US technology behemoth Cisco is making a $2.7bn bet that cybersecurity is going to become ever more important.

The Silicon Valley company has agreed to pay $76 a share in cash for Sourcefire, which develops and sells software that safeguards IT systems and improves internet security.

“The acquisition of Sourcefire adds a team with deep security DNA to Cisco,” the companies said in a statement.

Bolstering IT systems and improving internet security is a growing concern for corporate America. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase chief executive, said earlier this year it was a key priority for the bank.

The concern in the private sector is also echoed in Washington, where Pentagon officials are seeking to increase spending to combat cyberwarfare over the next five years.

The deal is expected to close during the second half of 2013, the companies said.

Cisco and Sourcefire shares were little changed in pre-market trading.

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