Two and a half years ago, the entire IT ecosystem underwent a seismic shift toward hybrid work. As a result, the expectations surrounding how business is done changed, and with it, the way companies protect themselves. This is, of course, old news for the IT Channel, which participated in the monumental task of enabling remote work for entire economies. The lessons learned from that shift, however, are still impacting how the future of Cisco cybersecurity is evolving.
This was the major theme coming out of Cisco Live! 2022, especially from the Security Resilience for the New Hybrid Work Model session with Shaila Shankar, SVP and GM of Security Business Group at Cisco. Shankar noted that her experience at Cisco began amid the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that “the innovations [shared] today are the work of our entire team that has been working in the same conditions as the rest of the channel.”
“These innovations have been under development for the last couple of years,” Shankar said. As such, the team has changed and shifted priorities based on feedback from partners. Despite the changes, however, Shankar added that Cisco has remained true to four consistent and overarching principles.
“Number one is securing the edge,” Shankar said. “When thinking about moving workloads to the edge, moving to the cloud, securing the edge becomes the key tenant that we must execute on. Number two is about securing access, number three is about executing against security operations, and number four is a simplification.” Each principle informs how the Cisco cybersecurity team has approached its solutions. “Our team has focused on these principles and when combined with feedback from partners, we can develop offerings that will help bolster business because it is what the users want or need.”
One such offering, which Shankar pointed to, was the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). “We heard that what was needed was a single experience combining network observability and security,” Shankar continued, “so we developed a single management console and detailed how to purchase, deploy, maintain, and operate it. That solution is known as the Cisco+ Secure Connect Now, and it meets those needs,” said Shankar. “There is more, however, that Cisco can provide.”
When combining Cisco+ Secure Connect Now with other products like Cisco Meraki, the offering becomes a truly unified cybersecurity solution that is designed around hybrid and remote workers as well as in-person workers. With Meraki cloud authentication or through your own SAML identity provider, remote users can securely connect to public and private applications with ease.
“I recently spoke to a couple of customers who had deployed these solutions,” Shankar said. “They shared how easy it was for them to test the proof of concept and deploy; one even said that the solutions were deployed in less than two minutes.” Shankar noted that this highlights the final important element of Cisco’s cybersecurity offerings: Simplicity.
“This team has been focused on how to simplify the life of IT admins while increasing efficiency for them and their end-users,” Shankar said. The result of her team’s efforts were solutions designed to bring context and data together into a unified experience. “We believe that doing so will boost efficiency overall and not just the power and performance improvements that you would expect from simplification.”
Combined, the focus on those four main principles has created a much more secure Cisco cybersecurity ecosystem designed for safety and efficiency. “We are bringing simplicity to admins, users, policy, observability, and visibility, and we’re bringing it to you in terms of that connected experience that can deliver improved performance and efficacy,” Shankar said. “I’m proud of everything that my team has done, and I encourage everyone to reach out and learn more about how Cisco cybersecurity can help them.”
To learn more about Cisco cybersecurity solutions, click here.