Cisco Live: Cisco bolsters, integrates security products and services

Cloud-based security features enhance existing Cisco gear.

At Cisco Live today the company is rolling out a set of new services and cloud-based security features that better integrate existing Cisco gear with products it acquired through acquisition.

These products essentially grow the features of some existing gear and expand security coverage to devices not connected to the corporate network.

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The Cisco mantra is that there are too many point security products for businesses to effectively manage and that generate too much unanalyzed data to be used effectively. The company contends that adding one more security product can add just a small percentage of new capabilities but a vast amount of complexity and work to integrate the new product.

By unifying security across products, Cisco says it’s moving toward a state where security follows users wherever they go and where malware detected on one device can lead to blocking that malware across the enterprise.

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Ben Munroe

Announced at Cisco’s customer conference in Las Vegas, Cisco is embedding Umbrella Roaming in its AnyConnect VPN, says Ben Munroe, a Cisco senior security product marketing manager. This means end users can be blocked from reaching malicious Web sites even when their devices are disconnected from the corporate network. This is technology gleaned from Cisco’s purchase of OpenDNS last year.

Cisco is offering another OpenDNS feature as an option for its Integrated Services Routers (ISR) commonly used in branch offices. Called Cisco Umbrella Branch, this feature performs content filtering and could be used to control what site guests can access when they use branch Wi-Fi. This reduces WAN traffic by making it unnecessary to backhaul branch traffic to a main site for such filtering.

Umbrella Roaming and Branch are both delivered through the cloud.

Cisco is adding another option for its ISR via a Stealthwatch Learning Networks license. It turns the ISR security router into both a sensor and an enforcement point for determining what traffic is dangerous and blocks it. Stealthwatch is the main behavior analysis and anomaly detection product developed by Lancope, which Cisco also bought last year.

To help manage security devices, Cisco is launching Defense Orchestrator, a cloud-based management system that can sync security policies across devices. For example, if a business is installing a new next-generation firewall, it can apply the same policies that existing firewalls have. It can also find duplicate, overlapping and unused policies to help clean up rule sets.

The company is introducing another cloud service to enhance its Meraki MX Security Appliance so it provides unified threat management and lookup of suspect files to protect SMBs.

To help customers make best use of these and other options, Cisco is providing consulting services to evaluate customers’ core security and develop their security strategies, particularly to help enterprises expand their digital businesses.

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