Cisco moves ahead with integrated security plan

Networking giant, Cisco Systems, has introduced a range of products and enhancements to strengthen its security product portfolio. The 14 hardware and software solutions and services cover a breadth of areas from management and connectivity to threat protection and identity management.

  • E-Mail
By  Zoe Moleshead Published  June 26, 2003

Security initiative|~||~||~|Networking giant, Cisco Systems, has introduced a range of products and enhancements to strengthen its security product portfolio. The 14 hardware and software solutions and services cover a breadth of areas from management and connectivity to threat protection and identity management.

The vendor says the increasing focus on security, under its Integrated Network Security initiative, is a natural product evolution as most of its switches and routers already have in-built security, while customer demand has also been a factor in the portfolio expansion.

“Cisco has had security in its products since its inception and in the past seven years we have been acquiring security technology that now makes up a lot of our security appliances. So a year ago we decided to make more noise about this and let our customers now that we have security built into our products,” explains Bernard Trudel, security marketing manager, international, Cisco Systems.

“Also from the meetings that we have with our customers — and that is John Chambers down to our individual product managers — they are saying ‘you’ve sold us our networks, now it is your obligation to provide us with security solutions integrated into the network,’” he says.

Key among the latest product enhancements is a feature in IOS called AutoSecure, which in one click can turn a router into a security device; the introduction of Security Device Manager (SDM) 1.0, which provides security audits and advice about router configurations; the updated CiscoWorks Security Information Management System (SIMS) 3.1 that offers netForensics and monitoring of security alerts, and the IP Solution Centre (ISC) 3.0 that facilitates the implementation of a large scale VPN networks.

Furthermore, with its long term aim to develop self protecting, security aware networks, many of the latest products upgrades are helping to facilitate this end goal.

“We want these security aware networks to be self protecting, so some of our intrusion detection systems (IDS) technology takes us in that direction, especially the security agents protecting end points, such as desktops or even laptops,” says Trudel.

The latest batch of security products represent the fourth consecutive quarterly rollout of such a wide range of solutions and, according to Trudel, the networking giant intends to maintain its product development and upgrade cycle over the coming months.

“If you look back at our other [security] portfolio announcements, we have made at least 10 product announcements in each of those and [we] see that continuing in the foreseeable future,” he says.

“We are continuing to integrate more and more security into our existing products and we are enhancing and strengthening some of the security products that we have as new technology becomes available,” continues Trudel.

Cisco’s recent acquisition of endpoint security vendor, Okena, has also helped to facilitate its aggressive rollout strategy and enabled the vendor to expand its threat protection offering. As such, further acquisitions to fortify its security portfolio and expansion plans have not been ruled out.

“We are always looking at acquisitions — nothing that we can share at this point — but you can expect that Cisco will continue to strengthen its portfolio in the security space and that maybe we are not fully playing in this space today,” comments Trudel.

With the rapid and large rollouts set to continue for Cisco in the security space, Trudel dismisses comments that end users could be forced to continually upgrade their security offerings to take advantage of the developments and enhancements to its security families.

“Our policy at Cisco has always been that our customers should rarely have to start from scratch again or, have to wait for new products before making their purchasing decisions,” he says.

“We are always integrating modules and software into existing products and those become available to existing customers through their support contracts, rarely do we ask customers to start again or start anew,” affirms Trudel.||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code