The Month: Briefs – Industry round-up

Cisco Systems and Microsoft are to collaborate on a new architecture that allows their security technology platforms to work together. The framework should allow corporate customers to use both Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) and Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP) packages. The companies originally promised the feature in 2004.

Combined NAP and NAC essentially consists of various client-sidesoftware apps that check and then communicate the health of any PCs,laptops or mobile devices that attempt to connect to a network. Oncechecked, the device is compared to a policy list before being allowedaccess.

Cisco and Microsoft said in a statement that they expect to test alimited beta version of the architecture later this year.

The companies reported that the new architecture will be commerciallyavailable in the second half of 2007.;

Breach Security has acquired ThinkingStone, a UK web applicationfirewall company, and is also set to open a new EMEA headquarters in theUK.

Ivan Ristic, chief evangelist for Breach, said: "There is greatpotential here - the companies are a good fit.

I am also glad that the open-source ThinkingStone firewall will now getadditional research and development resources."

Breach, a web application security provider, was founded in 2004 and isbased in California.;

Juniper Networks and Symantec have begun a strategic partnership focusedon unified threat management (UTM) solutions and intrusion protectionsystems (IPS) for enterprises.

The two parties are also planning to integrate their existing endpointcompliance and access control products, and increase collaborationbetween Juniper's J-Security Team and Symantec's Global IntelligenceNetwork to deliver security and threat research.

The partnership will involve co-operative sales and marketing effortsbetween Juniper and Symantec, according to the two businesses.;

BT has won a £10.5 million managed security contract to supplyUnilever with a managed firewall service. The agreement builds on anexisting deal and will run over six and a half years.

BT will now take over full management responsibilities for Unilever'sexisting 256 firewalls spread across 68 countries. The telecoms giantwill introduce a global management structure to replace the existingregional set-up, according to the company.

Unilever CIO Neil Cameron said he thought the deal had "delivered", andstressed that the main driver for the move was not cost savings.;

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