Cisco beefs up network security in a hyper-connected world

Jul 07 2014, 10:29 IST
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SummaryMore than 50 billion devices are expected to be in use by 2020 as the world gets more connected.

that the company did on attacks showed that in most cases there was a connection to a non-malicious destination on the Internet, attributable to malware operating inside the network. While using malware, attackers try to get access to data records, credit card data and intellectual property information. They could be looking to disrupt systems inside an organisation. “Malware is very hard to detect and it is usually the tool attackers use to penetrate and then move around inside an organisation. The attacker may pose as a vendor and come in and leave with the most critical information from the organisation. We weave our entire strategy to focus on the attack continuum. We have brought in new technology and are focussed on helping customers thwart these threats,” says Young. “You need security before, during and after an attack. You need to contain the virus after an attack.” Cisco recently acquired a company called Threat Grid that identifies advanced attacks on organisations.

The cloud takeover of the Internet means that Cisco is currently virtualising all its products—including firewall, web gateway and email gateway—to provide security to customers right from the cloud. Security as a service is the fastest growing portfolio for Cisco, says Young. According to the company, it has four million users and more companies are opting for a hybrid model as they want to retain some control over the traffic and network. But when customers use mobile devices or when they travel, the cloud becomes the easier mode of delivering the same set of services, Young says.

“Much of the focus is on data protection as people use more and more mobile devices. Enterprises are now trying to protect the information on mobile devices. A lot of BYOD is organic and one cannot stop it. So you need to have right level of access and protection as everybody needs wireless access,” says Young.

Cisco has a 600-strong R&D team in India, its largest centre outside of the US. Almost all of Cisco’s security functions are done here and some of its products were fully developed in Bangalore. The Indian security business of the company is growing at upwards of 20% and is one of the fastest growing product lines in India, it says.

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