Why security's no longer IT's ugly stepsister

Friday, 20 February 2004, 2:26 AM EST

First, it was Cisco's Super Bowl ad, in which a chief financial officer's daughter downloads a game that infects an entire network. Two weeks later--this time for real--Juniper acquired NetScreen Technologies for upward of $3 billion. These are the most visible examples, but if you listen to the strategies of other networking vendors like 3Com, Enterasys Networks, Extreme Networks or Nortel Networks, you can see the formation of a definite trend: Networking and security are moving closer together.

While networking and security have been kissing cousins for years, a marriage looks more and more imminent. Why? First of all, both technologies monitor bits as they flow through the network. Networking equipment watches traffic to make routing, switching and quality-of-service decisions. Security devices eyeball the same traffic in search of protocol anomalies, known attack patterns, viruses and worms.

By Jon Oltsik at CNET.

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