Cisco Announces Managed Security Service

Cisco has announced a set of managed security services for enterprises, which it plans to support using Big Data analytics via two new operations centres.

The Managed Threat Defence service, announced on Tuesday, provides real-time monitoring via an appliance depoyed on an organisation’s internal network. The telemetry provided via this appliance will support a package of security services including Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP), Sourcefire FirePOWER, and Cisco Cloud Web Security, according to Bryan Palma, Cisco senior vice president and general manager of the services security practice.

Predictive analytics

The service builds a profile of the organisation’s network, and then monitors it using the latest intelligence from Cisco and its security partners. Managed Threat Defence also uses heuristics techniques and Hadoop 2.0-based predictive Big Data analytics to help detect threats, Palma said.

If a possible incident is detected, it is escalated to the staff at one of the new operations centres, one in North Carolina and the other in Sydney, Australia, who validate the incident before working with the organisation on remediation. Investigation and forensics services are also provided, Palma said. The nature of the service means important data never needs to leave the company’s network, according to Cisco.

The idea is to enable organisations to keep up with a changing landscape of online threats at a time when companies are facing a shortage of security staff, according to Palma.

“We know the challenges you face, from difficulty retaining the top security talent to keeping up with the changing nature of threats,” he said in a blog post. “We’ve put together a technology platform designed to deliver the operational outcomes you want coupled with the 24 x 7 expertise required to help stay a step ahead of the adversaries.”

Skills shortage

Cisco’s 2014 Annual Security Report estimates there will be a worldwide shortage of more than one million security professionals this year, Palma said.

Pricing for the managed service is expected to begin at around $100,000 (£63,000) per year for multi-year contracts, with general availability coming in the next 60 days, according to Cisco.

The company announced the service for North American and Asia-Pacific customers but didn’t immediately respond to inquiries regarding European availability.

Cisco recently said it plans to invest $1bn in its cloud services infrastructure.

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Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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