Cisco Merges Physical And IT Security Technologies

The company is creating a unified identity management system that can be used by systems that guard both physical environments and IT networks.



The ability to make physical and IT security systems work together has been the stuff of Hollywood spy thrillers, but Cisco Systems and other vendors are making it happen in the real world.

Cisco is creating a unified identity management system that can be used by systems that guard both physical environments and IT networks. The company plans to expand its Intelligent Converged Environment line of security technologies this week through a new interface that will allow its IP-based access control and unified identity management system to work with Assa Abloy's badge readers and door lock components.

"If you don't badge [yourself] in, you won't have network access," says Mark Farino, general manager of Cisco's Converged Secure Infrastructure unit.

And Imprivata last week introduced its OneSign Physical/Logical appliance, which considers a user's location when deciding whether to grant network access. If a user swipes his or her building-access badge to get into a facility, but then tries to connect to the network from another location, the system alerts security personnel.

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