It’s no surprise that organizations are increasingly investing in the cloud for its key capabilities—ease of use, scalability, and cost savings. When we asked 3600 security professionals why they host networks in the cloud, our Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report revealed that 57 percent did so because of better data security; 48 percent because of scalability; and 46 percent because of ease of use.

Attackers are taking advantage of the fact that security teams are having difficulty defending evolving and expanding cloud environments. By moving to the cloud, organizations will lose some of the visibility and control they once had. Their data is now hosted in the cloud, which brings up concerns about what information is there, who’s accessing it, and where it’s going.

Cloud is a critical component of Cisco’s new approach to security

Old standards for cloud security are becoming obsolete. Businesses are seeking more robust technologies that protect various layers of cloud adoption—such as SaaS, the public cloud, and hybrid clouds.

Since our landmark acquisition of OpenDNS in 2015 (acquired at 652.5M), Cisco has been steadily investing (acquired Lancope for $452.5 million in 2015, Cloudlock for $293 million in 2016, and Observable Networks in 2017) and developing its cloud security portfolio to support the growing need to protect users, data and applications in the cloud against compromised accounts, malware, and data breaches. Cisco has built a broad set of innovative security solutions, including a secure internet gateway, cloud email security, cloud access security broker, micro-segmentation, virtual firewalls and public cloud monitoring, which all address the challenges in a multicloud world.

The global cloud security market is expected to grow to $3.5 billion in 2021 at an annual growth rate of 28 percent, according to Forrester[1]. With the growing need for more advanced security solutions, it is not surprising to see new players enter the market, but with our best-of-breed cloud portfolio, I’m confident that Cisco is best positioned to support and protect organizations as they make the transition to the cloud.

Cisco is not playing around when it comes to innovating and leading in cloud security

Cisco is trusted by enterprises worldwide with more than 500 leading finance, banking, insurance, law, consulting, manufacturing, and technology companies selecting us as their cloud solution provider.

One of the main pillars of our cloud security portfolio, Cisco Umbrella, a cloud-delivered secure internet gateway, resolves and routes over 125 billion Internet requests daily from 90 million active consumer and enterprise users across 160+ countries. Other essential Cisco Umbrella data revealed:

  • 125B DNS requests resolved daily, 2 million live events per second; 3 million new domain names discovered daily.
  • 60,000+ malicious destinations identified daily.
  • 7 million+ malicious domains and IPs actively enforced at the same time a DNS request is being processed.

Cisco Umbrella has more than 16,000 customers. The business has nearly doubled each of the last two years and has only started to scratch the surface of the Cisco Security install base and hardly touched the broader Cisco customer base, leaving a long runway for growth.

We have also seen traction with Cisco Cloudlock, a cloud access security broker, which secures more than 700 organizations’ cloud environments across over 150 countries.

Through Cisco’s differentiated cloud security approach, some captured below, our customers today are reaping the benefits and driving growth and innovation in their own organizations.

What’s next for Cisco in cloud security?

The innovation and growth that we’ve led these past few years is just the beginning. With our cloud acquisitions, strong leadership, engineering team, and partnerships, we will continue to drive product and technology innovation. We are heavily investing in and committed to helping protect our customers’ multicloud journey.

It’s with all of these capabilities and opportunities in mind that I’m betting on Cisco’s continued growth in cloud security.

Here is what our key customers had to say about their partnership with Cisco and deployment of our cloud security solutions:

  • “Cisco Umbrella gives us more confidence in our ability to proactively protect our customers and employees, and more efficiency in our incident response process.”Vivek Raman, Head of Security, Yelp 
  • “Umbrella’s time-to-value was nearly immediate. Within days of deploying Umbrella, we could see that endpoints away from the corporate network were protected against malicious attacks and websites. Umbrella’s visibility lets us view traffic and identify patterns across all of our machines through a single web portal, and the cloud service shows us traffic from all of our endpoints so we can better identify any potential high-risk situations.” Greg Peterson , Senior Director, IT Security, Avanade
  • “Cloudlock gives me a critical layer of IT security and the controls I need for our company’s Google Docs. It provides visibility into which documents users are creating and how they are sharing them. I can also monitor adoption and make sure users adhere to our document sharing policies and procedures.” – Nathan McBride, Executive IT Director at AMAG Pharmaceuticals
  • “The cloud is the future of IT for all businesses, but for many companies, the journey to the cloud can be a challenge,” said Brian Kelly, Chief Security Officer, Rackspace. “One of the biggest hurdles and concerns for these companies is security – customers want to know that their data is protected with the most up-to-date and innovative technologies, even as their cloud needs evolve. Through our close collaboration with Cisco in threat protection, we are committed to helping secure our clients’ evolving and expanding journey to the cloud.” 

[1] Cloud Security Spending Will Grow To $3.5 Billion By 2021, June 2017 Forrester blog, Jennifer Adams


David Ulevitch

No Longer with Cisco