It was just over a year ago we were together at the RSA Conference at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. It was just before life as we knew it took an abrupt turn. Looking back, we could have never imagined how the world would change and just how critical the work we do as security professionals would become to businesses, schools, hospitals and governments. 

Most organizations did not have a contingency plan for a global pandemic. The digital transformation projects that had been planned to happen over time had to be accelerated to keep businesses and critical infrastructure up and running. The adversaries who already had a leg up had a larger attack surface to take advantage of as employees began to work remotely, from unsanctioned devices and from apps that resided in the cloud. And security teams found themselves thrust into this situation with complex security architectures that were cobbled together from multiple point products and that were not equipped to deal with this distributed way of working.  

Prior to the pandemic, the complexity of trying to manage a multi-vendor environment was already coming to a head. In 2018, 21 percent of organizations had more than 20 vendors, and in 2020 that number decreased to 13 percent. But the events of the last year pushed companies to a breaking pointas the pains of complexity became more acute in this new and dynamic world. 

At Cisco Security, it has been our mission to be our customers’ most trusted partner by providing effective security solutions. We believe that efficacy can only be truly realized if those solutions offer superior protection and are simple to use. 

To live up to that ideal, we launched Cisco SecureX, a cloud-native platform that connects our integrated security portfolio and customers’ security infrastructure to provide simplicity, visibility and efficiency, at the RSA Conference last year. At the time, we believed that our premise around offering radically simple security with a platform approach would be transformative to the industry and for our customers. But we couldn’t have imagined how prescient the timing would be.  

As companies began to do security at scale, there was a massive need for simplification and automation, which are the core tenants of SecureX. With a customizable dashboard, users can see what matters most including operational metrics, visibility into emerging threats and access to new products in one click. The threat response application accelerates threat investigations and incident management by aggregating and correlating global intelligence and local context in one view. And our orchestration drag-drop canvas allows customers to build their own workflow with no/low code, eliminating friction in the process while automating routine tasks. 

Since it became generally available in June 2020, we have continued to add functionality that unlocks the full potential of our security portfolio. Today, SecureX offers 30+ pre-built security workflows to automate investigations of phishing, SolarWinds supply chain attack and more to deliver faster remediation. Additionally, we are helping customers accelerate the time-to-value with 35+ third-party integrations with ecosystem partners like Google, ServiceNow, Splunk, IBM, Microsoft and moreWith these out-of-box integrations, customers can configure them in the same way they would Cisco integrations, without having to deploy new code in their environments. 

We feel so strongly that simplicity should be a right not a privilege that SecureX comes built into every Cisco Secure product. There are already 7000 customers reaping the benefits of it and seeing results such as an 85 percent reduction in time to respond and remediate and four time an increase in IT productivity. 

To continue this journey of making security easier, last week we announced our intent to acquire Kenna Security, Inc., a recognized leader in risk-based vulnerability prioritization. The combination of Kenna and SecureX will allow customers to address critical challenges by generating prioritized lists of vulnerabilities; streamlining collaboration between security and IT teams; and automating remediation to improve their overall security posture.  

There is more work to be done, but we are excited to be on this journey with our customers and to make security simple and a business enabler. For a live demo and exploration of the latest SecureX features,save the date for our virtual summiton June 3.  

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Dr. Gee Rittenhouse

Senior Vice President and General Manager

Security Business Group