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Cisco offers slew of security kit updates

Enhancements are designed to aid collaboration between products, and increase security as a result
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

Cisco has filled out its range of security products with a series of enhancements that aid collaboration between products and, the company hopes, make the collective network of products more secure as a result.

The enhancements are important to Cisco. The company has increasingly found itself a target by malicious intruders who have come up with ways of breaching the security of its networks.

The updates apply to five products that together form Cisco's Self-Defending Network. The products are Cisco's Intrusion Prevention System (IPS); its Security Agent (CSA); the Security Mitigation Analysis and Response System (CS-MARS); the Security Manager (CSM); and a Secure Sockets Layer virtual private network (SSL VPN) offering.

"[Organisations] need to unify individual security components," said Cisco's Mick Scully, vice president of product management. "Collaborative security allows organisations to extend network availability, share information and improve operational efficiency with greater peace of mind."

New software versions include Cisco IPS 6.0, CSA 5.2, CS-MARS 4.3 and CSM 3.1, which together combine to "co-ordinate visibility and network-wide protection", aiding policy management and dynamic threat mitigation, the company said. The practical results of this include information sharing between IPS 6.0 and CSA 5.2 which should "minimise false positives" and help IPS appliances to block threats. IPS 6.0 also has adaptive "day zero" anomaly detection and analysis which, the company says, should help with the identification of worms and other malicious activity. Like many security products, it works by searching network traffic patterns for suspect behaviour.

Wireless controls have been enhanced, the company said, and it also announced updates to collaborative threat control. Enhancements to the SSL VPN product integrate with firewall, IPS, anti-malware and the new ASA 8.0 software.

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