Cisco has rolled out a new product plus additional enhancements aimed at protecting data centers moving towards consolidated and virtual environments, as well as cloud enablement.
"Rather than bolting on security as an afterthought, we are layering all of our security throughout the network itself," said Jeff Aboud, product marketing manager at Cisco. "We get a lot of network information and pull that intelligence, based on millions of endpoints, in order to establish what is really going on. Security needs to be able to scale. You need to secure the environment without introducing chokepoints."
Highlights include software updates to increase the scalability of the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) line of firewalls, a virtualized variant of the ASA to support multi-tenant environments, a new intrusion prevention system (IPS) product optimized for the data center, as well as various improvements to the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client in order to better secure BYOD environments.
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ASA 9.0 is being characterized as a major update to the operating system that supports the full ASA firewall line. "The main difference is that we can now enable our data centers to cluster up to eight of our highest performing firewalls into one logical unit to deliver up to 320 gigabits of firewall throughput and 60 gigabits of IPS throughput," explained Aboud. "We've also added a lot of identity pieces, such as Cisco TrustSec security group tags, in order to have extensive identity, content and application security. A lot of our competitors can provide next-generation capabilities, but what sets us apart is that we can provide it at data center speed."
The announcement also includes secure remote access capabilities that support IPv6 connections and Next Generation Encryption capabilities, including NSA "Suite B" cryptography.
In addition, Cisco is tackling the cloud and virtualization environments through the arrival of its new ASA 1000V firewalls, which were designed specifically for multi-tenant virtual and cloud environments.
"This was built from the ground-up using ASA code so that it is optimized for a virtual and cloud environment," explained Aboud. "This gives us a great deal of flexibility to work properly in the virtual cloud environment with one security policy from the physical world that will also work in the virtual cloud environment. It also sits as a service on top of the Nexus 1000V switch which secures up to 64 ESX hosts and supports multiple hypervisors. As those workloads move, our security policies move with them because we support V-motion. If you move something, your security policies will be intact and you don't have to recast them."
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