Cisco’s Tom Gillis On Building The ‘Security Cloud’ And New Feature Updates
The former head of VMware’s security business, Gillis joined Cisco in January and tells CRN that the company has a unique opportunity to provide the security layer for the multi-cloud and hybrid cloud world.
What are you focused on with this new role at Cisco?
What I’m excited about at Cisco is, I think there are few if any companies in the world that have the breadth of offering in security, and then also the breadth overall, that Cisco does. What gets really interesting is when we come up with a capability that Cisco can do uniquely. That’s when we win. So what are the things that Cisco can do uniquely? Well, nobody understands the network like Cisco. We literally touch 80 percent of the world’s network traffic. It’s just a massive, massive footprint. As we gather telemetry from that and an understanding of that telemetry, that creates really unique insights.
There’s many lesser-known things. Cisco has an enormous presence on the endpoint. Not necessarily the traditional antivirus, but things like AnyConnect have tens of millions or hundreds of million enterprise customers out there running it. We see more DNS traffic than any other security company in the world. And near and dear to my heart, I was part of the founding team of a company called IronPort that Cisco acquired back in 2007, that’s how I came to Cisco the first time. And that product is still alive and doing wonderfully well. And so we have very high visibility into email traffic and can identify anomalies. When you stitch these things together, it’s a very, very powerful platform that allows us to see lateral movement of an attack.
What I think is particularly interesting for [the partner] audience is that as we build this vision of what we call our Security Cloud, we need partners that are going to sit on top of that cloud and turn it into a solution for customers. So the managed parts — if you think of the MDR, managed detection and response, the ability to deliver managed services on top of our platform is core and fundamental to our strategy. Absolutely essential. I’ve only been at Cisco a month, and the very first thing I did is engage with our top partners. And we’re going to go out and I’m going to spend time with them and get out and share with them some of the stuff that we’re thinking about, and get feedback from them on what’s working and what’s not working, and how we continue to accelerate together. Because we can’t win without our partners, especially in security gate. The customers are looking to the partners to turn this stuff into a solution.