Cisco Looks to Unify Cybersecurity Management

Cisco Systems today launched Cisco Secure X, a cloud-based application through which it is unifying all the security management capabilities it provides.

Announced at the RSA Conference 2020 event, the new platform will eliminate the need for cybersecurity professionals to log in to multiple tools and applications to access the broad portfolio of cybersecurity software that Cisco now makes available. Cisco Secure X can analyze events and data pulled from more than 150 million endpoints, including network traffic from switches and routers and encrypted traffic moving between public clouds and local data centers.

Cisco said it will make the threat intelligence data gathered by the Cisco Talos team available via Cisco Secure X as well.

Ben Munro, director of product marketing for Cisco security, said Cisco Secure X will reduce significantly the time it takes to discover a cybersecurity issue and then remediate it.

Munroe said Cisco Secure X is part of an ongoing Cisco effort to eliminate the need to rely on point products in favor of a platform approach that presents a common user interface that not only is easier to navigate but also ultimately reduces the total cost of cybersecurity. Organizations will also be able to make available dashboards based on different classes of personas, he said.

Cisco Secure X provides a framework through which the company will be able to unify the management of cybersecurity platforms it has built from the ground up and ones it has acquired. Those acquisitions include Duo Security and Sentryo.
Munro said Cisco can provide this capability because all of its cybersecurity tools are being standardized via a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that will also make it easier to integrate third-party tools, applications and services over time.

At a time when organizations are keenly interested in making chronically understaffed cybersecurity teams as efficient as possible, interest in consolidating cybersecurity tools is high. Most cybersecurity teams spend an inordinate amount of time trying to correlate cybersecurity events across multiple tools and platforms. By reducing the amount of time it takes for cybersecurity professionals to discover a cybersecurity attack or vulnerability, an organization may not need to hire as many cybersecurity professionals. At the very least, the overall productivity of the cybersecurity team should increase simply because they won’t have to swivel between as many applications.

The existing cybersecurity team’s morale should also improve, because less time will be spent on rote tasks such as aggregating data sources.

Cybersecurity professionals, meanwhile, can spin up the service in a few minutes because Cisco Secure X is delivered as a cloud application, noted Munro.

It’s clear the rest of the IT team is being held more accountable for cybersecurity to one degree or another; however, it’s less clear how much responsibility for cybersecurity is shifting toward the rest of the IT team. That calls for a framework that enables cybersecurity professionals and the rest of the IT team to collaborate. The challenge now may be creating the processes that enable such collaboration to occur.

Michael Vizard

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Michael Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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