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Cisco at RSA 2012: Putting Things In Context

It’s that time of year again. The annual RSA security show brings together all the major security vendors under one roof for a week of training, announcements, and vendors hawking their latest wares. This year we can expect the usual cadre of legacy security vendors with their stand-alone, siloed products pretending that they now support clouds and mobile workers and BYOD. Booth babes, jugglers, magicians, and flashy giveaways will fill the exhibit halls while vendors play shell games with the security of customers, all adding a cacophony of noise to an already confusing situation.

Amidst all the hoopla and fanfare, however, Cisco Systems, the largest security vendor in the world, will be there with perhaps the only reasonable strategy for securing the networks organizations are creating today.

The thing you aren’t likely to hear from any of the other vendors at RSA is that the issues organizations like you are facing can’t be solved with some magic box somebody wants you to bolt onto the end of your network. It takes a collection of tools, engineered to work synchronistically, wrapped together with security intelligence and policy, and woven into the fabric of the network itself. That’s because the network is the perfect footprint for security. Every device you need to recognize and control, every piece of data you need to inspect, every user you need to validate, every data stream you need to analyze crosses the network.

Last year at RSA Cisco announced SecureX, a security framework designed to bring together the network, the endpoint, the cloud, the data center, and the infrastructure into an integrated and collaborative whole designed to address the security needs of today’s organizations, from BYOD, to access control, to virtualization and cloud computing. And for the past year Cisco has been following an engineering mandate for every device we make to participate in this security strategy.

As we announced during last year’s RSA keynote, this all begins with understanding context -- the who, what, when, where, and how of every user and device on the network -- combined with unprecedented insight into the global security landscape, and using that intelligence to drive broad visibility and granular control into the hands of the IT team at your organization.

This year at RSA, Cisco will be unveiling a rich set of new tools designed to take this idea to the next level. Of course, this will just be the tip of the iceberg of what Cisco is developing. Cisco is delivering on a bold new direction because security cannot be an afterthought. It needs to be a natural extension of every network device and service your company runs. We are on the verge of a revolution in security, and Cisco is paving the way.

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