It’s no secret that companies that are investing in applications are rising competitively and having greater customer reach. However, applications have become the number one target for breaches and attacks. Let’s face it, modern applications are hard to protect, and vulnerabilities seem to be out of sight or too obscure for us to take any action. Securing applications can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

In order to provide proper protections for applications, it’s important to understand their unique nature. The key characteristics that make up modern applications are:

They run everywhere

They are changing constantly

They have Unique Dependencies

These attributes help us better understand that traditional security approaches are not aligned to the dynamic nature of applications and the environments that support running them. For security engineers, it’s nearly an out of body experience to think about security beyond the infrastructure or network. However, should it really matter what equipment is running in the infrastructure if our goal is to secure our most valuable assets—applications?

The answer is no if you hadn’t already guessed. To address the daunting task of securing applications, we need to start thinking beyond the infrastructure and focus on getting security protections closer to the applications no matter where they run. Along with security being agnostic in nature to the infrastructure, it must also meet the timely demands of developers and operational engineers who are held accountable for driving new technology and innovations while remaining in compliance with regulatory or industry specific mandates. And we need to do this now because applications are the essence of today’s digital businesses.

A fundamental first step, as well as a best practice to implement when securing applications, is taking advantage of micro-segmentation. Micro-segmentation can save your application and workloads from sophisticated attacks by containing the lateral movement of threats through security policies and thereby proactively reducing the attack surface.

At Cisco, we have a rich history as a leader in the cyber security market and a key partner to our customers, help organizations – both big and small all over the world – secure their networks and workloads. Now we are empowering customers to deliver application-focused security at the speed of their digital business.

But where can you start? Which applications running in your environment do you need to start segmenting? How can you actively identify all application connections or dependencies to know where any logical boundaries exist? What tools do you now need to install to enforce all this segmentation? Why did you take the red pill and stay in Wonderland to see how deep this rabbit-hole goes?

Fortunately Cisco Tetration was built to help. Tetration brings security for applications to a new height by understanding your Wonderland universe of applications while automating the generation of policies to help segment applications based on their behavior. Segmenting is not the only attribute of Tetration, it also uses advanced security analytics to give you complete visibility into software vulnerability as well as the security posture of your company over time.  Historically having this deep visibility has been a challenge for most companies, gaining insight into your applications can give you foresight to make intelligent IT decisions faster. You can see it for yourself by trying our demo now of Cisco Tetration.


Radhika Mitra

Head of Application Security Marketing

Security Product Marketing