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Cisco Updates ASA Firewall Software, IPS Hardware.

Cisco is now updating its ASA software to version 9.0 as part of a new security rollout that also includes a virtual ASA appliance and an update IPS hardware appliance.

The ASA 9.0 software improves both scalability as well as the inspection capabilities of the Cisco Firewall platform.

"We took our Firewall identity capabilities that include passive and active authentication and we've now added some of the Cisco TrustSec security group tags," Jeff Aboud, Program Marketing Manager, for Enterprise Network Security at Cisco told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet.

TrustSec is an technology that Cisco has been promoting since 2007 as a way to implement tag based network access control. According to Aboud, the idea with the ASA 9.0 integration is to provide more identity based and content visibility, so Cisco can provide next generation firewall capabilities at data center speeds.

In February of this year, Cisco announced a similar sounding offer known as the ASA CX, which also provides TrustSec integration. Aboud explained that the ASA 9.0 release is the core operating system, while the CX is an additional context aware module that works on top of it. He noted that in order to get application level control and visibility you still need the CX.

"What we've done with ASA 9.0 is we have taken all the identity awareness and the passive and active authentication and added to it security group tags from TrustSec," Aboud said. "That gives us more identity and device information."

Read the full story at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet:
Cisco Advances Network Security for Physical and Virtual Networks

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.