Cisco: Secure @ RSA Conference

April 10, 2008 - 0 Comments

This week Cisco is making announcements on many fronts in many places. One of them is in the security arena. With the city of San Francisco teeming with 17,000+ security professionals, solution providers, good guys, bad guys, and “gray” guys for the annual RSA security conference, much of the buzz has centered on the data protection theme. And rightfully so. Years ago the security game was about keeping the “bad stuff” out — the viruses and worms that were intentionally designed to bring down networks, brag about it, and trump the guy who made a previous attack in a similar vein the week before. Today, the game has evolved in a more sinister way. The bad stuff and the bad guys are after money. They’re after identity. They’re after data. Instead of bringing down a network, they’re trying to use it as a vehicle for infiltrating your business, your computer, your phone, your home, your family life, your well-being, and subsequently, your peace of mind. Simply put, this stealth-for-wealth approach has been the catalyst for ushering in an overt-to-covert transition in the thread-laden underworld. It’s no longer about keeping the bad stuff out. Now it’s about keeping the bad stuff out AND keeping the good stuff in. Your data, in other words.For years, Cisco has worked sincerely to not just provide products, but to provide guidance and leadership in the marketplace. To help customers, consumers, or competitors make sense of the changing threat landscape and impact on business, work, and play. Cisco has always trumpeted the need for network security. The Self-Defending Network. Firewalls, VPNs, intrusion prevention, etc. This tune will not change. But what is changing for Cisco is how it evolves its approach to providing leadership, guidance, and technology offerings. At RSA this week, the company made two announcements that embody this evolution. At a corporate level, we announced jointly with EMC and its RSA security division that the companies will develop and deliver joint data protection solutions going forward. These solutions will help provide better ammo for companies and people fighting threats as well as for shoring up compliance and corporate security policy enforcement. As businesses become more distributed and mobile, so too does the access to data. It leaves corporate campuses, it’s in motion, it’s accessed in public, it’s transmitted between work and home, and so on. Data security is critical, and it is the perfect segue to the second announcement Cisco made this week… Cisco is evolving its Self-Defending Network solution strategy. No longer will it be tied exclusively to the network security. Cisco is going to incorporate protection of the network as well as the endpoints, applications, and content that utilize them, and the management and analysis of it all will be all-encompassing. That’s the direction. The EMC-Cisco announcement represents a nice data point that helps bring this vision and direction to life. So in case you’re thinking that the network security space is past-tense or legacy, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The network security game just became more important. Trust me — the apps and content that leverage the network would heartily agree. The people who have data and identities associated with those apps and content and that are accessed via various endpoints would second that. The network as a platform… Hmmm. In the security world, that’s not just a tagline or a slogan. It’s the truth. — Post by Neil Wu Becker…one of the “good guys” 🙂

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