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By | Richard Thurston 20th March 2008 18:03

Cisco-baiting security co goes titsup

Lockdown shutdown

An Intel-backed security company which tried to compete against networking behemoth Cisco in one of its strongest markets has shut down.

US-headquartered Lockdown Networks ceased operations on Tuesday, blaming economic conditions and a lack of demand for its network access control technology.

Network access control (NAC) has been much hyped by Cisco. The technology prevents unauthorised and non-compliant devices attaching to a local area network. 'Non-compliant' usually refers to machines which don't have up-to-date anti-virus and Windows updates.

Posting a statement on its website, Lockdown Networks said: "Due to overall economic trends and slower than predicted adoption of Network Access Control (NAC) technology, the company was unable to raise sufficient venture capital to continue."

Although most of the staff have now left the business, it said that some would be retained to try to win an offer for the company's intellectual property.

The market for NAC had become increasingly congested as venture capitalists saw NAC as a huge potential growth area. But despite all the investment, NAC hasn't taken off as much as some would have liked.

Several small vendors remain in the market, like ConSentry, which offers switches with NAC included, Nevis Networks, which does policy enforcement, and StillSecure, which sells NAC appliances among its other security products. Unlike those companies, Lockdown concentrated entirely on NAC, which probably contributed to its downfall.

It isn't the first NAC vendor to go to the wall - rival Caymas Systems went belly up last summer.

Intel had bought into Lockdown through its Intel Capital arm, which invests in what it believes to be rapidly-growing technology companies. Some of its more successful investments are Wimax player Freedom4, hotel broadband provider STSN and Jabber, the company behind the popular presence and messaging tool of the same name. ®

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