Some things just get better with age. And you could say the same for the over 30-year partnership between Cisco and BT. Through the course of our partnership, Cisco and BT have innovated together to deliver network and IT solutions around the world. At Cisco, we view service provider partners as an extension of our team, and we’re committed to investing in their success and future growth. We’re proud to work so closely with BT — one of only five Cisco Global Gold Certified Partners — to serve the needs of its customers.

Networking and cybersecurity have changed drastically since we first partnered with BT. There has been a pronounced shift toward digitalization, which means a movement away from the hub and spoke environment, with the management of onsite physical hardware and software. And with the advent of SaaS offerings like Office 365 and Azure, the experience of end users has changed as applications move to the cloud. Additionally, the threat surface has expanded as cloud adoption has grown, and attackers are getting more sophisticated in the ways they are challenging today’s network defenses.

At Cisco, we are always looking to stay ahead of emerging threats, which is why we are committed to securing the cloud. With Cisco’s growth rate of 14.3%, analyst firm Canalys recently recognized Cisco as the largest cybersecurity vendor by revenue. In its report, the firm stated that the cloud is “the fastest growing deployment area” in the industry. The addition of Cisco’s cloud technology to BT’s security service offerings enables BT not only to support its customers wherever and however they are consuming date, but also improving threat efficacy in terms of malware prevention, botnets, C2 callbacks, phishing, and more.

Recognizing a Shift in Security Needs

As its customers sought out a trusted partner with a hands-on, integrated, intrinsic security strategy for addressing the modern threat landscape, BT recognized this opportunity to further its ties with Cisco’s security portfolio. With Cisco’s integrated architecture, BT can detect and stop threats faster and better with built-in intelligence and threat hunting. A Forrester report found that integrated architecture can also enable 70% improvement in IT productivity.

Cisco’s best-of-breed security services, like Cisco Umbrella and Cisco’s Firepower Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) technologies, are now part of a comprehensive security solution for BT’s customers. 

BT’s end-to-end managed service is based on Cisco Umbrella — the industry’s first Secure Internet Gateway in the cloud. As the first line of defense against threats on the internet, Cisco Umbrella uncovers current and emerging threats, enables visibility across devices and ports, and stops threats earlier. The platform is simple and easy to deploy in just hours, and it allows BT to manage policy and seamlessly transmit logs into BT’s 24/7 security operations center (SOC).

We’ve seen fantastic results for customers using Cisco Umbrella, including a 100% reduction in ransomware, a 99% decrease in overall threats with a 75% reduction in investigation time, and at least a 60% malware reduction. We expect BT’s customers to see the same level of threat mitigation.

Cisco’s Firepower NGFW technologies are capable of automatically preventing breaches, safeguarding the organization, and keeping the network operational, with the industry’s most effective threat protection. Recently, Frost & Sullivan awarded Cisco the 2018 Market Leadership Award in the Global Network Firewall Market in recognition of Cisco NGFW’s ability to meet the needs of cybersecurity customers not only now, but in the future.

Both of these flexible solutions enable BT to keep its customers safe and outpace threats, while also decreasing the time to deploy services and increasing business agility. The interoperable nature of Cisco’s security portfolio means that each platform builds on the other, which creates a stronger security service. And if a threat is seen once, it can be blocked everywhere, whether it’s on the network, endpoint, or cloud.

“Services such as Cisco Umbrella, along with our SD-WAN services, allows us to be able to offer that integrated network and security managed services,” says Rob Daniels, GM Portfolio Strategy & Propositions for BT Security. “The Cisco relationship is absolutely critical for BT’s current and future long-term success. With both Cisco Firepower and Cisco Umbrella, we can ensure that we have the right security portfolio for our customers both today and in the future.”

Each of Cisco’s security solutions integrates with our threat intelligence powered by Talos — the backbone of Cisco’s security portfolio. With integrated threat intelligence, BT is enabled to better understand threat issues that cause problems for its customers. This real-time threat analysis is a major differentiator, and BT is now able to use its own threat analysis combined with Talos to provide reports on incoming threats as regular touchpoints for its customers.

BT can manage all of these customers with a simple, multi-tenant MSSP console. With visibility into all of its customers in one place, BT’s team is far more effective in drilling down into security threats, while maintaining customer confidentiality. Cisco and BT’s partnership takes the best technology from Cisco and marries it with the skills in BT security to build superior managed capabilities.

“The relationship that BT and Cisco have together is one of the strongest and most strategic that we have within the business,” says Chris Marwood, GM Managed Security Services for BT Security. “We’ve innovated together for a very long time and developed solutions that take the best technology from Cisco, and we marry that together with the great skills that we have in BT security to build fantastic managed capabilities.”

Differentiated Managed Security Services to Meet Security Demands

Today’s MSSP growth is driven by digital transformation, the move to cloud computing, bring your own device (BYOD), and user mobility. Cisco makes it easier and more profitable for MSSPs like BT to deliver differentiated managed security services to counter the complex threats faced by their customers.

It starts with a comprehensive and integrated security portfolio to protect customer data and brand reputations. The seamless combination of network architecture, security, open API integration, and easy-to-manage portals across products help service providers and end-customers shift from best-of-breed to best-of-need. According to a recent survey by Cisco, 82% of customers expect technology solutions to be bundled with other managed service offerings from a single Managed Service Provider. This expectation allows for Cisco’s integrated architecture to be a key differentiator for customers, with solutions that work together to create a holistic security solution grounded in threat intelligence.

With accelerated managed service creation and delivery, MSSPs can speed their time to market, increase agility across deployment scenarios, and scale with service experts. And, only Cisco can offer:

  • Threat intelligence from Talos
  • End-to-end security portfolio
  • Networking market leadership
  • A breadth of cloud offerings

Cisco is a strong partner for service profitability, helping MSSPs reduce time to monetization, drive recurring revenue, and grow their businesses with flexible licensing options.

As one of the largest MSSPs in the world, BT provides security services for customers of all sizes. Find out more about BT’s ability to handle today’s cybersecurity threats. In a multicloud world, security isn’t getting any less complex. You need a cloud-delivered security solution that provides sufficient end-user security. Learn more about how Cisco secures the cloud.

The Cisco Security team recently hosted a webinar to share insights on the cloud-managed security opportunity for Service Providers. You’ll also learn about the latest offerings in the managed security space and how MSSPs can reduce time to monetization, grow security business, and drive recurring revenue. You can view the recording on demand here.

Be sure to join us at Cisco Live U.S. — June 9 -13 in San Diego — to check out all the latest innovations at Cisco. You can be a part of my Innovation Talk on June 12 about the future of firewall, where I’ll discuss the need for firewalls, proper firewall management, and consistent policy. Finally, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest Cisco cloud security announcements from the Cisco Security team.



Jeff Reed

SVP/GM of Cloud and Network Security

Security Business Group