Cisco and Trend Micro on Monday announced an agreement to integrate Trend Micro's technology to combat viruses and worms with Cisco's network and security systems.

Under the agreement, Cisco will integrate Trend Micro's network worm and virus signatures with the Cisco Intrusion Detection System (IDS) software in Cisco IOS Software-based routers, Cisco Catalyst switches, and network security appliances.

Cisco said it licensed additional Trend Micro technology that will be phased in to provide vulnerability assessment, outbreak prevention, and damage clean-up.

The agreement expands a partnership the companies established last fall with Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) program. NAC enables Cisco routers to block or restrict network access to an endpoint device that doesn't have antivirus updates or operating system patches. Cisco also is partnering with Symantec and Network Associates on NAC.

In their announcement Monday, Cisco and Trend said today's threats require system-level solutions, which depend on collaboration between companies.

The initial integration of Cisco IDS software with Trend Micro's antivirus technologies is slated for availability in the third quarter for all Cisco products that support its IDS software version 4.1 Additional integration of Trend Micro's technology and services is scheduled to be available early next year.