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Cisco Security Portfolio Gains New Features, Firewall Aimed At Hybrid Work Protection

Gina Narcisi

To the delight of partners, Cisco reveals new security capabilities and a new addition to the 3100 firewall series to protect companies grappling with hybrid work and an influx of remote users at Cisco Partner Summit 2022.

Cisco at its annual Partner Summit 2022 this week revealed new security capabilities and a new addition to the 3100 firewall series to protect companies grappling with hybrid work and an influx of remote users.

“Work has truly shifted permanently from being a place we go to a thing that we experience. Similarly, it’s no surprise that the security portfolio is also no longer a single place with a health check at the edge of the network. True security resilience must now also happen anywhere, anytime, and on any device,” said Jason Gallo, global vice president of partner sales business development for Cisco.

Duo Passwordless Authentication is now available for all security customers to protect single sign-on applications. Users can log in without any password by leveraging biometrics -- Windows Hello and Mac touch ID -- and security keys. Cisco is also adding the Duo Mobile app as a new option for passwordless authentication. Biometrics among Duo customers were enabled on 81 percent of mobile devices, according to San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco.

“What we’re essentially saying is customers can eliminate their passwords and use Duo Mobile as the password authenticator. Users can now use their biometrics-enabled mobile devices and phones to securely log in without a password. Besides making this simpler for users, it really increases the resistance to phishing attacks, which we’ve seen prevalent and growing in the marketplace,” Gallo said.

[Related: Cisco Unveils ‘New Era’ Of Specializations Focused On Solution Delivery ]

In network security, Cisco introduced its newest addition to the Secure Firewall 3100 Series, a series that the tech giant said was built for hybrid work. The new Secure Firewall 3105 is the lowest cost option in this portfolio for branch office locations. According to Cisco, the new firewall can support for more remote users and increases VPN speed and performance by 17x.

“In many cases, we’re finding this exceeds our competitor’s price to performance ratio for a mid- to high-end enterprise firewall,” Gallo said, adding that it’s the customer base Cisco is targeting with this release.

“Network security is the core area we’re going to invest in and it’s the area you should land with,” Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration at Cisco, told an audience of partners during his keynote.

Cisco is pumping up its Umbrella cloud security solution with stronger data loss prevention capabilities, including unified policies and reporting across API-based out-of-band DLP, and real-time inline DLP, which will make management easier for security teams and partners.

Gallo said that the out of band DLP functionality will initially support Cisco Webex, Google Drive and Microsoft 365 with support for other applications soon to follow.

Cisco said that Umbrella is a foundational component of Cisco Plus Secure Connect, Cisco’s unified Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) as an as-a-service offering. Umbrella, Patel said, now has global scale.

“Scale is no longer an issue with Umbrella and I feel very comfortable that any size customer you have, we will be able to make sure they are very successful with Umbrella,” he said.

Cisco’s security practice has “come a long way,” said Neil Anderson, area vice president of cloud and infrastructure solutions for Cisco Gold Partner World Wide Technology (WWT). “I like how they’re thinking about abstracting the cloud for security -- I think that’s the right thinking. And thinking about the private data center as the fourth cloud – you have your three big ones and then your private data center -- an idea I love; if they can build an abstracted security layer that for workload security, that’s a win for Cisco,” Anderson said.

The updates to the security portfolio follow Cisco’s approach that starts with visibility, providing actionable and predictive insights, and then closing the gaps and taking action, Gallo said.

“All of this demonstrates that we’re making progress towards that ultimate Security Cloud vision and bringing customers closer to that true security resilience,” he said.

Data3, an MSP that was named security partner of the year at Cisco Partner Summit, said it’s the tech giant’s software approach to the security market that helped Data3 shift from a traditional integrator to a firm focused on business outcomes, said Graham Robinson, the company’s CTO.

“The Cisco portfolio brings together a large number of different technologies, but what’s important to customers is delivering a business outcome. So, our focus is very much working with a customer to define those customer success priorities, and actually helping them activate, adopt them, and then embed that technology into the organization,” he said. “The outcome is the most important thing.”

Lastly, Cisco Capital, a Cisco business unit that offers payment options for partners, is now offering Cisco Lifecycle Pay for Secure Firewall, a Cisco Capital fixed-term subscription payment offering that gives partners and their end-customers a financial incentive and lower total cost of usage without the burden of ownership, the company said.

Customers can receive a 10 percent replacement incentive when returning existing firewall hardware and upgrading to Cisco’s latest qualifying firewall technology, the company said.  

 

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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