Cisco, Trend Micro Expand Partnership

The deal extends the relationship the two vendors previously established in the Cisco Network Admission Control (NAC) program. The latest effort calls for the integration of Cisco network infrastructure and security systems with Trend Micro's worm and virus technologies, vulnerability assessment and realtime outbreak-prevention capabilities.

Under the terms of the deal, Cisco will integrate Trend Micro's network worm and virus signatures with the Cisco Intrusion Detection System (IDS) software deployed in Cisco IOS Software-based routers, Cisco Catalyst switches and network security appliances. The first of the newly integrated devices is scheduled to be available to channel partners by Sept. 1.

According to Tom Russell, director of the VPN and security products group at Cisco, San Jose, Calif., the deal marks a necessary expansion of the NAC program to solve current worm and virus threats. Russell cited the recent Sasser outbreak as the kind of network worm that the partnership aims to prevent.

"This gives Cisco's security partners more services to act as a trusted adviser to help customers of all types and sizes more effectively defend their business processes against the most dangerous of threats," Russell said. "The ability to help customers establish security policies across the entire network infrastructure is a powerful opportunity for our resellers."

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Dan Glessner, senior director of North American marketing at Trend Micro, Cupertino, Calif., said the partnership also will benefit Trend Micro resellers since it will enable them to peddle the newly enhanced Cisco products on top of the solutions they're already delivering. "This relationship is about deep product integration that will provide system-level benefits to customers and translate into payback for all of our resellers," he said. "With this kind of expanded offering, it will be easier for [partners] to get a better return on the investment they've made in Trend Micro."

The joint effort advances Trend Micro's Enterprise Protection Strategy (EPS), which provides proactive management of the network worm and virus outbreak life cycle, Glessner added. Cisco has licensed additional Trend Micro technology that will extend threat-prevention capabilities and include additional features such as vulnerability assessment, outbreak prevention and damage cleanup, he said.

In a separate announcement, Cisco last week unveiled managed virtualization capabilities for the Cisco Firewall Services Module and introduced the Cisco Traffic Anomaly Detector XT 5600 and the Cisco Guard XT 5650. The latter devices are high-performance network security appliances, which Cisco obtained via its recent Riverhead Networks acquisition, that are designed to deliver automated protection against distributed denial-of-service attacks in enterprise and service provider networks.

The Firewall Services Module provides enterprise and service provider customers with a scalable, efficient way of deploying differentiated security services without having to roll out a dedicated physical device. Managed virtualization lets a single physical Firewall Services Module in a Catalyst 6500 switch act as many virtual devices or "contexts."

The Firewall Services Module is available now and starts at $12,500. The Cisco Traffic Anomaly Detector XT 5600 and the Cisco Guard XT 5650 will be available by July 1, with pricing to be set at $45,000 and $90,000, respectively.