Over the past several decades, threat actors have become increasingly prolific with their attacks. And as new attacks have evolved, we in the security industry have been there every step of the way to rapidly protect our customers. While our intentions have always been to build robust defenses against emerging threats, this has unfortunately resulted in a cybersecurity marketplace that can at times be overwhelming to comprehend and navigate.
Today’s organizations are often working with a dozen or more different security companies, each with multiple products. We repeatedly hear from our customers that their teams are being crushed by complexity, and that they long for vendors to keep it simple. Not just in the way our technology works, but even down to what it’s called.
Industry analysts agree. According to ESG Senior Principal Analyst Jon Oltsik, “The security industry has been too complex for years. There are too many products for security professionals to learn the names of, let alone become proficient in.”
As a worldwide leader in cybersecurity, we take this message to heart. Our innovations and acquisitions over the years have resulted in a broad set of technologies – often with separate names for different models, on-premises versus cloud options, and sub-components within each product. We realize that it has become confusing for our customers, and we want to do our part to reverse this trend in the industry and make the cybersecurity market less daunting.
With this challenge in mind, our security team set out several years ago to make our technology easier. Easier to procure, easier to use, and certainly easier to understand. We have been on a journey to simplify the Cisco security experience for our customers through three major initiatives:
- Integrating our product set to make it easier to use.
- Updating our naming to make it easier to understand.
- Streamlining the way we sell our technologies to make them easier to buy.
And we haven’t taken this task lightly. We are keenly aware that as the largest enterprise cybersecurity company in the world, we have a unique opportunity to lead the way with a bold transformation of unprecedented magnitude. This careful and dedicated effort has required all hands on deck, because to truly make a difference and set an example in the industry, we have to do it right.
From confusion to clarity
As I discussed in an earlier blog post, we recently reached a major milestone in this mission with the launch of our integrated security platform, Cisco SecureX, as well as the reveal of our renamed security portfolio, ‘Cisco Secure.’ Now, we are extending that important simplification to the product level.
Today’s organizations have an expansive range of products (literally thousands) to choose from when it comes to protecting their environment. When we present you with a solution, we want to make sure you can immediately understand what it does and which part of your infrastructure it protects. After all, even the greatest security products are no good if people can’t understand what they do or how to use them.
We have therefore simplified the naming of our security products with new, more descriptive monikers. We are making sure that our naming clearly indicates the value of each product so that it can serve as a roadmap for helping you build out your capabilities. For example, Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints will now be called “Cisco Secure Endpoint.” And the Cisco Email Security Appliance and Cisco Cloud Email Security are now both referred to as “Cisco Secure Email.” Whether you want on-premises or cloud delivery, it doesn’t have to make the name more complex.
While our goal has been simplicity, the path to getting there has not been easy. For our renaming alone, we conducted more than 100 hours of interviews with customers, partners, analysts, and other stakeholders to obtain their thoughts on this transition. That’s in addition to months of extensive internal collaboration among various Cisco teams.
Our teams have worked hard to make our new product names more closely align with our customers’ security goals and outcomes. In the end, we have reduced our product names by 50 percent, and I’m happy to report that it’s already making a difference for our end users. One customer said, “The new names really make it easier to identify what each product does.” And another added, “[The updated names] create a kind of checklist for customers to help identify their needs.”
This is exactly the kind of feedback we want to hear. At the end of the day, we want you to feel more secure – with your technology choices, with Cisco as a strategic partner, and with the security industry overall. Cisco has a great responsibility to help overwhelmed defenders take back control of their environments. We will continue to listen, learn, and take action to help solve the issue of complexity and create a clear path forward for our customers.