Cisco Systems has extended its Anti-X network threat prevention service and its Secure Sockets Layer virtual private network (SSL VPN) technology to improve network security. The company outlined its security strategy at the start of the RSA conference in San Jose, California, last week.
As part of its Self-Defending Network Security Strategy, the Cisco has released the Content Security and Control Security Services Module (CSC-SSM) for the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) 5500 Series.
Developed in alliance with Trend Micro, these services unify anti-virus, anti-spyware, file blocking, anti-spam, anti-phishing, URL blocking and filtering, and content filtering. The service aims to shield internal network resources against malware and malicious internet threats.
Enhancing IT security remains a top budget priority this year, according to analyst Forrester Research. In a survey of 1,375 European businesses, 64% of telecom and networking decision-makers said they would spend on security this year.
As firms struggle to secure systems and data against current and emerging threats - such as spyware, phishing and pharming - spending on IT security is rising across the board. Some 61% of software decision-makers at European enterprises rated upgrading their security software as either very important or a critical priority.
Cisco said its Anti-X services allow users to stop spyware from entering the network through internet and e-mail traffic, and to block spam with low false positives, thus maintaining uninterrupted e-mail communications.
The availability of anti-phishing protection helps prevent employees from inadvertently disclosing company or personal information. Real-time protections for web access, mail and file transfers are also available, reducing threats associated with staff accessing web-based e-mail applications and downloading contaminated files and programs.
The service also provides URL filtering to help block access to inappropriate or non-work-related websites. These Anti-X services are managed via a remotely accessible web-console with automated updates, aimed at reducing deployment time and effort.
Along with the Anti-X services, Cisco has extended its SSL VPN service. The Cisco ASA 5500 Series version 7.1 software enables the Cisco ASA 5500 Series appliance to deliver up to 5,000 concurrent SSL VPN sessions per device.
Cisco is also introducing a new version of its Cisco Security Manager platform and an upgraded version of its Cisco Security Monitoring, Analysis, and Response System (MARS) solution.
Cisco Security Manager 3.0 allows IT administrators to more tightly monitor and manage user network policies.