Cisco, antivirus companies team to battle worms

Wednesday, 19 November 2003, 11:37 AM EST

Cisco announced licensing agreements with three leading antivirus software companies and a new program that it said will protect computer networks from worms and viruses.

The Cisco Network Admission Control program will enable Cisco routers to evaluate information such as whether a particular computer's antivirus definitions are up to date and whether its operating system is adequately patched before allowing it to connect to a network, Cisco said.

The new program, developed jointly by Cisco and antivirus companies Network Associates Inc. (NAI), Symantec Corp. and Trend Micro Inc., will address the security risks posed by employees who log onto corporate networks via broadband connections from their home PCs or even via wireless connections from handheld devices, Cisco said.

Many organizations recently stopped worms such as Blaster and Nachi at their network perimeter using firewall and intrusion-detection system software. However, some of those companies suffered anyway when mobile workers and telecommuters became infected through unprotected home Internet connections and then brought their infected machines to work or logged onto corporate networks using dial-up or virtual private network (VPN) connections.

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