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Cisco debuts next-generation firewall

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As global companies embrace new digital business opportunities, cybersecurity is regularly cited as a top concern impeding growth and innovation. To give businesses the confidence to pursue digital opportunities to enable growth, Cisco has made security a top priority and is today announcing innovations to its flagship Next-Generation Firewall.
Cisco’s first fully integrated, threat-focused Cisco Firepower Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) marks a significant departure from the focus of legacy NGFWs on application control. By focusing instead on threat defence, Cisco will help organizations better manage and minimize risk. Think of it as legacy NGFWs protecting “homes” by securing windows and doors, whereas Cisco’s approach is to identify, detect and protect against would-be burglars no matter how they try to gain access to a property.
Cisco is also introducing the Cisco Security Segmentation Service, an advisory service that helps organizations create security controls that enhance compliance, breach containment, threat detection, content security and data loss prevention across their IT infrastructure.
Both offerings are aimed at protecting against bold and resilient threats from increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.
Traditional NGFWs continue to focus on application enablement and control, which limit the ability to protect against the breadth of threats in today’s business environment. Cisco’s approach is different. Cisco empowers customers to easily manage and dynamically update protection from the endpoint to the network, and out to the cloud, by going beyond applications and identifying and stopping threats, both known and unknown.
Cisco’s Firepower NGFW is the industry’s first to link contextual information about how users are connecting to applications, with threat intelligence and policy enforcement. Gaining this level of visibility across a business environment accelerates threat detection and response, and enhances protection.
Cisco’s NGFW can also automate and fine-tune security measures to rapidly harden defences, based on its ability to see vulnerabilities, assets and threats. The consistent and pervasive advanced security capabilities provide protection that point solutions cannot deliver.
The new Cisco Firepower NGFW significantly improves the speed, simplicity and effectiveness of attack detection and response. It combines Cisco’s stateful firewalling technology and industry-leading threat services in a single solution. The threat services take protection to a new level, beyond application visibility and control, and include Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention System, Advanced Malware Protection and reputation-based URL filtering.
Cisco’s integrated NGFW incorporates Cisco and complementary third-party solutions and uniquely enables intelligence and context to be shared between solutions. Now businesses can effectively correlate previously disparate pieces of information to identify and stop advanced attacks more rapidly wherever they may be. This has competitive implications for organizations looking to deploy cloud, virtual environment, new Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and mobile endpoints to securely drive new business opportunities.
Cisco is releasing new Cisco Firepower 4100 Series appliances for high-performance applications within mid- to large-sized organizations. They are the highest performing, density-optimized appliances in their class, capable of high-throughput and low latency threat inspection, sufficient for high-frequency trading and data center deployments. They are among the first with 40GbE network connectivity in a compact, one rack-unit space.
The new Cisco Firepower Management Center serves as the nerve center for the Firepower NGFW, providing a rich, unified management console. It features shared intelligence, shared contextual awareness, and consistent policy enforcement for the Cisco Firepower NGFW plus other Cisco security and network solutions.
Complementary third-party solutions, beginning with Radware for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), also are integrated through the Cisco Firepower Management Center. The management centre provides rich, comprehensive management, delivering information and insight in a single console. Other NGFWs often require users to switch between three or more consoles to gain the same detail.
The Cisco Security Segmentation Service is an advisory service that designs a custom-tailored framework that reduces risk, simplifies audit profiles, secures data and helps businesses comply with board-level requirements.
Cisco Services has developed the Security Segmentation Service to help organisations create a strategic infrastructure segment strategy. Cisco’s approach is customer-specific, extends beyond the network, and incorporates reusable design patterns to apply security controls across compliance, breach containment, threat detection, content security, data loss prevention, and other distinct security disciplines
These new security offers provide Cisco channel partners with an expanded end-to-end portfolio and represent additional profitability opportunities. When combined with Cisco’s threat-centric security approach, channel partners are able to simplify and reduce costs of managing their customers’ security environments through a unified management platform. They also can increase cross-sell opportunities enabled by strong network integration, and drive new revenue streams through new services and licensing options.
In addition, Cisco is investing in developing security practice acceleration programs, training and enablement for both products and services so channel partners can fuel growth and increase profitability.
“Attackers are getting bolder and coordinating their efforts,” says David Goeckeler, senior vice-president and GM of the security business group at Cisco. “The industrialisation of hacking is putting businesses on the defensive against a growing group of adversaries that steal information for profit.
“In the last three years, Cisco has spent billions in strategic cybersecurity acquisitions and internal innovations to help stay ahead of the world’s most malicious attacks that threaten organizations. For businesses to get real value and manage risk as they implement digital operational models, their security platforms need to integrate into the business and support growth opportunities. This means taking a threat-centric approach, with protection from the mobile endpoint to the cloud.
“The Cisco Firepower NGFW acts as a unifying platform, integrating Cisco and third-party security solutions for increased correlation and context. The result is better protection, and faster detection and response to advanced threats. The Cisco Segmentation Service will help our customers build a dynamic, resilient secure infrastructure to combat threats in realtime.”