Cisco Makes Security Push

Even as the broader telecom market remains stalled, Cisco Systems believes companies will continue investing in network security rather than risk internal or external attacks.

The San Jose, Calif., company said it will make quarterly security announcements given the importance of the topic.

Today Cisco announced 12 new additions to its security portfolio, including routers, software and services, that place safeguards at multiple points in the network. The lineup covers a spectrum of customers — from enterprises and service providers to small businesses and telecommuters.

“Cisco’s security solutions are performing very well despite the soft economic climate,” a Cisco spokeswoman told

In fact, Cisco reports a 30 percent quarter-to-quarter growth this year to last year in routers that have security with virtual private network (VPN) modules.

Secure connectivity figured prominently in today’s releases. Cisco enhanced its 800 Series and SOHO 90 Series broadband routers, bringing data, voice and video security features to small offices and home workers.

It also unveiled VPN acceleration modules for the 2691, 3660 and 3700 Series routers, boosting performance while cutting CPU utilization. And the company introduced the SCA 11000 Series Secure Content Accelerator II, an appliance to offload Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) processing from back-end Web servers.

Other products shore up the network perimeter. For example, new software blocks intruders by requiring enhanced user authentication and sophisticated systems monitoring. Other offerings control access to wireless networks.

Cisco’s security announcement comes as Gartner Dataquest issued a good-news, bad-news report on the Ethernet Switching market.

The San Jose IT research firm said Ethernet port shipments reached 39.5 million units, a 21.7 percent increase over the third quarter of 2001. Revenues, however, edged up only 1.3 percent from the same period last year.

Cisco dominated the market with 72.9 percent of worldwide Ethernet switching revenue and 41 percent of port shipments. 3Com moved into the second spot based on revenue, up from the No. 5 position in the third quarter of last year, Gartner Dataquest said.

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