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October 2004

The self-defending network: Is it real technology or market speak?

Ever seen the Cisco Systems TV commercial of the little girl tapping away at her dad's office computer? She downloads what she thinks is a video game when, all of a sudden, a dialogue box pops up: "Warning! Virus Detected." She's shocked; worry washes over her face. Behind the scenes, though, the network is jumping into action. The AV scanner is communicating with a central policy server, which automatically issues instructions to the firewall to shut down ports, the router to redirect the worm to a quarantine zone, and the patch management server to plug the exploited hole. Seconds later, she's relieved to see another dialogue box: "Virus Destroyed!" Of course, we must suspend disbelief and assume that this precocious child understands what a virus is and the damage it can cause. And, we must also believe that something like a "self-defending" network is available today. In reality, it's the stuff of the future. Cisco is working with AV vendors to perfect its Network Access Control strategy, which ultimately builds security ...

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Features in this issue

  • Preventing spyware and third-party attacks

    by  David Geer, Contributor

    Is your IT infrastructure prepared for spyware? In this feature, learn how to prepare your enterprise for spyware and how best to avoid these third-party attacks.

Columns in this issue