Over the past year, I’ve spoken with hundreds of professionals about what they expect from their network security. This question is mostly met with equal parts enthusiasm and angst. As we wrap up another successful Cisco Live, I’m eager to share the deep insights I’ve gathered from these extensive conversations and how Cisco is actively addressing your security needs.

As organizations navigate application transformations and grapple with the intricacies of defending increasingly complex networks, they’re also confronting a new wave of technological advancements.

Naturally, these advancements can be a double-edged sword. While they offer the potential for enhanced security measures, they also empower threat actors, who can now exploit vulnerabilities with alarming speed and efficiency.

The overwhelming message is twofold: Organizations need help bolstering their security, but also in streamlining their processes. Integrating too many security tools alone has become its own source of complexity, diluting the focus on threats and stretching resources too thin.

This point was poignantly made during a recent conversation with a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), who expressed a sentiment all too common in the industry. Faced with the prospect of integrating yet another security solution, the CISO lamented, “I can’t ask my team to adopt the 212th tool in our portfolio!”

The CISO’s frustration illustrates a critical challenge for security leaders: They must balance the adoption of necessary security measures with the practical limitations of their teams’ capacity and the potential for tool sprawl.

In response to this complexity, organizations are hungry for a more streamlined approach to security, one that prioritizes the consolidation of tools and the simplification of security policies without compromising the efficacy of defense mechanisms.

Meanwhile, cybersecurity organizations must deliver solutions that are not just robust and cutting-edge, but also manageable and user-friendly. This way we can empower security teams to effectively combat the threats of tomorrow while keeping their operational sanity today.

Vendors, point products, and a transition to the cloud 

For many professionals, buying a specialized security product leads to something called “the Ferrari problem”. Like that expensive sports car, you’re purchasing something costly and specialized. The product may indeed do the specialized task very well. But security is not done in isolation—some level of integration will inevitability be required.

Thus, the expensive, specialized product opens the door to even more costly integrations (or, in the case of the car, costly repairs).

This doesn’t even count the disjointed security of working with different vendor solutions or the radical complexity of deploying a configuration or security policy across hundreds or thousands of branch offices.

There’s a reason many security professionals avoid updating their tools. With all this complexity, they’re afraid it will disrupt the business or the customer experience.

How Cisco is redefining effective, simplified security for the cloud  

It’s no secret that Cisco built the backbone of switching and routing across the globe for our one million+ customers and partner ecosystem. And we’re currently responsible for facilitating 85% of the world’s internet traffic.

Now, we’ve taken another giant leap by launching Cisco Security Cloud Control.

Cisco Security Cloud Control is designed to unify management for the Cisco Security Cloud, starting with a network security fabric.

Security Cloud Control delivers an AI-native approach to proactively surface actionable insights and automate resolution across hybrid environments. It is designed to help teams get the most of out their Cisco Security investment—saving time and benefiting from simpler and streamlined policies

Building robust security for complicated, ever-shifting cloud environments  

With too many tools and too much complexity to manage, the only answer is a security system that seamlessly ties everything together. We’ve answered the call, building a platform that blends Cisco Hypershield, multi-cloud defenses, advanced firewalls, and microsegmentation technologies.

This platform can collect information across the system and explain what it finds in reports, and via a natural language interface, show the risks to sensitive business assets like PCI databases. You can even ask the system about its own insights and next steps.

But at its heart is the promise of comprehensive visibility and complete detection across every facet of the network, whether it’s ingress/egress at a cloud edge, data center edge, campus, or branch, all the way down to every process and connection from your applications and workloads.

The level of visibility and management from Security Cloud Control helps leaders focus on delivering the outcomes their teams need. From taking intent-based policies in one place and translating them throughout all the control points in your network to streamlining, troubleshooting and recommending policies that span multiple solutions, Cisco Security Cloud Control helps with it all.

And Security Cloud Control’s ability to translate the complex language of cybersecurity delivers an added benefit: the ability to explain and articulate what’s happening–and what you need– to decision-makers. The simplicity and clarity of reports can help you keep leadership informed and engaged in your cybersecurity work.

At the core of this is, yes, AI technology but not just a prompt-based assistant—this is one driving proactive insights and sections across your network and will transform how you engage across the platform.

In essence, what we’ve built stands as a testament to the future of cybersecurity—a single platform that not only anticipates and neutralizes threats, it also empowers organizations to develop a more sophisticated, responsive, and resilient approach to protecting their digital assets.

It’s not just a powerful solution; it’s a strategic enabler for any enterprise looking to secure its future in an unpredictable cyber world, across network requirements that are only destined to become even more complex.

Security Cloud Control is slated for initial availability in September 2024, with support for Secure Firewall Threat Defense, Secure Firewall ASA, Multicloud Defense, and Cisco Hypershield.  


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Rick Miles

Vice President Product Management, Cloud and Network Security

Security Business Group