Cisco Next Gen Firewall Sees Threats Coming

Mike Vizard
Slide Show

What Does 2016 Hold for the Evolving Security Landscape?

They say to be forewarned is to be forearmed, and nowhere is that more important than in IT security. Cisco this week unveiled a Cisco Firepower Next Generation Firewall that incorporates data from threat intelligence services to better secure applications before attacks are ever launched.

Rather than simply apply access controls to an application, Dave Stuart, senior director of product marketing for network security in the Cisco Security Business Group says, Cisco Firepower firewalls provide a more comprehensive approach to IT security that includes intrusion prevention, malware protection and reputation-based URL filtering. Stuart says that Cisco is moving to cut the time taken to discover malware from what is usually 100 to 200 days to an average of 17.5 hours.

The goal is to not only reduce the total cost of providing that security, but to also take advantage of technologies such as Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) to provide higher levels of security. Longer term, Stuart says, IT organizations should expect to see Cisco take advantage of machine algorithms and artificial intelligence to increasingly automate much of the management of IT security at the network layer.

That approach, adds Stuart, is critical because it provides higher levels of IT security in a way that will have minimal impact in application performance.

All told, Cisco has spent over $3.8 billion on acquisitions of companies such as Sourcefire to create an IT security and network management fabric that can be managed via a single console. Obviously the nature of the security threats that IT organizations are facing is rapidly evolving. What is not changing nearly as rapidly is the amount of IT security dollars that IT organizations can employ to defend against those threats.

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