Cisco and EMC announce data-leak prevention partnership

Cisco Monday at the RSA Conference said it is turning to EMC for core technology that will allow Cisco to gain a footprint in the data-leak prevention arena.

Cisco Monday said it is turning to EMC for core technology that will allow Cisco to gain a footprint in the data-leak prevention arena.

During its Security Editors and Analysts Day here as the RSA Conference kicked off, Cisco CTO Robert Gleichauf said the collaboration with EMC and the RSA security division of EMC will let Cisco integrate DLP content monitoring into a number of Cisco products. (Compare data-leak protection products.)

While no specific deadlines were given, the first product is expected to be the endpoint protection product Cisco Security Agent, which EMC would co-market with Cisco.

Cisco also said the alliance with EMC could also lead to DLP being used in a Cisco network infrastructure in the future as a way to monitor real-time traffic and block unauthorized data content.

"Our customers say the data protection problem for them is huge," said Gleichauf. "By combining all the components we have, we can do something truly novel."

The main DLP technology that Cisco is obtaining from EMC is from Tablus, the company that EMC acquired last August.

When asked why Cisco isn't obtaining core technology through acquisition or in-house development, Cisco general manager and senior vice president Richard Palmer indicated that Cisco decided this was the best way to take its first step into DLP.

The company isn't rejecting the possibility of acquiring in the future, and for its part, EMC and its RSA division might share its DLP technology with other vendors.

In addition to the entry into DLP, Cisco will be teaming with EMC on encryption and key management. Cisco said customers in the future will be able to encrypt data stored on tapes and virtual tapes through the integration of Cisco MDS 9000 Storage Media Encryption with the RSA Key Manager. The integrated product is expected to be out in May.

In a third effort, Cisco and EMC's RSA division plan to develop a common Payment Card Industry reference architecture for customers to use to audit and run reports to ensure PCI compliance.

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