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Cisco Extends Key Security Partnerships, Broadening Protection Portfolio

Cisco Systems is broadening its information security program through partnerships in three key areas, announcing tight integration with leading vendors in each. The partnership program extends Cisco's ability to deliver secure mobility, data security and security management, complementing its strength in network security, authentication/access control, and e-mail and Web security via IronPort products and services.

"This is easing adoption of a lot of capabilities built into Cisco platforms," said Pat Calhoun, general manager of Cisco's security systems unit. "Cisco is working with third parties that build best of breed in areas that Cisco doesn't." Cisco also announced new versions of its Security Manager for managing multiple firewalls and network security devices, its ASA 5500 multifunction platform and ASA Migration Services to help enterprises move from older Cisco technology.

The integration leverages Cisco platform APIs through the Cisco Developer Network, through which the network giant offers a "repeatable and consistent way of interacting with partners," according to Calhoun. Cisco works with technology partners to establish product integration requirements, develop collaborative support models, validated testing and solution guides. The integrated products will be supported by Cisco resellers as well as its own integrated security professional services.

The secure mobility component is built on Cisco's AnyConnect Secure Mobility, providing always on connectivity, policy enforcement and reporting for HTC, Nokia, Palm and Samsung devices. "The consumer is taking control of IT, and the IT guys are resource constrained," said Nokia VP Prunima Kochikar. The Cisco integration, which supports leading PBX solutions, takes the responsibility from the user and allows the enterprise to manage unified communications for devices, wherever the user is located, she says.

The data security offerings help protect enterprises against data loss on the network and mobile devices in case of theft or loss. In addition to the existing partnership with RSA for network- and endpoint-based data loss prevention, Cisco announced partnerships with Lumension and Credent Technologies for endpoint encryption and mobile and removable device control.

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