Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

New Cisco Tools May Put A Lock On Networks

Cisco Systems last week unveiled its latest effort to build more proactive security into business-communications networks, unleashing a slew of network appliances, software enhancements, and services designed to help businesses better identify and more quickly respond to security threats. The so-called Adaptive Threat Defense products are part of the company's self-defending network strategy to provide broader protection by taking a multilayer approach to security threats.

The offerings will help businesses impose greater control on how their networks are used and make it easier to fight off threats, but they won't eliminate the need for individual security products that most businesses already have deployed, according to analysts and IT executives.

Cisco contends that a holistic approach using its suite of security products offers the best protection. "You can never completely eliminate all security threats," president and CEO John Chambers said in a keynote address at the RSA Conference on security. "But you can eliminate the majority of them and minimize the damages that occur."

Cisco's Adaptive Threat Defense products are part of its multilayer security, Chambers says. -- Photo by Noah Berger/Bloomberg News

Cisco's Adaptive Threat Defense products are part of its multilayer security, Chambers says.

The products include an upgraded intrusion-prevention system, modules designed to spot anomalous behavior on the network that might indicate a distributed denial-of-service attack is under way, software to enforce security policies and protect against spyware and malware, appliances that monitor and inspect traffic flowing over a network, a virtual firewall, and a network control and containment system to let administrators more easily monitor and manage network activity and threats.

"Cisco is offering some pretty powerful things for fighting well-known security threats, like known worms and viruses. But there are new threats coming along all the time," says Gartner analyst John Pescatore. "Businesses are still going to need firewalls and protection on the network edge from security players such as NetScreen, CheckPoint, and others."

  • 1