Security Leaders Launch Initiative to Combat Emerging Threats

An industrywide collaboration led by Cisco Systems Inc. is trying to limit damage from emerging security threats such as viruses and worms. Supported by Cisco, Network Associates, Symantec and Trend Micro, the Cisco Network Admission Control program (part of Cisco's Self-Defending Network Initiative) works by granting network access only to compliant and trusted PCs, servers or PDAs with the latest anti-virus updates and patches. This ensures that vulnerable devices cannot access the network and potentially provide a point of entry for attacks by viruses and worms. Then, based on information about the endpoint device such as its current anti-virus state and operating-system patch level, the network decides what to do with noncompliant devices; with options to completely deny access, place the device in a quarantined area, or give it restricted access to computing. Cisco Network Admission Control functionality is scheduled to be supported on Cisco's access and midrange routers by midyear. For more information, visit

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2004 issue of THE Journal.