Cisco Systems Inc. plans to add role-based access control to some of its switches and routers next year. The San Jose, Calif.-based network equipment maker yesterday announced TrustSec, which will be rolled out to various product lines starting some time within the next four months.

The vendor says users will be able to access IT assets from any device, wired or wireless, depending on their role in the company.

Robert Gleichauf, chief technology officer for Cisco’s security technology group, said many networks have directory systems from software makers such as Provo, Utah-based Novell Inc., which define roles for users.

When combined with Cisco TrustSec, a directory can make the decision as to whether a given user’s packets can travel to their intended destination. “We have figured out how to bring this down into the network layer of our next generation of products,” he said during a web cast to analysts and reporters.

TrustSec is also designed to help companies comply with government regulations such as the American Sarbanes-Oxley law. Customer can define which policies they want to incorporate into the network infrastructure, a Cisco spokesperson said.