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Cisco picks Trend to fight network worms

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Cisco and Trend Micro yesterday extended an existing security alliance with a deal to combine their respective technologies in the fight against network worms and computer viruses. Trend is among three AV companies who signed up to Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) program last year, a scheme designed to curtail the spread of computer worms across internal networks.

Already kissing cousins, Cisco and Trend are getting even closer with plans to integrate Cisco network infrastructure and security systems with Trend Micro's worm and virus technologies, vulnerability assessment, and real-time outbreak-prevention capabilities.

Under this extended agreement, Cisco will initially integrate Trend Micro’s network worm and virus signatures with the Cisco Intrusion Detection System (IDS) software deployed in Cisco routers, switches and network security appliances. This will provide customers with an extra layer of defence against network worm and virus attacks. Cisco has licensed additional Trend Micro technology that will, in subsequent phases, extend its security capabilities to include vulnerability assessment and tools designed to automatically repair infected systems.

In a joint statement, Cisco and Trend said that by themselves traditional antivirus technologies fail to adequately defend against increasingly complex security threats. A systems-level approach with multiple levels of defence against hacker attack and hostile code is needed, the two companies argue.

The initial integration of Cisco IDS software with Trend Micro’s antivirus technologies is scheduled to be available in the Q3 2004 for all Cisco products that support Cisco IDS software version 4.1 including Cisco IOS Software-based routers, switches, and network security appliances. Further integration efforts for virus and worm outbreak prevention extensions are scheduled to be available early next year 2005. ®

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