Sunday, June 13, 2004

Trend Micro antivirus to power Cisco routers

Cisco Systems Inc., the world's largest maker of equipment that directs Internet traffic, said it would integrate Trend Micro Inc.'s technology to block computer viruses and worms with its software in a bid to make corporate networks more secure.

Under the multiyear deal, Cisco will incorporate Trend Micro virus and worm technologies with its intrusion detection system software used on its routers and switches.

With its core switch and router markets maturing, Cisco has turned in recent years to other markets, including security, Internet voice transmission and home networking, to boost its growth prospects.

"If the network can automatically take some action to make sure it stays up despite being under attack, that's a good thing in the world of networking," IDC senior analyst Abner Germanow said. "This is a really big move."

Corporations spend about $20 billion a year globally on networking devices, according to IDC. Installing virus- and worm-detection software on routers and other gear is designed to take the onus off individual personal computer users, the biggest culprits for unwittingly spreading malicious code.

"It shows that security is starting to penetrate the basic infrastructure," Meta Group research analyst Peter Firstbrook said. "Going forward, you'll have fewer and fewer dedicated security boxes."

The current practice of installing a firewall and virus-scanning software on a PC is effective in stopping some of, but not nearly all, the increasingly potent worms and viruses circulating on the Internet, this new approach is to design routers that can automatically identify and stop malicious traffic in its tracks.

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