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Cisco Revamps Cloud Security Strategy With New Secure Access, SASE Portfolio

The company's vision for the future of cloud security is based on simplified, horizontal coverage across multiple cloud platforms.

2 Min Read
A photo of the welcome sign at a Cisco campus; the sign is the company logo on an asymmetric slab
Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar via Alamy Stock Photo

Networking giant Cisco has unveiled a plan to simplify security operations, including the debut of an open security platform called Security Cloud, conceived as a unified platform for end-to-end security across hybrid multicloud environments.

The platform offers threat prevention, detection, response, and remediation capabilities, as well as less-intrusive methods for risk-based authentication, including a Wi-Fi fingerprint.

Cisco is also emphasizing intelligent user and device identity verification checks that run continuously and in the background.

Horizontal Coverage

TK Keanini, CTO of Cisco Secure, explains that in an age where organizations are protecting assets across multiple clouds — be they Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, or Google Cloud Platform — security teams are struggling to provide uniform, horizontal coverage across this infrastructure.

"We're trying to abstract away networking and security to a layer that is completely horizontal across that which you protect — your compute and storage," Keanini says. "Where before, networking and security were sometimes living in those silos, we're now logically above it. We want to provide a function that's consistent and has the economics of cloud."

Featuring Cisco Meraki SD-WAN technology, the secure access service edge (SASE) subscription service Cisco+ Secure Connect Now streamlines deployment and management of SASE through a cloud-managed platform with a unified dashboard.

A unified Secure Client is designed to help simplify the streaming of Cisco Secure agents, including AnyConnect, Secure Endpoint, and Umbrella.

"With Secure Connect, we tried to basically abstract away the complexity and hand you an application experience," Keanini says. "We're going after a person who doesn't ever want to be a networking expert, or they just want the network to work, and they want to control it via an app."

Cisco is also leveraging the OpenID Foundation's Shared Signals and Events standards, including CAEP and RISC, to build session trust analysis by sharing information between vendors.

The company also has enhanced its Secure Cloud Analytics, which automatically promotes alerts into SecureX and maps those alerts to MITRE ATT&CK.

It also debuted the Secure Firewall 3100 Series, which features an AI-powered encrypted visibility engine, uses machine learning (ML) technology to uncover threats, and offers a custom security research service, called Talos Intelligence On-Demand.

Keanini says that the through line with all of these services, as well as with Cisco's Security Cloud vision, is simplicity — specifically, providing services that remove complexity for organizations and individuals.

"You're good if you provide security, but you're even better if you provide security and usability," he says. "If you're going to reach the common person that just never wants to be a security expert, you got to deliver an application experience. That's really simple."

About the Author(s)

Nathan Eddy, Contributing Writer

Nathan Eddy is a freelance journalist and award-winning documentary filmmaker specializing in IT security, autonomous vehicle technology, customer experience technology, and architecture and urban planning. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Nathan currently lives in Berlin, Germany.

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