Computer Associates (CA) has joined a Cisco Systems programme to harden enterprise networks against attacks by enforcing security policies on computer hosts that attempt to access network resources.
As a member of Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) programme, CA will integrate its recently purchased eTrust PestPatrol Anti-Spyware software and eTrust Antivirus products with the Cisco Trust Agent, a software client that communicates the security status of NAC-enabled applications on a host machine to Cisco routers and switches that control network access.
The Cisco NAC programme, which was announced in November 2003, addresses the security risks of remote and mobile computer users connecting to corporate networks with software that allows Cisco routers to evaluate information, such as whether particular computer's anti-virus definitions are up to date and its operating system is adequately patched, before allowing it to connect to a network.
The programme is part of Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and was developed jointly by Cisco and anti-virus companies McAfee, Symantec and Trend Micro. The first round of NAC-compliant products were launched in June.
The Cisco Trust Agent Version 1.0 is integrated with the Cisco Security Agent, a software client for servers and desktop systems that provides integrated firewall, intrusion detection and content-based security. The Trust Agent collects information from security software clients including anti-virus clients and relays that information to Cisco devices on the network, Cisco said.
CA is allowing customers to test beta versions of the PestPatrol and eTrust Antivirus products with Cisco Trust Agent.
A number of other software products support the Trust Agent as well, including McAfee's VirusScan Enterprise 8.0i and 7.x products and Trend Micro's OfficeScan Corporate Edition Version 6.5.
CA will continue working with Cisco to integrate other eTrust products into the NAC framework.
Paul Roberts writes for IDG News Service