Cisco, Trend Micro Form Joint Security Collaboration
Company joins forces with global leader in network anti- virus and Internet content security technologies
June 7, 2004
Cisco Systems has gained a new ally in its efforts to defend communication networks from viruses, worms, hackers and other security threats. In another key step to the Cisco Self-Defending Network security strategy, today the company announced an alliance with Trend Micro, the global leader in Internet gateway and email-server based anti-virus technologies. The new agreement extends the companies' relationship previously established in Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) program for desktop computer protection. The NAC is an initial phase of the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy, which aims to develop security integrated throughout the network, providing a comprehensive defense without inhibiting the access of legitimate users and, as a result, preserving the rich productivity advantages of Internet protocol (IP)-based communications.
News@Cisco spoke with Richard Palmer, Cisco's vice president and general manager of the VPN and Security business unit, and Steve Chang, Trend Micro's chief executive officer, about the new agreement and how it will help improve network security.
Why are Cisco and Trend Micro working more closely together?
Richard Palmer: Our deeper collaboration will help both companies improve network security. We share a common vision of integrating security into the network. This is an excellent marriage of highly complementary products, technologies, and skill sets. Trend Micro is a global leader in network antivirus and Internet content security software and services, with a progressive focus on virus outbreak life-cycle management. Trend Micro holds the top market share for both worldwide Internet gateway and email-server based anti-virus sales. Its Enterprise Protection Strategy was named "Product of the Year" by Network Magazine. Also, from a sales perspective, Trend Micro is strong in Asia and Europe, which complements Cisco's strong customer base in North America.
Steve Chang: Trend Micro believes that the best way to address virus, worm and other security threats is through defenses integrated into the network, as opposed to relying completely on desktop or other point-product protection. By pairing with the leader in network hardware, we are bringing our anti-virus technology into the heart of the network. And we have the opportunity to build a systems-level solution with Cisco that goes beyond any point product offering. This can help deliver a more effective, lower cost security environment for customers.
How will each partner help improve network and desktop security?
Richard Palmer: Broadly, we will integrate and market certain Trend Micro anti-virus technologies and services with Cisco's network products. The first step in our new collaboration will be to integrate Trend Micro's network virus and worm signatures into the software we use for intrusion detection. This code is used in Cisco routers, Catalyst switches, and security appliances. Most notably, Trend Micro brings focused expertise to virus protection and control with its Trend Labs, a global network of anti-virus research and support centers. Our extended relationship with Trend Micro will allow us to tap this industry-leading expertise and integrate it into our network products.
Steve Chang: Many Trend Micro customers operate sophisticated corporate networks using Cisco equipment. Also, most of these customers are greatly concerned about mitigating the effect viruses and worms have on their network operations and computing resources. By combining Trend Micro's expertise in anti-virus protection and outbreak life-cycle management with Cisco's industry leading networking equipment, we are able to bring our technologies into the core of our customers' networks, offering them even more effective tools against attacks.
What are the longer term plans for Trend Micro and Cisco' security collaboration?
Steve Chang: There will be many opportunities for us to work together. Trend Micro's software and proprietary technology for network worm scanning will be integrated over time into certain Cisco networking and security products. Our combined products will provide network operators central management of the entire virus outbreak life cycle-from the very early stages of vulnerability assessment all the way through to damage cleanup and restoration. We also believe there are many other areas we can explore together, including the integration of file-based anti-virus protection into the network, collaboration of endpoint security technologies, consolidated threat management, and secure content management.
How does this collaboration extend Trend Micro's involvement in the Cisco Network Admission Control program?
Richard Palmer: The recent announcement with Trend Micro furthers the efforts started late last year with the Cisco Network Admission Control (NAC) program. Trend Micro, along with Symantec and Network Associates, are participating in NAC, which uses Cisco routers to enforce admission privileges to "end-point" devices-personal computers, servers, PDAs, etc. -based on the security status of those end-points and their compliance with a network's security policies. While NAC focuses on using the network to enforce end-point protection policy, the new collaboration with Trend Micro will work on integrating its network-based anti-virus technology into our networking equipment. Much of our combined efforts will focus on creating an "outbreak prevention" system that can not only stop worms and cleanse potential infections from a network but can also help companies analyze their networks for vulnerabilities, in the process making them better prepared to withstand future attacks.