Cisco Teams With 7 Security Services Vendors - InformationWeek

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Cisco Teams With 7 Security Services Vendors

Cisco Systems has signed up seven security services vendors as part of the company's initiative to extend its Safe security blueprint to its Avvid Partner Program. The first companies that will partner with Cisco to offer security-related services are Berbee Information Networks, Counterpane Internet Security, Guardent, KPMG Consulting, Netigy, NetSolve, and Predictive Systems.

Mike Fuhrman, group manager of security consulting services at Cisco, says each of the partners will deliver at least one of the following services: security design and implementation; security policy and procedure assessment; vulnerability assessment; business impact and risk assessment; device, application, and code security review; competitive counterintelligence; and outsourced security monitoring and management.

Fuhrman says Cisco spoke to about 50 companies before whittling them down to the final seven. "Some didn't meet our requirements, and others didn't make it because we didn't have time to evaluate them," he says. Cisco will reveal more security-service partners in coming months, he adds. Requirements for joining the program include having a certain percentage of security-certified engineers as well as lab facilities.

Avvid is Cisco's Architecture for Voice, Video, and Integrated Data. The Safe blueprint is the company's attempt to create a modular approach to network security by recommending design, implementation, and management processes for securing E-business infrastructures. The Avvid Partner Program is an interoperability testing and co-marketing program for software and service firms to better deploy E-business initiatives for their customers.

The problem, some analysts say, is that the E-business initiatives offered under the Avvid umbrella are more about selling Cisco gear than anything else. "They did some investment in their labs for the Safe architecture, but most of this seems to be about better ways to connect Cisco products," says John Pescatore, research director for network security at Gartner. "When they put out a PIX API that anyone could write applications to, then I'll believe this is meaningful," he says. "It's 75% marketing fluff."

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