7 New Profit-Driving Security Products For Cisco Partners

Cisco Dives Deeper Into Security

Cisco says some of its most profitable channel partners are selling security products in conjunction with services as the networking leader focuses on providing rich incentives in security for the channel.

At Cisco Live in Las Vegas on Monday, Cisco unveiled several new systems and services to entice its channel community to continue to drive security sales.

"The bullishness I have on this, is the opportunity for our partners to integrate these products and drive services revenues out of them, as well as having differentiating offers in the marketplace," said John Growdon, senior director of Channel Business Development for Cisco's Data Center and Enterprise Networking, in an interview with CRN. "The competitors are solving one problem, we're going to solve an aggregate problem and do it in a different way that our competition cannot match."

Here are seven new ways partners can go-to-market selling Cisco security.

Cisco Defense Orchestrator

The new Cisco Defense Orchestrator is a cloud-based management application that allows customers to easily and effectively manage a large security infrastructure and policies in distributed locations across thousands of devices. The application provides customers with a template to set a consistent policy across an enterprise while also being able to manage the policies.

"This [application] reduces the redundancy of overlapping tools and helps you to clean up your policies and make them more consistent," said Mark Melvin, CTO of ePlus Technology, a Herndon, Va.-based solution provider and Cisco partner. "This ability to be more consistent will also enhance performance for customers."

Meraki MX Gets AMP, Threat Grid Capabilities

Cisco's Meraki MX appliance is getting a significant security boost with Cisco adding its Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) and Threat Grid malware analysis and threat intelligence technology to the MX.

"We are bringing together the AMP and Meraki franchises. The MX platform is now going to be able to connect and use AMP, which makes it one of the most threat-centric Unified Threat Management [systems] on the market," said Cisco's Munroe. "Then we have services available for channel partners as well that helps support their customer's digital transformation."

The cloud-managed unified threat management system simplifies advanced threat protection for the distributed enterprise, providing branch offices with malware protection that checks files against its cloud database to identify malicious content -- blocking files before users are able to download them.

Cisco Umbrella Roaming

Through its acquisition of OpenDNS last year for $635 million, Cisco gained OpenDNS' Umbrella technology -- a cloud-delivered network security service that delivers automated protection against advanced attacks. Umbrella Roaming is the simplest way to remove off-network blind spots to protect roaming employees wherever they work, according to Cisco.

Cisco has embedded the service as a module with AnyConnect – Cisco's virtual private network [VPN] system – to allow organizations to add a new layer of off-network protection that blocks connections to malicious sites without needing to deploy another agent.

"Umbrella is now available on end points from AnyConnect – our endpoint client that performs functions like VPN," said Ben Munroe, senior product marketing manager for Cisco's Security Business. "It gives customers the protection whether they are VPN-backed into the network or not. It's very important because users choose not to, or forget to use, their VPN and yet their endpoint is still connected."

Stealthwatch Learning Networks

Cisco obtained Stealthwatch technology through its acquisition of Lancope last year for $452 million, which provides context-aware threat detection and complex network forensics.

Stealthwatch is being implemented into Cisco's ISR, enabling the routers to act as a security sensor and enforcer for branch threat protection. It allows businesses to detect and track anomalies in network traffic, analyze suspicious network activity and identify malicious traffic.

"So you can set policies and block malicious connections," said Cisco's Munroe. "We're providing here enterprise-class protection for all sizes of deployments."

Cisco Umbrella Branch

The Cisco Umbrella Branch is a cloud-delivered system that gives businesses more control over guest Wi-Fi use with easy content filtering. Using the Umbrella and Stealthwatch technologies, businesses can simply upgrade ISR routers for fast and comprehensive security at branch locations.

"On a branch level, if you were an SMB managing a branch using ISR as a router and also as an edge device, you're going to be able to look at traffic to set patterns of what is normal to get that ISR to start looking at anomalies," said Cisco's Munroe. "We're turning the branch into a more secure place."

Security Services For Digital Transformation

Cisco launched a new services capability dubbed Cisco Security Services for Digital Transformation. The service helps organizations examine core security fundamentals that identify their ability or lack of ability to adopt digital technologies.

"We recognize that not all companies have got teams big enough or resources enough to transform," said Cisco's Munroe. "We're able now to offer simple-to-consume packaged services to help with implementation, management, maintenance, et cetera."


These new security systems will become part of Cisco's Digital Network Architecture (DNA) – the company's main driver in transforming itself from a hardware vendor into a software-centric services company. These new offerings will improve channel partners' ability to sell DNA technologies by enabling them to lead a DNA conversation with security, according to ePlus' Melvin.

"The more we talk about DNA and thinking about security from an architectural perspective, the more it's resonating with our customers," said Melvin. "This will definitely help that conversation."