Cisco Looks To Cloud For Security, Collaboration


The new offerings fall under Cisco's new "Collaborate With Confidence" initiative.

First, Cisco unveiled new cloud-based security services, including a botnet filter and IPS, to protect against the ever-growing threat landscape. According to David Knight, Cisco's senior director of product management, cloud-based security services offer greater threat defense to protect against attacks, malware and botnets, regardless of what devices or networks are used.

"Most security has traditionally been done on-premise with appliances, firewalls and IPSs," Knight said, adding that moving security services to the cloud offers a "best of both worlds" approach.

As more devices are connecting to more networks, Cisco is looking to offer protection in the Cisco Security Cloud by tying together services from multiple networks and applications to enable secure collaboration and communication. Cisco's cloud already supports Cisco's recently released Hosted Email Security Services offering and now offers Global Correlation, a technique that powers security services integrated into Cisco's security offerings.

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Cisco's cloud security offerings, including the new IPS Sensor Software Version 7.0, leverage Cisco Security Intelligence Operations, a threat defense ecosystem that collects threat data in the cloud from more than 1,000 servers that receive information from more than 700,000 sensors and 500 third-party feeds. That information is then correlated and turned into updates that are pushed from the cloud to corporate security infrastructure.

"It's a satellite view of what the threat landscape looks like," said Susan Don, Cisco's director of channel business development.

IPS 7.0 features built-in Global Correlation for intrusion-prevention systems leveraging Cisco Security Intelligence Operations, which turns threat data captured from the footprint of security devices into updates and actionable intelligence, then pushes that down to the security infrastructure for protective action. IPS 7.0 can be twice as effective in stopping malicious attacks in a shorter amount of time compared to signature-only IPS systems, Don said.

Cisco also launched ASA 5500 Series 8.2 Software, which offers end-to-end security and threat mitigation. The update ties together a new botnet traffic filter for identifying infected clients, IPS availability for small offices and increased clientless remote-access capabilities. The cloud-based botnet filter lets ASA 5500 Series security appliances identify affected clients using information from Cisco Security Intelligence Operations, giving users the ability to more quickly identify infected clients. Don said there currently are roughly 5 million identified botnets in the U.S.

And while Cisco is moving security services up into the cloud, the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant also brought its SaaS applications down to the network. Knight said the new SaaS architecture and enhancements to Cisco's SaaS-based WebEx collaborative applications extend the cloud into the network infrastructure using the Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud and Cisco ASR 1000 Series routers.

Cisco on Tuesday unveiled the Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud for SaaS. The WebEx Collaboration Cloud integrates SaaS applications and the network infrastructure to deliver collaborative experiences within and between companies using intelligent routing based on location, bandwidth and availability. The Collaboration Cloud offers seamless global backup for data, audio and video for collaborative applications including conferencing, instant messaging and team spaces. The architecture uses eight Cisco-powered global data centers to offer 99.99 percent uptime with multilayered security, and the Collaboration Cloud hosts more than 200,000 WebEx meetings per day.

To deliver cloud-based services at the network level, Cisco unveiled the Cisco WebEx Node for ASR 1000 Series routers. The node lets the edge router act as a point of presence within the network for meeting attendees on that network. Having the availability to host a meeting on-premise, Knight said, can reduce the bandwidth requirements and enhance video and VoIP performance while using the global availability features of the WebEx Collaboration Cloud.

Knight said all users join to the local WebEx node while they are on-premise, and off-premise users join through the cloud. All are bridged into a single conference.

Additionally, Cisco unveiled new releases of Cisco WebEx SaaS meeting applications, with upgrades to Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, Cisco WebEx Training Center, Cisco WebEx Event Center and Cisco WebEx support center, which are delivered through the Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud. The applications now support features for e-training, virtual events and remote support, along with expanded device support.