Cisco sharpens focus on network security, stays positive on Brexit aftermath

Cisco is fine-tuning its network security portfolio, announcing several new products at its Cisco Live event that it says improve and simplify security within network infrastructure as well as at endpoints, utilizing the cloud.

Two of the new products, Umbrella Roaming and Umbrella Branch, address security gaps in key areas for enterprises. Umbrella Roaming protects off-network, "roaming" employees no matter where they are working, blocking malicious sites; the solution is now embedded into Cisco's AnyConnect VPN service. In the meantime, Umbrella Branch provides multi-location businesses with the ability to upgrade their integrated services routers with more comprehensive security, enabling branch locations to better control guest Wi-Fi use through content filtering.

Three more products handle security management and control across a business' network infrastructure. Cisco Defense Orchestrator offers a cloud-based console from which an organization can manage a large security infrastructure and policies across distributed locations and thousands of devices. Next, its Meraki MX Security Appliances offer a unified threat management solution that is completely managed in the cloud. Finally, its Stealthwatch Learning Network License is a new component for Cisco's ISR 4000 series of integrated routers that makes it possible for enterprises to track, analyze and identify suspicious network traffic.

The new products are part of Cisco's Digital Network Architecture (DNA) solution, which the manufacturer has been bulking up for several months now through both organic means and via acquisitions. The new Stealthwatch product, for example, is a key piece gained from its October 2015 acquisition of Lancope, a network security tracking and analysis provider.

At the end of June, Cisco snapped up Waltham, Massachusetts-based CloudLock for $293 million, adding the vendor's cloud access security broker (CASB) technology to its portfolio.

"Our customers are finding that they need a more integrated approach to security, and Cisco provides them with a threat-centric security architecture that is much more effective in a digital world," said David Goeckeler, SVP and general manager of Cisco's networking and security business division.

Security products are a bright spot for Cisco: the division saw 17 percent growth during its fiscal third quarter, reaching $482 million. Collaboration products and service provider video also helped push growth at the manufacturer and are key factors in keeping Cisco profitable as spending by service providers on network switchers and routers slid by 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively, in the quarter.

And despite turmoil in the international markets following Britain's decision to exit the EU, Cisco said it remains "committed and optimistic" when it comes to doing business in the UK, CEO Chuck Robbins said in a session at the conference, according to Light Reading. For one thing, Cisco doesn't have to depend on having a pan-European reach in order to keep its revenues stable, Robbins noted.

Cisco will announce its fiscal fourth-quarter results on Aug. 17.

For more:
- see the release
- see this ZD Net article
- see this Light Reading article

Related articles:
Cisco acquires CloudLock, enhances cloud security portfolio
Cisco, Roku partner to put VideoGuard security on Roku devices
Cisco's Q3 switching, routing revenues dip on softer service provider spending