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Cisco bolsters network security offerings

Cisco Systems has announced details of enhancements to its Safe security product suite as well as plans to unveil two new products.

Safe products will now include a small-office firewall, upgrades to intrusion-detection software and a router module designed to help virtual private networks (VPNs) scale by 60%.

Cisco's offerings include Pix 501, a smaller version of its enterprise firewall Pix 5 with a four-port Ethernet hub. The firewall is designed for use by individual telecommuters and remote offices with 10 to 50 users.

The 10-user version of the 501 firewall will be priced at $595 (£405), while the 50-user version will cost $1,195. Both systems will be available by the end of September.

Cisco also plans to add a host-based intrusion-detection system called IDS Host Sensor to its security product line-up. The application is aimed at extending the software's ability to analyse and detect intrusion attempts from within an enterprise. Conover said that Cisco's current intrusion-detection system had lacked adequate host-based functionality and that the new system should fill the gap.

Cisco also announced plans to offer a VPN accelerator add-on module for its 7100 and 7200 Series routers. Priced at $5,000, the integrated network Layer 3 compression technology is designed to enable routers to scale up to 5,000 concurrent VPN sessions, an increase of 60% compared to non-accelerated VPNs.

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