A new set of cloud-based security services launched by Cisco last week aim to close the “security effectiveness gap.” The new portfolio consists of a number of tools designed to protect more environments against attacks by malicious actors.
The goal of the new products is to simplify and reduce the total number of different tools needed to fully protect an enterprise from the broad array of threats that now exist to network security, according to Cisco. The company said the new cloud-based portfolio, rolled out at its Cisco Live event in Las Vegas, is an “architectural” approach to security, with each tool designed to integrate with the other security services.
An Expanding Attack Surface
As digital transformation brings more users, devices and applications online, Cisco said companies are challenged to protect an expanding attack surface.
“With more space to operate in and greater opportunities to generate a profit, active adversaries are relentlessly targeting businesses, organizations and people, the company said in a statement. "In response, companies are deploying up to 70 disparate security products to address a variety of needs -- a practice that is difficult to manage and often leaves businesses more vulnerable.”
Although this niche-product approach can provide a range of security capabilities, it can also create unmanageable complexity that results in a security effectiveness gap for companies. In contrast, Cisco said its approach is designed to decrease complexity in addition to increasing capabilities.
In particular, Cisco said that the new products target distributed and mobile businesses that may need full coverage for headquarters, branch offices, or even employees connecting to the network from the field.
Security is central to protecting as well as leveraging a company’s assets as business models become more data-driven and consumer relationships more data-dependent, Brad Russell, research analyst, Parks Associates, told us via email.
"Cisco’s rollout of a set of integrated security tools especially designed for distributed computing environment[s] and more preemptive anomaly monitoring will give businesses urgently needed defenses to secure their business activities," he said. "These will be most valuable where companies lack depth of in-house expertise and currency in security innovations."
Detection in 17 Hours
The new cloud-based portfolio consists of five core products: Umbrella Roaming, Umbrella Branch, Defense Orchestrator, Stealthwatch Learning Network License, and the Meraki MX Security Appliances.
Umbrella Roaming is a new module embedded within Cisco’s AnyConnect VPN solution that removes off-network blind spots to protect off-site employees by automatically blocking connections to malicious sites. Umbrella Branch, meanwhile, gives businesses more control over guest Wi-Fi use through content filtering.
Defense Orchestrator lets companies manage large security infrastructures and policies in distributed locations across thousands of devices through a cloud-based console. The cloud-based application manages security policies across Cisco security products including its Adaptive Security Appliance, firewalls, and OpenDNS.
Stealthwatch makes it possible for a Cisco Integrated Service Router to act as a security sensor and enforcer for branch threat protection, allowing businesses to detect and track anomalies in network traffic, analyze suspicious network activity, and identify malicious traffic.
Finally, Meraki is a cloud-managed unified threat management solution designed to simplify advanced threat protection for distributed enterprises, providing branch offices with malware protection that checks files against its cloud database to identify malicious content, blocking the files before users download them.
Cisco said the architectural approach used by the new portfolio can help enterprises reduce their time to detection for an intrusion to less than 17 hours, versus an industry standard of 100 days.
Image credit: iStock/Artist's Concept.
Posted: 2016-07-19 @ 5:43am PT
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