The digital economy and the Internet of Everything (IoE) are creating a host of new opportunities.  With as many as 50 billion connected devices by 2020, this wave of digitization will spell new opportunities for organizations and governments and the consumers and citizens they serve.

Yet, the more things become connected, the more opportunities exist for malicious actors as well. We are now dealing with a new world where more and more devices are creating a broader and more diverse attack surface that can be exploited.

Attackers are becoming stealthier, better organized, collaborating extensively, and are well resourced. According to the Cisco 2015 Annual Security Report, malware is becoming increasingly sophisticated and elusive. Since 2009, we have seen a 66 percent compound annual growth rate of detected security incidents.

In order to respond faster to threats and achieve better outcomes requires a tightly integrated security architecture that is as pervasive as the devices and services we are protecting. For this reason, we believe that the most effective way to confront these challenges is to evolve to an approach that extends security everywhere – both embedded into the intelligent network infrastructure and pervasive across the extended network – from the service provider to the enterprise network infrastructure, data center, IoT, cloud and endpoint. This is essential to protect today’s wide array of attack vectors while positioning security to act as a growth engine to enable companies to seize new business opportunities.

Embedded Security Across the Extended Network

To counter the considerable complexity of today’s IT environments, Cisco is embedding security into more control points across the extended network than ever before – from the enterprise infrastructure, to the data center, mobile, cloud and endpoints along with IoT industrialized environments.

  • At the endpoint, Cisco AnyConnect featuring Cisco AMP now offers organizations with CiscoAnyConnect 4.1, the industry’s leading VPN client, the option to easily deploy and enable Advanced Malware Protection via AnyConnect. This goes beyond traditional VPN and offers an innovative way of providing remote endpoint advanced threat protection to VPN-enabled mobile users and endpoints to provide maximum protection against advanced threats and accelerate response time in case of a breach.
  • In the data center, ACI integration with Cisco FirePOWER extends ACI policy-driven application profiles to automate provisioning of FirePOWER Services in the data center. This integration dynamically detects threats, helps automate mitigation and response, protecting physical and virtual workloads before, during, and after an attack.
  • To protect branch offices, FirePOWER Threat Defense for ISR provides centrally managed FirePOWER Services, giving branch office integrated threat protection in the network fabric where dedicated security appliances may not be feasible. In addition, Cloud Web Security on Intelligent WAN (IWAN) provides our leading cloud web security integrated IWAN. These two offers give enterprises the ability to protect their branches with the maximum advanced threat protection enabling secure direct internet access from remote sites.
  • To protect IoT environments, Ruggedized Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services extends integrated threat defense to IoT and is designed for factory manufacturing, defense, utility, mining and other industries with extreme environmental conditions.
  • Cloud Hosted Identity Service, a hosted network access control service provides context-aware identity enforcement. This service automates the management and permissions of user and device identity for access to network resources set by an organization’s security team. We’ll expand on this news in a separate post this week.
  • In the cloud, Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance (ASAv) for the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform is now available. The Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance runs the same software as physical Cisco ASAs to deliver proven security functionality in a virtual form factor. AWS customers can use Cisco ASAv to protect their virtual cloud-based data center workloads that expand, contract, or shift location over time.
  • For ecosystem partners, we unveil 11 new partners for our ISE Ecosystem enabled by pxGrid technology, including the addition of two new ecosystem technology categories: cloud access security brokers (CASB) (with Elastica and Skyhigh Networks joining) and network/application performance management. pxGrid is Cisco’s security context information exchange fabric that enables security platforms to share information for greater threat detection, mitigation and overall security operations.

Network as a Sensor and Enforcer

We have kept busy in recent months, leading up to today’s news, unveiling a number of new offerings that deliver security across the extended network. Today we also announce our solution for enabling organizations to leverage the power of the network as both a sensor and enforcer, covered in detail in here.

As we detail in our other post, we now enable customers to maximize existing and future investments by turning the Cisco network into a security sensor and security policy enforcer with tight integration of NetFlow, ISE and Lancope StealthWatch. Driving visibility closer to the user and workloads by enabling switches, routers, and servers to become visibility and enforcement points for security. As a sensor, we enhance threat visibility for faster discovery and attribution of suspicious traffic flows to more accurately identify anomalous behavior and potential threats. As an enforcer, the network can now dynamically enforce security policy with software-defined segmentation designed to reduce the overall attack surface, limit lateral propagation of malware, and quarantine devices.

Security Everywhere

The momentum doesn’t stop there. As part of our security everywhere approach, in conjunction with our Service Provider team, we are also announcing a purpose-built security platform for Service Providers, tightly integrating software and hardware offerings, both Cisco and third-party services. More details can be found in our launch blog post here.


Extending security everywhere across the extended network is crucial to reduce risk, gain competitive advantage and make security a growth engine for your organization. By placing security at the heart of the infrastructure, security becomes a business enabler for businesses to confidently take full and secure advantage of opportunities presented by digitization.

For more details about today’s announcement, visit the virtual launch experience.


Scott Harrell

Senior Vice President and General Manager

Enterprise Networking Business