Cisco, EMC Partner for Data Security

Cisco and RSA, EMC's Security division, announce plans to integrate their data loss prevention and encryption technologies.

Cisco Systems and EMC announced a plan to integrate products and services to provide end-to-end security for enterprise data.

The partnership, made public April 7 as part of a press and analyst session during the RSA Conference in San Francisco, will initially focus on DLP (data loss prevention), data encryption and key management. The collaboration promises to help companies discover, secure, track and enforce policies on sensitive data stored in the data center, on the desktop and in server endpoints.

In the area of encryption, officials of Cisco and RSA, the Security Division of EMC, said they plan to integrate Cisco MDS 9000 SME (Storage Media Encryption) and RSA Key Manager. An integrated product will be available in May. The companies will also look to integrate additional security capabilities into Cisco TrustSec for data-in-motion encryption with the Cisco Nexus 7000 platform.

The companies also intend to collaborate on DLP. On Cisco's end, the company will integrate data classification technology from RSA's DLP Suite-a new version of which is slated to be available in May-with Cisco's DLP capabilities in the network and on desktop and server endpoints.

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As a first step, the companies plan to integrate Cisco Security Agent with RSA's classification technology to improve the ability to track and potentially block unauthorized actions. The companies also intend to enable the RSA DLP Enterprise Manager to manage DLP policy administration for the combined Cisco and RSA DLP products, officials said.

The partnership represents another expansion in the relationship between the two companies, which have also partnered in the area of SAN (storage area network) encryption in the past.

Data security is in a state of crisis, said Tom Corn, vice president of data security products at EMC's RSA. Data, he said, is both ubiquitous throughout the enterprise and under attack by hackers. Businesses must be able to classify and discover data wherever it lies, he said.

"[Data security] is fundamentally a data management problem," Corn said.