Jun 17 2020

Cisco Live 2020: Cloud Security, End-User Experience Among Cisco’s New Offerings

The company is advancing secure access service edge capabilities and helping businesses reopen safely.

On the concluding day of its annual user conference, Cisco announced a range of new solutions aimed at improving organizations’ security, network administration and data management, including new advancements for its software-defined networking solutions, a new dashboard to help IT leaders manage data center activity and more.

The announcements were made as part of Cisco Live 2020; this year’s digital-only event attracted more than 100,000 attendees logging in remotely. Todd Nightingale, Cisco’s senior vice president of enterprise networking and cloud, described the new offerings as an attempt to help customers build “the new IT superpower, agility.”

Cisco Moves Toward Secure Access Service Edge

The new offerings include security enhancements to its SD-WAN portfolio through its integration with Cisco Umbrella, which offers secure web gateway, Domain Name System-layer security, firewall, and cloud access security broker functionality in a single cloud service. “This convergence of security and networking is a crucial step for customers as they move towards” a secure access service edge architecture, Cisco said in a statement.

Secure access service edge, or SASE, is an emerging cybersecurity concept that Gartner first described in August 2019. It refers to the convergence of WAN and network security services into a single, cloud-delivered service model. The integration of Cisco Umbrella with its SD-WAN solution is Cisco’s step in that direction.

“With today’s announcement, Cisco is helping IT rapidly roll out advanced networking and security capabilities by simplifying and automating segmentation and cloud-based security at scale,” explained Scott Harrell, senior vice president of Cisco’s intent-based networking group.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: What do IT leaders need to know about networking's new normal?

Cisco’s New Offerings Informed by the Moment

The company has been planning some of its innovations for some time. Yet with Cisco Live arriving about 90 days after shelter-in-place orders started shuttering workplaces nationwide, it’s clear that some have been designed with an eye toward a changed future.

Cisco also announced solutions aimed at helping businesses support much larger remote work environments for the long term as well as to reopen their workplaces safely. Cisco’s User Defined Network will allow IT staff to provide end-users control of their own “wireless network partition” through Cisco DNA Center. With User Defined Network, “end-users have the ability to securely onboard their devices, as well as control which devices can connect to their own personal network partition through the User Defined Network mobile app,” Cisco said in a statement.

Meanwhile, new capabilities for Cisco DNA Spaces, its indoor location services platform, will help businesses reopen. DNA Spaces for Return to Business is a set of tools to help businesses monitor workspaces to meet social distancing requirements, allowing organizations to use monitor density inside buildings in real time.

“This is not just a moment in time,” Nightingale said. “We’re not going back to the way things were yesterday; we’re preparing for the world ahead. And in doing that, in IT, we don’t have the luxury of moving fast and breaking things. We have to move fast without breaking things.”

To keep up with our coverage of Cisco Live 2020, bookmark this page, follow us on Twitter at @BizTechMagazine or the official conference Twitter account, @CiscoLive, and join the conversation using hashtag #CLUS.

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