security strategy. Through our shared view of the critical role the network must play in cyber security and threat defence, we have a unique opportunity to deliver the most comprehensive approach to security in the market."

The acquisition is expected to be complete during the second half of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory reviews. Cisco said the companies' products and research teams will be combined.