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[ISN] Cisco backtracks on IOS security availability


By Paul Roberts
IDG News Service

After announcing a number of security enhancements to its IOS
software, Cisco issued an alert Friday that said some of those
features will not be available until well into 2003, contrary to the
company's earlier claims.

The delay came after a Nov. 19 press release from the San Jose
networking giant that highlighted new hardware and software to improve
the performance of VPNs. In the announcement was news of "new advanced
security services within Cisco IOS Software."

IOS is the network systems software used in most Cisco hardware

The promised software enhancements included stateful firewall and
intrusion detection features for IOS, according to the announcement.

Also mentioned in the announcement were improved quality-of-service
(QoS) features for VPNs, as well as support for new IP Security
(IPSec) services such as integrated support of Advanced Encryption
Standard, Dynamic Multipoint VPNs and Network Address Translation

IPSec is an Internet security standard commonly used in deploying

The software features were to be available immediately for a variety
of platforms that run IOS, ranging from the company's 800 series
routers to its 7000 series routers, according to Cisco's Nov. 19

However, a media alert posted on Cisco's Web site on Friday stated
that, although those features were available on "select Cisco
platforms," they would not be available on the 800 through 7000 series
routers until the first or second quarters of 2003.

Cisco did not clarify what was meant by "select Cisco platforms," nor
did it list router platforms on which the new IOS software features
were currently supported.

Although Cisco did not provide any firm dates for the release, the
company said in its alert that the IPSec enhancements would be
"available across a broader set of platforms" in the second quarter of

The inline stateful firewall and intrusion detection features for IOS
would be available in the first quarter of 2003, according to Cisco.

An updated version of the Nov. 19 announcement posted on Cisco's Web
site said simply that the new features "will be available in a phased
manner over the next few months across the Cisco 800 to 7000 series

Cisco could not immediately be reached for comment.

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