Cisco SecureX Release Proves Cisco Security Is ‘Very Different’ Now Compared To 2011

‘Unlike an abstract architecture, this platform is real with customers logging into it, and it'll realize the earlier promise,’ Cisco’s Ben Munroe says of SecureX.


Cisco first unveiled SecureX in 2011 as a narrow security architecture across a few network security products. The architecture was aimed at improving security in a broader range of contexts.

Nearly a decade later, Cisco is launching SecureX as a complete platform across its now broad security portfolio, Ben Munroe, senior director of Cisco Security, told CRN.

Cisco SecureX, unveiled at RSA 2020 this week, is a single, cloud-native interface that brings together threat visibility from all Cisco products as well as third-party products in less than 15 minutes, according San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco.

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"We are a very different security company than we were in 2011," Munroe said. "Unlike an abstract architecture, this platform is real with customers logging into it, and it'll realize the earlier promise. We're reusing SecureX because it's a phenomenal name that we owned, and it has resonated extremely well in our industry validation efforts."

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Cisco SecureX will offer a single user experience across Cisco's integrated security portfolio and customers' existing security infrastructure. Via Cisco’s Security technical Alliance program, the tech giant partners with 175 different technology providers today and offers 300 product-to-product integrations, which users can connect to the SecureX platform, Monroe said.

Cisco SecureX will be available in June to customers and through the channel. The portfolio will replace Cisco Threat Response (CTR) as a standalone, web-based console that automates integrations across Cisco security products. CTR will become a component of SecureX, Cisco said.

Cisco has had an aggressive acquisition strategy to grow its security segment. The vendor in 2019 closed its acquisition of Singularity Networks, a privately-held network infrastructure analytics company. In 2018, it bought Duo Security, another privately-held firm that offered a cloud-based solution that verifies the identity of users and the health of their devices before granting them access to applications. But it hasn’t been easy for the firm integrate the separate pieces of its security portfolio over the last three years, according Jeff Reed, senior vice president of product, Cisco's Security Business Group.

"From the perspective of a security practitioner’s daily experience with our portfolio, we were failing. The user experience was siloed, it took too long to stitch our products (and third-party products) together, and even the navigation and look and feel of our products varied dramatically," Reed said in a blog post about SecureX.

Cisco Gold Partner CDW knows there is a "massive" industry-wide shortage in security professionals, so businesses need to simplify their approach to security, said Bob Rossi, vice president of networking, digital workspace and security solutions for CDW.

"From the perspective of cybersecurity professionals, user experience was sub-optimal. There were all these different tools under the Cisco umbrella of products that were operating independently," Rossi said. "SecureX is really their effort to simplify and give customers a unified look at threats, policies enforcement and analytics."

Cisco SecureX unifies visibility, identifies unknown threats, and automates workflows to strengthen customers' security across network, endpoint, cloud, and applications, Cisco said. The platform will be included for users with every Cisco Security product.

The platform will help partners get into a more managed approach to threat hunting, Rossi said. “Cisco is one of the few vendors with a really broad platform, so tools can work more effectively together and customers can get more out of their investments,” he said.

Cisco internally code-name the product “Thanos,” during its development after the Marvel Comics supervillain who believes he will save the overwhelmed universe by killing half of the population. Cisco said the product was called Thanos to illustrate the strength and speed that SecureX can offer to customers, according to a report from MarketWatch.

Despite soft 2020 earnings so far due to macroeconomic factors, Cisco's security segment continues to be a bright spot on the company's financials. The security business posted a 9 percent revenue increase, rising to $748 million, during the vendor's second-quarter of 2020 which ended on January 25.