Cisco teams up with Trend

Cisco and Trend Micro have teamed up to drive antivirus protection into the network and protect end users from viruses that in their infrastructure.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  June 7, 2004

Cisco and Trend Micro have teamed up to drive antivirus protection into the network and protect end users from viruses that activate at Layer 3-4. Under the terms of the OEM agreement, Cisco will integrate Trend’s outbreak prevention solutions with its intrusion detection system (IDS) software, which is currently embedded in the network giant’s IOS routers, Catalyst switches and network security appliances. The combined solutions will be available from 3Q04 onwards for all products that support Cisco IDS software version 4.1. There are also plans to facilitate retrofitting legacy environments to run the solution. Cisco’s local channel will take responsibility for all implementations following a period of knowledge transfer during which it will get to grips with Trend’s solutions. “To date, all antivirus technology has been based at the application layer. However, the vulnerabilities that have been exploited with viruses like Blaster, Sasser and so on have shown that the real threat now is at the network level where viruses exploit vulnerabilities within the network and not necessarily at the application layer,” says Justin Doo, managing director of Trend Micro Middle East & Africa. “This necessitates being able to scan physical packet but you cannot do this at the gateway because no one has a processor fast enough to allow you to scan at the gateway in realtime and it would reduce the performance of even the most powerful PC… Trend has come up with a technology that allows Cisco to do this,” he explains. The latest deal between Trend and Cisco furthers the relationship established between the two earlier in the year, when Trend and a number of other antivirus vendors joined Cisco to take part in its network admission control (NOC) programme. By signing up with Trend to fit its switches and routers with an antivirus solution, Cisco has moved away from its traditional strategy of acquiring the technologies it requires. According to Doo, this is evidence of how far ahead of the competition Trend’s solutions are and that there are synergies between the two companies. “Cisco has always been an acquisitions company, but this move is about going best of breed with a vendor that has the expertise and the technology. They [Cisco] have realised that we are the market leader in the space they want to get into in terms of enhancing network protection. The synergy between the two companies is also very nice as they are primarily hardware focused and we are software focused. The meeting of minds and technology allows us to leverage their channels and for them to leverage out technology,” he says. Moving forward, Cisco has plans to integrate other Trend solutions into its offerings, including vulnerability assessment and damage prevention and each improvement will take the networking giant one step colder to fulfilling its vision of self healing networks that help end users protect their computing environments from increasingly sophisticated attacks. “As internet threats continue to evolve in their severity and complexity, it is critical that customers deploy comprehensive outbreak-prevention solutions to help build self-defending networks,” says Richard Palmer, vice president of Cisco’s VPN & security business unit. “Cisco is pleased to announce the extension of its relationship with Trend Micro, and believes it demonstrates both companies’ commitment to deliver a more effective, lower-cost security environment for customers,” he adds.

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