SecureX gon give it to ya: Cisco muscles into the integrated security game

Push to get punters inhaling one cloudy product


Cisco has belatedly crashed the integrated security party with SecureX – a platform that slaps together Switchzilla's network, endpoint cloud and application security stuff.

The product combines a chunk of Cisco's security portfolio – firewalls, web and email services, malware protection and intrusion detection systems – in a way the company hopes will be more digestible for network admins.

Switchzilla claimed SecureX can analyse data across more than 150 million endpoints and network traffic from switches, routers, Amazon, Microsoft and Google public clouds, plus private data centre environments.

"The industry has been flooded with thousands of point products that were meant to help customers but instead created unmanageable environments with products that don't work together," said Gee Rittenhouse, senior veep and general manager of Cisco's security biz.

SecureX is said to work with native and third-party security tools, and gives the admin "one unified view of the state of customers' security services and alerts," added Rittenhouse.

Bola Rotibi, CCS Insight software development analyst, said end user businesses have "chosen lots of different complex security products to address niche and particular concerns. The big players are now recognising that it is becoming hard to manage and that they need to simplify their security story."

Cisco emitted its 2020 CISO Benchmark Study yesterday, which found, as you'd expect, that a good proportion - 28 per cent – of security pros felt managing a multi-vendor environment was very challenging – an 8 per cent increase since last year. The people surveyed cited "having to respond to too many alerts" and "struggling with vendor complexity". If only there were a way to remedy this, right folks?

Not the only single-throat-to-choke in the game

But Cisco faces stiff competition from other enterprise vendors who have been pushing integrated solutions for years. VMware rolled out Intrinsic Security last year and IBM has long had skin in the game, such as QRadar and IBM Security Guardium Analyzer, as well as its Security Framework, designed to secure businesses operating over multiple platforms. Just as Cisco pushed out SecureX, the post-phone incarnation of BlackBerry launched BlackBerry Spark, a security architecture and platform to secure various endpoints thought to be based on some of that $1bn tech it slurped in the Cylance acquisition.

"It will be interesting to see how these integrated solutions play out in action – in a hybrid IP environment, within a key enterprise deck that has multiple tech stacks in play. That's where the rubber will hit the road," Rotibi said.

Switchzilla's push into software comes as its main business of selling networking kit continues to struggle amid tepid spending by corporations and government agencies.

The company last week reported glum sales for Q2 of its fiscal 2020, with revenues dropping 4 per cent year-on-year to $12bn. The hardware and software units both dropped 8 per cent to $6.53bn and $1.35bn respectively. Security was the company's sole winner for the quarter, jumping 9 per cent to $748m.

SecureX's initial release in June will include all Cisco Security products and Cisco Talos threat hunting. Future releases will add Meraki security, SD-WAN security and Cyber Vision IoT security as well. ®

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