Optical/IP Networks

Cisco, Microsoft Team Up on Security

SAN JOSE, Calif. and REDMOND, Wash. -- Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO - News) and Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT - News) today announced that the two companies are working to share and integrate their respective security and health assurance technologies. The goal of this collaboration is to deliver solutions that will help their mutual customers better address the increased threat and impact of malicious software.

"Safer and assured access to the network is a basic requirement if we are to continue our reliance on technology to support business growth. Having a single consistent way of establishing connectivity is as critical to supporting economic growth via technology as TCP/IP was to the success of the Internet," said Chris Byrnes, senior vice president at META Group, a leading provider of IT research, advisory services and strategic consulting. "This announcement signals strong intent for interoperability and an embrace of a standards-based approach, which is what META Group clients have identified as a requirement in this space. With broader interoperability and the partner ecosystems these two companies bring to the table both customers and the industry will benefit."

Per the collaboration, Cisco and Microsoft will share information about their technologies to help drive an approach to solution-compatibility between Cisco Network Admissions Control (NAC) and Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP), their respective approaches for providing endpoint security and health -policy compliance when accessing network resources. The companies will then work toward interoperability efforts between the NAC and NAP architectures, as these solutions evolve and are delivered to customers. This coordinated approach will allow customers to integrate the embedded security capabilities of Cisco's network infrastructure with those of Microsoft's Windows, enabling them to choose components yet implement a single, coordinated solution.

Additionally, the companies will work toward driving industry standards in the network admissions and access control arenas to help promote broad market adoption.

"A critical component of building the Cisco Self-Defending Network is industry collaboration," said John Chambers, chief executive officer for Cisco. "Security is not an island. By working with Microsoft, Cisco is again demonstrating its commitment to taking every step possible to provide our customers with the industry's best tools and technologies for network security."

"This important alliance with Cisco underscores Microsoft's ongoing commitment to creating a more secure computing environment for customers," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation. "Delivering greater compatibility between Cisco and Microsoft products, working toward more interoperable technology architectures, and supporting industry standards in key areas are important steps forward for our two companies, for our industry and, most importantly, for customers."

Cisco Systems Inc.

Microsoft Corp.

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