Cisco Systems has unveiled its new overarching security strategy that will start with a single platform. The tech giant also took to RSA 2022 to launch its second—and eagerly awaited—everything-as-a-service Cisco Plus offer for unified Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).
Cisco Security Cloud is the basis of the company’s security plan for the future. The unified, open-standards-based platform will ensure security across hybrid and multi-cloud environments with capabilities for securely connecting people, applications and devices located anywhere. The platform will include threat prevention, detection, response and remediation at scale, with no vendor lock-in, Cisco said.
Similar to the approach Cisco took with its flagship Webex collaboration platform, the company has been working on Cisco Security Cloud for some time and will continue to develop the platform over the next several years, Jeetu Patel, Cisco executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration, told CRN US.
“It won’t happen overnight, but the vision we have is one Cisco Security Cloud that has networking services, security services, threat intelligence services, a unified policy engine, an open set of APIs and a common control tower for management that makes it easy for administrators to use,” Patel said.
Cisco Security Cloud’s open APIs will allow for integration with third-party solutions, as well as a security marketplace, the company said.
For partners, Cisco Security Cloud presents a huge opportunity for MSPs managing their customers’ environments. Partners will be able to set the strategy for Security Cloud and drive adoption, Patel said. “We think of partners as a key, critical component to us being able to succeed with Security Cloud,” he said.
Cisco has been touting its Cisco Plus as-a-service strategy, which allows customers to purchase Cisco IT in a flexible, consumption-based everything-as-a-service (XaaS) model, for the last year. The first offering the company introduced was Cisco Plus Hybrid Cloud, which includes Cisco’s entire data center compute, networking and storage portfolio.
The latest offering now available in several countries is Cisco Plus Secure Connect Now, a unified security and networking offering. The offering gives partners and enterprises a “turnkey” offering for the quick deployment of SASE that can be operated and managed through the cloud on an as-a-service subscription, Patel said.
Cisco Plus Secure Connect Now has been built on a foundation of Cisco’s cloud-first Meraki platform and is accessible via the Meraki dashboard. The offering contains Meraki SD-WAN and Cisco Umbrella security functions, Patel said. “That’s all available in one subscription service,” he added.
Cisco at RSA also unveiled Continuous Trusted Access, a capability that takes risk evaluation a step further after a user logs in by constantly verifying user and device identity for risk-based authentication. Cisco is using its patent-pending Wi-Fi Fingerprint technology as a way to avoid compromising user privacy by picking up SSID information instead of a user’s location. “We believe privacy is a basic human right, but this also gives you the security that you need—they aren’t at odds with each other,” Patel said.
The capability is available in public preview this summer and is targeted for general availability later in 2022.
For further simplification of the security portfolio, Cisco launched its new unified Secure Client. The company said half of Cisco Secure agents that may be installed on a users’ desktop, including AnyConnect, Secure Endpoint and Umbrella, will be unified by midyear with additional elements to be added. Secure Client will be generally available July 6.
In addition, Cisco saidthat it is taking Talos, its threat intelligence service that consists of the one of the largest commercial threat intelligence teams in the world, and offering it up as a “bespoke” service that provides custom research on the threat landscape unique to each business, Patel said. Cisco Talos Intelligence On-Demand is available now.