Monetizing the New Security Model

Ernest Dunn, Director, Secure Networks, Presidio
04/01/14 at 05:48 am

During Partner Summit this past week, I had the opportunity to sit in on the Cisco session called “Monetizing the New Security Model” and I thought was really well done. A lot of the areas discussed were items that I discuss with customers on a regular basis. Our customers face increasing security challenges due to a number of factors including: the complexity of their networks, better equipped attackers and a larger attack surface due to the transition to mobile, cloud and virtual infrastructures.

Cisco is continuing to transition to the Attack Continuum Model that came along with the SourceFire acquisition. This model approaches security in three stages: Before, During and After an attack. This is an important concept as we're never going to truly prevent all attacks from being successful in our environments. We need to make sure that we have the right pieces in place so that if we are compromised we have the ability to detect it quickly and contain it. We also need the ability to understand the full scope of the attack so we can quickly remediate it. This can be the difference between having to rebuild just a few machines or having to rebuild your entire security infrastructure because you ended up on the front page of the newspaper and on the nightly news.

Cisco is going headfirst into the battle against these new adversaries by focusing on visibility. Cisco is really the only company out there in the IT industry that has the number of integration points across the entire network (core, wired, wireless, perimeter, data center, gateway, endpoint, ect) to form an architecture to provide this necessary visibility. This visibility allows customers to know who and what is on the network as well as what these users and devices are  doing. This knowledge is really powerful and allows for customers to have a true understanding of what's going on their environments.  This is the first step towards providing protection from these next generation attacks.

A customer use case was discussed for a larger fortune 10 customer who has 84 different security vendors. That is just the staggering amount of complexity and really leads to challenges.  How much integration can you really have across that many different products?  Cisco is really attacking this problem head on by approaching it architecturally.   Cisco is really driving to reduce the amount of complexity with managing and maintaining their different security platforms. The move towards FireSight as a common security management platform is something that is being well received by our customers.   Cisco is also leading with flexibility to allow for different forms of consumption by the customers including appliance based, virtual machine based, and cloud-based delivery models for all of their security platforms.

Security continues to be a top priority for Cisco.  This was important to hear as this is something the customers continue to struggle with daily basis. There's a wide shortage in the industry for qualified security professionals. At last count there were over 1 million open security positions globally. This provides a great opening for partners who focus on information security as Presidio does.  We are on the front lines with our customers helping to protect their businesses.