Cisco Systems has initiated a new offensive on security by launching a range of products, features and services under the "Adaptive Threat Defense" programme.

The company announced the software at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. The new range includes end-point security and intrusion prevention features dubbed "Anti-X Defenses;" enhancements to Cisco’s PIX firewall and SSL VPN products; and expanded support for the company's Network Admission Control (NAC) programme.

The Adaptive Threat Defense (ATD) initiative addresses security at different points throughout a corporate network, the company said in a statement. ATD products and features are designed to allow Cisco customers to more tightly control security threats on different network layers, by tracking network traffic, endpoints, applications and users.

Under the banner of "Anti-X Defenses," Cisco released a new version of its Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) product. Version 5.0 contains new services for detecting and preventing attacks hidden in network traffic, as well as new anti-virus, anti-spyware and worm-mitigation features.

In addition, Anti-X Defenses includes an updated Cisco Security Agent (CSA), which is the cornerstone of the NAC programme. Version 4.5 includes protection for spyware and other malicious code and improved security state assessments for machines running the CSA.

Cisco also introduced new features for its Catalyst 6500 Series Switches and 7600 Series Routers. The Cisco Anomaly Guard Module and Cisco Traffic Anomaly Detector Module are designed to detect and stop distributed denial of services attacks, which network devices are flooded with malicious traffic.

The company also announced a number of features to address security threats that target network application servers and traffic, and to give network administrators the ability to manage security incidents.

Among the new features are updated SSL VPN services on the VPN 3000 Concentrator platform, designed to extend secure access and malicious code protections to more applications, and an update of the PIX Security Appliance Software that allows network administrators to create more specific security policies.