Microsoft and Cisco will announce a partnership today to make the security features of their respective range of products compatible. By tying up security at both the server operating system and hardware layer, the two companies hope that they will beat hackers and virus writers, whilst at the same time regaining the faith of corporate customers.
Microsoft and Cisco products hold a particular fascination for hackers, who enjoy exploiting various vulnerabilities in their platforms. Some corporate customers have switched to Linux and Unix as server operating systems on the grounds of security, as there are simply less viruses and malware on those systems.
By ensuring interoperability, customers should have an easier time deploying security policies and integrating products from both companies on their networks.
The next big step for the MS/Cisco partnership will be the release of Longhorn Server in 2007, when Microsoft’s own Network Access Protection scheme will be compatible with Cisco’s own Network Access Control features.