Cisco and Microsoft team for joint-security solutions

Tech will integrate Cisco’s NAC & Microsoft’s NAP

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By  Published  September 15, 2006

Cisco is strengthening its partnership with Microsoft to work on security solutions, the networking giant declared this month. The two firms outlined plans to produce solutions based on each others’ technology.

With Microsoft, Cisco presented plans to provide a joint-security architecture, based on a combination of its long-running Network Admission Control (NAC) programme and Microsoft’s Network Access Protection (NAP) technology, which allows IT managers to enforce security policies across a network.

The two US firms presented a white paper detailing how the technology would work at asecurity conference held in Boston, US, on September 6.

The white paper outlines the architecture of the solution and provides details on how the embedded security capabilities of Cisco’s network infrastructure can be integrated with those of Microsoft Windows Vista operating system and its future version of Windows Server.

The companies also unveiled a road map for taking the solution to market, including a limited beta programme, which is scheduled to start later this year.

The new solution, which is set to launch in the second half of 2007, will give Microsoft and Cisco customers a choice between the companies’ individual systems and the interoperable one from both of the firms.

“The need for secure systems has dramatically increased over the past five years. Our relationship with Microsoft has enabled us to design this joint-architecture and interoperability to enhance network security for businesses around the world,” said Charlie Giancarlo, chief development officer at Cisco.

“Interoperability provides the flexibility customers need to deploy a comprehensive solution that fits their business needs and hardens their IT infrastructure against security threats,” he added.

Cisco and Microsoft have been partners in networking for several years, previously collaborating in the security arena on virtual private networks and wireless security.

The Microsoft collaboration is not the only partnership that Cisco is working on at the moment — the networking colossus has also entered a marketing agreement with software provider SAP.

The agreement, which covers the US and Canada, addresses governance, risk and compliance (GRC) business process and IT control issues across the IT infrastructure.

Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.

“The combination of SAP’s leading position in enterprise software and GRC applications and Cisco’s expertise in IT infrastructure means that we are the two best qualified vendors to deliver a complete solution that spans the governance, risk and compliance market,” commented Shai Agassi, president of the product and technology group and executive board member, at SAP AG.

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