In 2020 we all learned that the future can hit us at any time. As businesses adapted to new realities on the backs of natural disasters, global health emergencies, and political uncertainty, the network and the digital transformation of doing business moved from a means of thriving to one of sheer survival.


As IT accelerated the digital transformation, we were all thrust across the chasm and up the adoption curve with many future-leaning technologies and ways of doing business. Cloud, mobility, and the need to remotely manage their network infrastructure, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices, moved from the roadmap — something we will look into — to something we have to do.


To complicate things, these technologies that enable business resiliency are also increasing the attack surface and pushing the boundaries of IT. Security teams were already overwhelmed with a slew of disconnected vendors and products. This added level of complexity isn’t making it any easier to find the attackers hiding within siloed levels of visibility across the distributed network and taking advantage of rushed IT — who are often sacrificing protection and organizational policy in the name of speed and survival. 


Business resiliency and agility are why we put our heads down and went to work to build Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) 3.0. ISE 3.0 will enable IT teams and businesses to be agile and adapt to changing global macro conditions and minimize business disruptions.


“We have been on a journey with gaining visibility into our network. With ISE 3.0 we really have total visibility. We are seeing things we never knew were there. Combining this with stability and improvements makes 3.0 a great release.”

­– Simon Furber, Network and Infrastructure Security Architect, Brunel University



 Solving more for customers with 3.0:


 • To remain agile and build business resiliency, we need zero trust built into our networks. ISE 3.0 closes the gaps of visibility into endpoints with Cisco AI Endpoint Analytics and segmentation as part of Software-Defined Access (SDA). Customers can now leverage machine learning to automate endpoints’ identification and ensure access based on privilege. Read how Adventist Health identified 70% of all endpoints.


 • Customers want fast, lightweight security, so we are releasing agentless posture in 3.0, giving IT the freedom to choose between an agent or agentless approach in ensuring that the endpoint is compliant with organizational policy and accelerating zero trust. 


 • Where and how customers consume their security has evolved, and to lead in this transition, we are kicking off our cloud-enabled story with ISE deployable from the cloud (AWS). Not only does this simplify the unification of policy across campus and branch, it also enables IT to apply consistent, intelligent policy decisions to any location, from anywhere, extending the zero-trust workplace. 


 • And since everyone wants “easy,” we revamped the UI to unleash guided workflows for advanced use cases. To further simplify the user experience for IT and the flexibility of operations, we enabled rich APIs to help simplify ongoing operations.


ISE 3.0 is a fantastic milestone to achieve in 2020 and shows that we can all be resilient, adapt, and overcome within global disruptions. I am proud to be not only a leader, but also a member of this amazing team. This team is why ISE is the market share leader and continues to see tremendous growth, with more than 40,000 customers and counting … not to mention the two industry award just this year alone. The traction we are making in the market is key to our overall SDA strategy and will give customers a solid foundation in extending zero trust into the workplace. So stay tuned. We have more in store for you in 2021 as we look to solve for your secure network access challenges.



To learn more about ISE 3.0, please read this “What’s New in 3.0” at-a-glance. You can find the full release notes here.


Justin Buchanan

Director of Product Management

Security Policy and Access