Cisco Systems has announced that it will offer five new hardware security products that work directly with Cisco’s Catalyst 6500 data switch products. In its efforts to integrate network and security hardware into one box, these security products work with the Cisco’s data switches’ broadband to replace numerous standalone security devices, which are costly to purchase and upgrade. The new products include a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) module, an Internet Protocol (IP) VPN services module, a firewall services module, and two network analysis modules. Not priced for the small network group, the prices for the modules start at $17,995US, the network 6500 switches begin at $24,000US, with the firewall services module ringing in at $34,995US. Cisco claims that its firewall services module offers 100,000 connections/second and 5Gbps/second of data throughput, and that a comparable standalone firewall services module would retail for at least $100,000US. The integration of security and networking functions will likely cause friction, at least initially, among IT department security specialists and networking specialists, since these two groups have traditionally had separate roles and areas of responsibility. The cost savings to companies with large IT departments will likely result in a mandate to the IT folks to either evolve or become extinct.