Cisco advances integrated security strategy

19 February 2003 -- Cisco Systems has unveiled new intrusion protection and firewall extensions to its integrated security portfolio.

19 February 2003 -- Cisco Systems, San Jose, Ca, US, has unveiled new intrusion protection and firewall extensions to its integrated security portfolio.

These new platform and software enhancements underscore Cisco's integrated security strategy to tightly link network and security services for dynamic protection of business-critical applications and services.

Advancements in Intrusion Protection Customers, increasingly challenged by false alarms, recognize the value of intrusion protection technology but have been reticent to adopt it broadly for fear of spending the majority of their time discerning false alarms from real attacks to their networks.

To address this challenge, Cisco is introducing its IDS Software Version 4.0, new Cisco Threat Response (CTR) technology, the Cisco IDS 4250-XL Sensor and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Intrusion Detection System (IDSM-2) Services Module, and improved intrusion protection management. Together these products and technologies are designed to deliver:

-- Accurate threat detection and mitigation: Cisco IDS Software Version 4.0 provides "extended threat detection and classification capabilities, including stateful pattern recognition as well as protocol and traffic anomaly detection".

-- Intelligent and rapid threat response. Customers can reduce false alarms by up to 95%, Cisco claims. They can also escalate real attacks, and eliminate costly intrusions.

-- High-performance intrusion protection: Two new intrusion protection systems raise the performance bar for today's demanding network IDS sensing environments. The Cisco IDS 4250-XL Sensor delivers gigabit performance in a flexible configuration chassis, and the Catalyst 6500 IDSM-2 offers 600Mbit/s of high-performance, network-integrated protection.

Enhanced intrusion protection efficiency and reliability: Cisco IDS Software Version 4.0 provides a consistent software deployment across all network-based IDS platforms, including specialized appliances and switch security modules.

"As the industry-leading content management and portal solution provider, Vignette appreciates the importance and value of accurate network threat investigation and mitigation to sustain business productivity," said Selim Nart, senior network engineer at Vignette. "Cisco's intrusion protection offerings are part of our ongoing initiatives to maximize network and business up-time."

Extensions to Market-Leading Cisco PIX Firewall Family New Cisco PIX Firewall software and hardware-based VPN acceleration capabilities extend Cisco's market leadership in offering high-performance, integrated security services for converged data, voice, and video environments.

New extensions include the Cisco PIX Firewall Software Version 6.3, VPN Acceleration Card+ (VAC+), and PIX Device Manager Version 3.0 (PDM), and provide customers the following:

-- Increased availability, performance, and integration: Cisco PIX Firewall Software Version 6.3 incorporates new support for Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) routing and virtual LANs (VLANs), allowing full participation in load-balancing, fast-route convergence, and Layer 2 networking for increased availability, performance, and integration.

-- Enhanced VPN performance and services: The VAC+ improves VPN performance by up to 400 percent and adds support for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with up to 256-bit keys, setting a new price/performance bar for enterprise-class firewall solutions.

-- Enhancements to Cisco's PIX Easy VPN service provide a new level of device and user authentication and enhanced scalability with improved VPN resiliency when integrated with the Cisco VPN 3000 Series Concentrator.

-- Extending VoIP security leadership: The Cisco PIX Firewall now enablessecure deployment of voice-over-IP (VoIP) and multimedia applications with new or enhanced support for eight VoIP protocols and facilitates secure distributed call-processing environments typically offered by service providers through the new Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP) standard.

-- Increased security threat visibility and operational efficiency: PIX Device Manager (PDM) Version 3.0 provides improved security threat visibility through data gathering on tested or triggered security policies and log message management. Simplified remote management of Cisco PIX firewalls over VPN connections provides added efficiency and reduces total cost of ownership.

Jeff Wilson, Executive Director of Infonetics Research, said, "The combination of Cisco's security appliances with network-wide embedded security services, including intrusion protection and firewall technologies, offers customers advanced protection from threats to business-critical applications and services."

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