IBM, Cisco Move Closer on Security

Coming off a week when IT security pros were on high
, IBM and Cisco today
unveiled joint offerings to gird enterprise networks
against viruses, worms and hackers.

The Armonk, N.Y., and San Jose, Calif., IT giants aim to help customers
build “self-defending” systems that cover critical
points of business computing — from laptops to network entry points to
back-end systems.

“Customers have tried to cobble together security solutions from
vendors,” Dave King, director of business development for Cisco’s
unit, told “It hasn’t been as effective as

Initial offerings include the merging of Cisco’s Secure Access Control
Server and IBM’s Tivoli Identity Manager Software. The partnership will also link
security chips in IBM laptops and desktops with Cisco virtual private network

Big Blue will also join Cisco’s Network Admission Control program (a
blueprint for defending against viruses and worms) and
plans to integrate certain IBM Tivoli security management software with
Cisco infrastructure products that are part of the

Finally, IBM Global Services will offer security consulting and
planning to shore up existing IT security and engineer

It isn’t the first time the companies have worked together. Previous
initiatives include storage and hardware and software integrations.
Today’s offerings have been in the works for about a year are available
said Chris O’Connor, director of corporate security strategy at IBM.

They will be sold through the company’s regular sales channels, both to
customers and to existing users as upgrade

Pricing is similar to what IBM and Cisco charge regularly. The benefit,
O’Connor said, is that customers have a unified offering backed up by
two of
the biggest names in IT.

The joint systems were tested in an enterprise environment, but
agencies are also a target customer.

“The government market is trying to create standardization and
patterns,” King said. “This plays very well into that.”

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