Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


New Cisco Architecture Attempts To Redefine Access

'Secure Borderless Networks' promises easy, secure access from anywhere at any time

SAN FRANCISCO -- RSA Conference 2010 -- Cisco Systems today promised to create a network environment that enables users to securely log in using any device, from anywhere, using a simple, common, nearly-transparent access method.

The new architecture, called Secure Borderless Networks (SBN), is Cisco's attempt to move the complexities of remote and local access deeper into the network so that end users no longer have to use very different access processes for different devices or remote locations. It also recognizes the inevitability of a wide variety of handheld and portable devices being added to the corporate network.

"It doesn't matter where you are or what device you're using," says Tom Gillis, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Security Technology business unit. "It just works."

As a first step toward the new architecture, Cisco today is rolling out Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility, a package of enhanced products that redefines the company's approach to mobile access and virtual private networks.

The product bundle centers around AnyConnect 2.5, a small bit of software that contains a connection manager that logs the user onto the corporate network in a common fashion from any location. "It's always on and always running" on any device, including a variety of smartphones, Gillis says.

AnyConnect 2.5's secure access is enabled by Cisco's Adaptive Security Appliance 8.3, a security gateway that provides a common access point for a wide variety of systems and devices.

The third piece of the package is the Cisco IronPort S-Series, which is being merged with the recently acquired ScanSafe software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering to provide a SaaS-based method of access control that can distinguish between different types of applications, giving the user a common method of accessing the data that he is authorized to use.

Cisco also says it has enhanced its TrustSec strategy to offer identity management and granular control over policy to maximize persistent security from any location. TrustSec, which now includes Cisco Network Admission Control (NAC) and Identity-Based Networking Services (IBNS), offers integrated device profiling and guest access services for 802.1X environments.

"The idea is to simplify the creation and enforcement of access policy so that it's built less around devices and more around you, the user," Gillis says. "What we're doing is introducing a set of higher-level constructs that works on top of the existing infrastructure and policies so that you can express a policy that's independent of the device."

Gillis says he has been alpha-testing the new technology on the Cisco internal network, using a variety of handheld and desktop devices. "What it means for me as a user is that I no longer think about where I am -- whether I'm on the corporate network or on the VPN. It just works."

Gillis walked through a scenario in which he was able to make a smooth transition between voice, video and a variety of applications, using a variety of devices, from multiple locations -- all without having to log onto the network more than once.

The AnyConnect Secure Mobility bundle, which is the first step toward that scenario, will be delivered by the end of the second quarter.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Where Businesses Waste Endpoint Security Budgets
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/15/2019
US Mayors Commit to Just Saying No to Ransomware
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/16/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-20
An issue was discovered in PrinterOn Central Print Services (CPS) through 4.1.4. The core components that create and launch a print job do not perform complete verification of the session cookie that is supplied to them. As a result, an attacker with guest/pseudo-guest level permissions can bypass t...
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-20
An issue was discovered in the wp-code-highlightjs plugin through 0.6.2 for WordPress. wp-admin/options-general.php?page=wp-code-highlight-js allows CSRF, as demonstrated by an XSS payload in the hljs_additional_css parameter.
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-20
An issue was discovered on AudioCodes Mediant 500L-MSBR, 500-MBSR, M800B-MSBR and 800C-MSBR devices with firmware versions F7.20A to F7.20A.251. An internal interface exposed to the link-local address allows attackers in the local network to access multiple quagga VTYs. Attackers can...
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-19
An arbitrary file copy vulnerability in mod_copy in ProFTPD up to 1.3.5b allows for remote code execution and information disclosure without authentication, a related issue to CVE-2015-3306.
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-19
A SQL injection vulnerability exists in the Icegram Email Subscribers & Newsletters plugin through 4.1.7 for WordPress. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability would allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary SQL commands on the affected system.