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Cisco Launches Security Services For Cloud Computing, Collaboration

New services will also help enterprises manage cloud security
SAN FRANCISCO -- RSA Security Conference 2009 -- Cisco Systems today deepened its range of security services offerings, adding cloud security capabilities and a purpose-built secure network for collaborative applications.

Cisco rolled out Cisco Security Cloud Services, a security-as-a-service offering that ties together services from multiple networks and applications, integrating security "in the cloud" with enterprise network security.

In addition, Cisco unveiled enhancements to its software-as-a-service (SaaS) products, including a new WebEx Collaboration Cloud for SaaS -- a "purpose-built network designed to deliver high-quality, highly secure, and reliable collaborative experiences within and between companies."

Cisco also unveiled Global Correlation, a security information management (SIM)-like capability that correlates event information across a network cloud.

"What we're doing is taking the types of abilities you see in SIM in the enterprise and bringing it into the cloud," says Ambika Gadre, director of product management at Cisco's Security Technology business unit at Cisco. Cisco will use the capability to detect and eliminate threats in the cloud on behalf of its services customers, Gadre says.

The new services are designed to help enterprises do collaborative work securely across the enterprise, across networks, and even across corporate boundaries. Several of the services build on Cisco's WebEx virtual meeting network, which currently hosts about 200,000 meetings a day.

The announcements also significantly expand Cisco's offerings in the security services space. Cisco already offers some services through its IronPort unit, which provides hosted email security services.

Among the products that Cisco unveiled are Botnet Traffic Filters, a service that will help enterprises detect infected clients and isolate them from the rest of the network. The company also launched Cisco IPS 7.0, a new intrusion prevention capability that enables Cisco to detect twice as much malware as it did previously.

The company also unveiled a governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) consulting service that it will offer both directly and through partners.

Cisco executives say the company doesn't plan to try to take over the managed security services market, but that the new capabilities add another form factor for its security offerings, along with the hardware and software capabilities it already offers. Working with customers as a service provider is a good way to collect input from customers that may help the company expand and improve its hardware and software lines, they say.

The full Cisco announcements can be found here and here.

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