Cisco Unveils Adaptive Threat Defense Initiative

In the RSA Security 2005 keynote, Chambers announces a flurry of product upgrades and a new phase of Cisco's self-defending network initiative for enterprise.

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SAN FRANCISCO—Ciscos self-defending network strategy is prime for a new phase of development that involves addressing threats at multiple layers within the enterprise, chief executive John Chambers announced Wednesday.

Chambers used the morning keynote at the RSA Security 2005 conference here to outline Cisco Systems Inc.s vision for this next phase—dubbed ATD (Adaptive Threat Defense)—an initiative that promises to increase a networks ability to identify, prevent and adapt to security threats.

The ATD phase, Chambers explained, is broken into three major components: Anti-X Defenses, Application Security, and Network Control and Containment.

The anti-X component includes traffic-inspection services to identify attacks from viruses, spyware or URL-filtering.

Core technologies include firewall, IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), anomaly detection and DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) mitigation, Chambers said.

With an application security component, ATD can also provide protection through the use of application-level access controls, inspection and enforcement of appropriate policies.

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The third element is network control and containment, which allows sophisticated auditing and correlation capabilities to control and help protect any networked element or service such as voice over IP with active management and mitigation capabilities.

"Because the network is a strategic customer asset, the protection of its business-critical applications and resources is a top priority," Chambers declared, warning that malicious hackers have narrowed the time window to create exploits for known vulnerabilities.

"In some cases, its only a matter of hours before an exploit is created. If youre a CEO today, its scary," Chambers added.

The launch of the new phase follows a flurry of product announcements from the San Jose, Calif.-based routing and switching giant.

Among the 10 new product upgrades across its security portfolio, the company launched Cisco Intrusion Prevention System 5.0; the Cisco Security Agent 4.5; a new version of the Cisco PIX Security Appliance Software 7.0; and the Cisco IOS Software Release 12.3(14)T.

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