Never one to turn up the opportunity to buy in what it doesn't have, Cisco has announced plans to buy rising security-as-a-service star, Scansafe.

The size of the deal for privately-held ScanSafe has been put at $183 million (£112 million), which the networking giant said would finalise in November or December.

Connect Anywhere+ service for protecting laptops-on-the-move will now be integrated with Cisco's AnyConnect VPN client, dovetailing Scansafe's well-regarded web security filtering and SaaS delivery with Cisco's established VPN software. It will also integrate the newcomer's technology with the content filtering hardware bought in when acquiring IronPort nearly three years ago.

"With the acquisition of ScanSafe, Cisco is executing on our vision to build a borderless network security architecture that combines network and cloud-based services for advanced security enforcement," said security vice president, Tom Gillis.

"At a time when enterprises are increasingly focused on a flexible and mobile workplace, the need for hybrid-hosted web security solutions is greater than ever," echoed ScanSafe CEO, the Vonnegutesque-sounding Eldar Tuvey. "By joining the Cisco team we will be able to offer even better and more flexible protection to our customers."

Whatever else it does, Cisco buys companies, prodigiously so, indeed some even seem to be founded with the aim of getting bought by such a dominating entity. Earlier this month, Cisco announced plans to splash $2.9 billion on Starent, and another $3 billion on Norwegian company, Tandberg.

Cloud SaaS security, or anything that smacks of it, is clearly on the Cisco shopping list. Nevertheless, the company can sometimes look like a spendthrift on a spree, buying an odd collection of entities, include in recent times the company behind the Flip video gadget, and Pure Networks, makers of a brilliant but obscure home networking app called Network Magic. That cost $120 million. Where these diverse bits fit together is not always clear.