Cisco Touts Benefits Of ‘Simplified’ Security For IoT Era With New Firewalls, Software

Cisco says its threat-focused next generation firewalls will help firms simplify their security and prevent overcomplication

Cisco says its new firewalls and Firepower 4100 firewall appliances epitomise the firm’s ‘simplified approach to cybersecurity’ and will help businesses manage risk as they become “digitalised” and IT environments become more complex.

So says Cisco director of cybersecurity Adam Philpott, speaking at Cisco Live in Berlin. He argued that having too much equipment from different vendors actually make things more difficult to manage, especially as more processes become digital and firms embrace the Internet of Things (IoT).

“There’s so much complexity, so many solutions available,” he said. “This adds more complexity for our clients and takes them further away from security rather than close to it.”

Cisco firewall

Adam Philpott CiscoHe said what separates the Firepower 4100 from other next generation firewalls (NGFW) was that it focused on threat defence, powered by researchers at Cisco Talos, allowing firms to automate and adapt security measures based on the ability to see vulnerabilities.

Intended for medium to large size organisations, the firewall is capable of high throughput and low latency threat inspection, making it suitable for high performance and data centre deployments. It has 40GbE network connectivity and is managed by the Cisco Firepower Management Centre.

“Cisco haven’t been known for our management in the past and we’re righting that wrong,” continued Philpott. “We’re leapfrogging anything our competitors can do.

“It brings together all the acquisitions we’ve made and the organic investments. It’s best in class: no one can offer the level of data protection we offer.”

Of course, even with Cisco’s recent high profile acquisitions, the company recognises there are gaps in its portfolio and will work with third parties to boost the capabilities of the firewalls. The first integration is with Radware, which helps protect against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and Philpott confirmed to TechWeekEurope more would be on the way.

Simplified security artchitecture

“What we’re not saying is one box solves all your problems, but we can reduce your complexity,” he said in an interview. “We can free up your high cost talent by deploying hardware in that fashion.”

Cisco has also launched a ‘security segmentation service’ that helps companies change their architecture to reduce risk. As more sensors and mobile devices are added to corporate environments, the more surfaces are present for attackers to take advantage of. Cisco says it can help companies automatically separate the most valuable network assets that do not need to be visible.

“You need to take an architectural approach,” added Cisco’s Will Rockall. “The [fewer] things that are visible, the less likely you are attacked.”

Do you know the secrets of Cisco? Take our quiz!