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Cisco extends relationship with Trend Micro

The networking giant will use the security specialist's tools and virus signatures to bolster the software that currently runs on Cisco routers and switches.

Networking giant Cisco on Monday said it will incorporate tools and virus signatures from Trend Micro into the security software that runs on its routers, switches and other gear.

As recently as March, security analysts said millions of networks around the world lack protection from malicious code. Additionally, research company Gartner has recently said that spam, worms and viruses constitute more than 30 percent of the traffic on some network backbones. Cisco is the market leader in networking products.

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The pact, an extension of an existing deal between the two companies, will help businesses using Cisco routers and switches assess the vulnerability of their networks and adopt real-time outbreak prevention strategies, the companies said.

In the first phase of the agreement, the networking giant will integrate Trend Micro's worm and virus signatures with the intrusion detection system Cisco uses in its networking equipment. Later, Trend Micro will install software designed to help with vulnerability assessment, outbreak prevention and damage cleanup.

Better vulnerability assessment helps companies isolate and shield vulnerable machines from attack. Outbreak prevention, meanwhile, aids in detecting, filtering and containing outbreaks in the early stages of a new attack. Filtering is said to be one of the weak points of Cisco networks.