Cisco has introduced a range of routing products and software that support its Network Admission Control, (Nac) technology, which integrates security features and policies into network switching and routing products.
It also unveiled a programme to encourage other companies to develop Nac-compliant products and offered consulting services to help customers deploy Nac on their networks.
Nac was developed jointly by Cisco and antivirus companies Network Associates, Symantec and Trend Micro. It addresses the security risks of remote and mobile computer users connecting to corporate networks.
The software allows Cisco routers to evaluate whether a computer's anti-virus definitions are up to date and its operating system is adequately patched before allowing it to connect to a network.
Cisco 830 to 7200 series routers running the company's Internetwork Operating System Version 12.3(8)T or higher now support the Nac program.
The Cisco Trust Agent Version 1.0, which collects information from other security software clients, has been integrated with the Cisco Security Agent, a software client for servers and desktop systems that provides integrated firewall, intrusion detection and content-based security.
Other "end point" security products support the Trust Agent as well, including NAI's McAfee VirusScan Enterprise 8.0i and 7.x products, Trend Micro's OfficeScan Corporate Edition Version 6.5 and future versions of Symantec's Client Security and AntiVirus Corporate Edition products.
To encourage other companies to develop Nac-compliant products such as security and patch management software, Cisco will release application programming interfaces to third-party technology suppliers for integration later this year.
Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service
This was first published in June 2004