Cisco president John Chambers has been giving more details of his company's plans to build intelligent, self-defending networks.
This involves making every part of the network security-aware and ready to stamp on problems the second they start, much like a human body defends itself against viruses, according to Chambers.
"You haven't seen anything yet in terms of the speed and complexity [of computer security problems]," he warned.
"We have to move from reactive mode to preventing, isolating and containing such problems. We have to move from adaptive threats to proactive defence."
To this end Cisco started work five years ago on building the next generation of network defence tools, the first 10 of which have just been unveiled.
Cisco has already made 12 acquisitions, signed 30 corporate partnerships and dedicated 1,500 engineers to solving security problems.
This effort will only increase and the industry can expect to see more Cisco acquisitions and partnerships over the coming years, Chambers promised.
He demonstrated two newly developed technologies that would play a key role in building in what Cisco calls Adaptive Threat Defense.
Cisco IPS Version 5.0 is a tool to mitigate the effects of worms and viruses without taking down the network, and Cisco Security Monitoring, Analysis and Response System examines networks with a security audit and gives IT managers the opportunity to configure systems to be at their most resilient.
"You have to design security into the network. It's like an automobile: you don't wrap a car in cushions, you build security in from the ground up," said Chambers.
"We have always believed that security is tied to the network. If you haven't already started to address the issues you've got big problems."
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