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Cisco IoT Security Architecture Launched To Simplify, Defend Industrial IoT

The new Cisco IoT security architecture will improve visibility industrial IoT environments, according to the tech giant.

Cisco is strengthening IoT security with the introduction of a security architecture for industrial IoT.

Launched at Cisco Live EMEA in Barcelona this week, the new IoT security architecture will improve visibility across IT and operational technology (OT) environments, said Cisco’s director of global IoT, Joe Malenfant.

"First, you have to connect things, then, you have to secure them to be able to get that data," Malenfant told CRN. "We're taking something that's designed for security and made it relevant to the operations team."

[Related: Cisco IoT Strategy Revolves Around Channel Partners: ‘They Are Critical In Driving Scale’]

Cisco's IoT security architecture gives businesses insight into their entire IoT environments, including both their networking and industrial assets in the field or at the edge of the network. The new architecture is powered by Cisco Talos, the firm's security intelligence and research group, which will provide real-time cybersecurity monitoring and anomaly detection, San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco said.

The architecture includes Cisco's industrial IoT network security product called Cyber Vision and its Edge Intelligence data extraction tool. Cisco Cyber Vision is a software-based security solution for the automated discovery of industrial assets and relies on technology from Sentryo, the IoT security startup that Cisco acquired in 2019. Cisco Cyber Vision can analyze traffic from connected assets, create segmentation policies in Cisco ISE and DNA Center to prevent threats from moving around within operational environments.

Also integrated into the architecture is Cisco Edge Intelligence, a new edge computing offering that can simplify data extraction at the edge of the network, said Cisco.

Cisco said that the goal of the IoT security architecture is to remove the complexity of a multi-vendor infrastructure to simplify IoT cybersecurity that can be managed on any of Cisco’s gateways, switches, or routers.

"It's really a holistic IoT security architecture with Cyber Vision at the center of it all and integrated with our robust portfolio on the IT side," Malenfort said. "Digitization is letting companies take what they are doing on the OT side and connect it with the IT side because that network is getting more robust and smarter."

For partners, Cisco Cyber Vision will allow partners to offer new value-added services to their customers, such as security assessments for operational environments, Malenfort said. "There's a huge opportunity for partners in building services around Cyber Vision to integrate IT and OT and make the network even more relevant for their clients," he said.

Partners can also use Cisco Edge Intelligence to help customers extract data, Malenfort said. "Once they secure the data, [partners] can help customers build data flows," he said.

Cisco last January went big with its partners in IoT space. The company rolled out an expanded product line that expanded its networking capabilities to the IoT edge and introduced a brand-new set of resources for partners, including a formal IoT partner program.

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