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Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins On His Rebuilt Exec Team, Resurgent Markets

‘The reality is the shifts we've been making and architectures we've been building are resonating with our customers,’ says Cisco Systems Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins.

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Do you think Cisco has revitalized its security strategy? Do you feel like your security strategy gives you an advantage over competitors?

We've been building a security architecture that we believe is reflective of what our customers are going to need in the future. It's been hard for people, analysts, customers, partners, etc., to understand where we were going. The reality is that in this world our customers are facing, the old way of building security architectures doesn't work anymore. That was based on the premise that you had a single ingress-egress and just put a big firewall there. The reality is in this world where you have requests originating from the edge of the network, from the branch, from the mobile user, and those requests are accessing applications sitting in 150-200 different places. How do you put firewalls in the right place? You have to build a dynamic architecture that's completely integrated with the network, that has this cloud-state machine that we've built that allows us to ingest threats and then dynamically update signatures across every piece of security in the network. We've been building this for several years. That's why I think in 2019 clarity matters. It's going to become clear that this is the architecture. When you look at the requirements to be able to do security across these domains and to do automation across domains that's why you're seeing partnerships being attempted by companies. They come to realize the customers is going to want us to connect these things. That's why there's SD-WAN players trying to integrate with Zscaler. We've been building an architecture, and partners and customers are realizing value from it. In 2019 it's just going to continue to become clear that it's the architecture of the future. We're going to find many of our competitors don't have all the pieces they need to pull it off.

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