The vendors will expand their partnership to help customers improve management of users logging onto systems and offer better protection against hackers.
Cisco Systems and IBM said Friday that they will expand their longstanding partnership and integrate some of their offerings to bolster the security of their joint customers.
Executives from both companies say the collaborative effort will help customers more security and efficiently manage users logging onto networks as well as better protect their systems from hackers and fast-moving Internet worms.
The companies say the combination of IBM's Tivoli Identity Manager software with Cisco's Secure Access Control Server will help customers more cost-effectively and securely manage employees, customers, and partners accessing systems and applications from remote locations. The combined technology can help customers reduce so-called "orphan" accounts—many companies often fail to terminate these accounts when an employee leaves a company or a relationship with a business partner is complete.
The companies will also combine IBM's ThinkVantage Technology, found in IBM ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre Desktops, with newer versions of Cisco's virtual private network applications. The user-identity information, which is stored and encrypted on IBM's security chip, adds an additional layer of security beyond typical user name and passwords, and makes it much harder for hackers to uncover an employee's user name and password and log onto the system remotely.
The companies also are moving to add additional security to desktops and servers. IBM says it will join the recently announced Cisco Network Admission Control program and will integrate some aspects of its IBM Tivoli security management software with Cisco's networking gear. The Cisco NAC program aims to help companies define security policies that desktops and servers must meet before they are granted access to the network.
Eric Ogren, a senior analyst at the Yankee Group, says a recent survey conducted by the research firm shows that Cisco and IBM were ranked Nos. 1 and 2 by respondents as "the most trusted security product vendors."
"The big message is that security is moving deeper into the network," says Ogren.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
IT Strategies to Conquer the CloudChances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.