Cisco has launched unified network access-client software that lets users attach to wired, wireless or remote-access networks using a single log-on.

The Secure Services Client 4.0 combines several network-access technologies into a single piece of software, giving customers the same interface for corporate network access. Cisco says the software makes network admin and access management easier by reducing the number of user client applications that need to be distributed and supported.

The 4.0 release combines 802.1X, a protocol for authenticating users to a network device or port, as well as several versions of the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP). For wireless access, the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocols as also supported in the software. Data encryption using Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) technology are also supported.

The client software works with Cisco's Secure Access Control Server (ACS) - an authentication server and network access management platform. The Secure Services Client 4.0 also works with Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) architecture, which provides user device scanning and authentication services for PCs and laptops, and other machines attempting to access a corporate network.

The Secure Services Client is based on technology Cisco acquired from Meetinghouse Data Communications in July for $43.7 million.