Organizations today need to be both nimble and secure. They’re adopting Cloud, IoT, and machine learning at increasingly quickening speed as well as evolving their applications and endpoints as well as campus, data center, and WAN networking to adapt to their digital business as well as address security risks. At the same time that compliance regimes are a moving target putting increasing pressure on organizations.

In this ever changing world, many organizations struggle with maintaining good security and compliance hygiene. Year over year, IT departments attempt to manage through compliance drift as networks evolve, new systems are added, configuration changes are made, and knowledgeable individuals leave their teams. Poor audit management practices increase audit fatigue and risk even higher rates of attrition. Add requirements for risk assessments, penetration tests, privacy impact assessments, and robust processes; not to mention the pressures of being able to identify and respond to an evolving security threat landscape and the operational pressures, including OpEx spending, can be immense.

Fortunately, Cisco Business Critical Services can help our customers solve these security and compliance challenges.

About Business Critical Services 

Business Critical Services is the next generation of subscription based advanced services. By leveraging our expert guidance, analytics, and automation solutions, we can not only address resilience, flexibility, and support concerns, but can craft ongoing services to help manage security threats and reduce compliance overhead while decreasing OpEx, allowing customers to focus on activities that most contribute to the growth of their businesses.

Solving Compliance Problems with Business Critical Services

Business Critical Services includes a wealth of offers, or deliverables, which help customers reduce compliance drift, decrease operational churn, and drive increased compliance fidelity regardless of the compliance requirement. From automated compliance hygiene to Privacy Impact Analysis, Business Critical Services enables customers to right size a solution that meets most compliance requirements they face. For example, a customer that must be compliant to the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) may choose to take advantage of the following Business Critical Services:

  • Automated Software Compliance and Remediation, Configuration Compliance and Remediation, and Regulatory Compliance & Remediation form the core of our compliance offerings. These services automate the tasks of identifying and remediating compliance drift by validating that software versions are up to date, vulnerabilities are identified and remediated, and configurations are compliant to both regulatory requirements as well as defined gold standards.  All of this is central to several PCI-DSS requirements.  These services alone provide much needed operational relief from maintaining compliance and provide evidence for your auditors to review.
  • Security Compliance Assessment augments our automated capabilities using Cisco compliance experts to validate policy, processes, and technical requirements where assessment cannot be automated. When combined with our automated compliance capabilities, this provides a comprehensive view of audit readiness and both tactical and strategic remediation requirements. For PCI-DSS, we review the complete set of requirements, enabling customers to make audit outcomes more predictable and eliminate last minute remediation scrambles.
  • Network and Application Penetration Testing within Business Critical Services can be used to meet the PCI-DSS requirements to perform these tasks regularly.
  • Enterprise Security Advisor provides a strategic resource to help drive security and compliance. The best use of this service for Compliance is to engage Cisco as a program manager to collect, collate, and present evidence to your auditor while managing your IT compliance processes, reducing audit fatigue on your staff and freeing up individuals to focus on business growth and digital transformation.

Solving Security Problems with Business Critical Services

In addition, Business Critical Services, can be used to solve operational and ongoing security issues, helping reduce the attack surface of our customers while identifying and helping to remediate vulnerabilities, ensuring the upkeep of security infrastructure, planning and accelerating security architecture transformation, and managing to security threats and incidents. This includes:

  • An Incident Response Retainer providing both proactive and reactive threat management activities to our customers. We offer one of the most robust and flexible retainers in the business.
  • Our automated compliance offerings also support good security hygiene, evaluating and remediating configuration and software exposures that expose up attack surface
  • Health checks and optimization services to facilitate proper maintenance and management of security systems, protecting and enhancing the return on investment for Cisco security architecture.
  • A Technical Knowledge Library including guides and best practices for security infrastructure to help customer staff manage their security controls
  • Network Device Security Assessment to analyze security device configurations and firewall rules to identify gaps and recommend remediation
  • Collaboration Security Assessment to protect against threats to Cisco Unified Communications, video collaboration, and contact center solutions.
  • Security Metrics Program support to design and manage KPIs to communicate control effectiveness and levels of risk to management
  • Cyber Range Workshops to provide security operations training to SOC staff
  • A robust set of security assessments to identify and recommend remediation to security vulnerabilities including Network, Wireless, Application, Social Engineering, and Physical Penetration Tests as well as Security Risk Assessment, Network Architecture Assessment, and third party risk management program support.
  • Security Program Assessment and Security Strategy Planning Support to help support not just your strategic security initiatives, but also help review and improve your critical security practices and establish an enterprise security strategic roadmap
  • Cloud Security Strategy support to help recommend security operations and technology improvements to support Cloud transformation
  • Security Segmentation Architecture Design to help develop a roadmap to accelerate and transform the network security at our customers organization
  • Finally, a flexible Enterprise Security Advisor service to provide program management, expert advice, and otherwise support security evolution as well as an Architecture Management Office to help drive technical change throughout customer organizations

Taken together, this robust set of subscription based offers within Business Critical Services can help customers address both the most mundane and repetitive, but critical, security tasks, drive security improvement through assessments and training, and both set and help execute strategic security direction at our customers. I can’t think of any other security company on the planet that can match this comprehensive set of security and threat management services and deliver them under an annual subscription besides Cisco.

Learn More at Cisco Live

If you’re attending Cisco Live, I encourage you to take advantage of the event to learn more about how to leverage Cisco Business Critical Services to address your Security and Compliance issues.

Check out our Business Critical Services and Incident Response demos, talk to experts at the World of Solutions and attend a solution briefing entitled, “Security is Everything – Shield Yourself with Incident Response and Business Critical Services” on Thursday at 10 AM.










Gary Alterson

Director, Advanced Services - Security

Advanced Services