Cisco Systems is making good on its promise to unite its security portfolio into a single platform by unveiling a new security service edge offering, multi-cloud security feature and a firewall series aimed at applications and multi-cloud environments at Cisco Live 2023.

The latest offerings are proving that Cisco is making meaningful progress toward its single Security Cloud platform strategy, first introduced last June, Jeetu Patel (pictured), Cisco's executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration, told CRN.

"When you have 70 players on average that are part of the security stack, that's 70 different policy engines and 70 different cracks in the system. The efficacy of companies is going down when they buy point solutions and so what our customers are telling us is [they] need an integrated platform. That platform should have a unified policy engine, be able to have an open set of APIs [and] be able to integrate telemetry from third-party sources. All of those things we had laid out last year as a vision we're now delivering," he said.

Cisco Secure Access, the SSE offering joining the Security Cloud platform that's also integrated with ThousandEyes, provides zero trust and zero friction by securing access across any location, device or application. The offering is about frustrating the hacker, not burdening the user with different ways to connect, such as via VPN or Zero Trust Network Access, Patel said.

"It's the most boring demo you've ever seen because all you do is connect and get to work. There's nothing to show because it gets it all done seamlessly behind the scenes," Patel said. "All the plumbing—the way you're actually going to connect—is done behind the scenes."

Cisco Secure Access will be limitedly available starting in July with general availability in October.

Cisco owns the network and that's a powerful position in security, said Chris Konrad, area vice president of global cyber for St. Louis-based Cisco Gold partner World Wide Technology.

"If you think about the power of that and all the various telemetry sources that Cisco can bring—with 200 million AnyConnect installations—you're talking telemetry from there and from ThousandEyes and AppDynamics. That's a really powerful story that nobody in the industry is going to be able to touch," Konrad said.

WWT can leverage Cisco's platform approach to security to start having conversations with its largest customers about Cisco security. "And then with the new firewall announcements that have come out, I think they'll be super competitive in that space moving forward and then we can have those conversations with those customers at renewal time about swapping over to Cisco."


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