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Cisco Security Cloud Platform Now Includes SSE, Multi-Cloud Feature, Firewall Updates

Gina Narcisi

‘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,’ Cisco’s Jeetu Patel tells CRN.


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.

[Related: Cisco Security Leader Tom Gillis: Point Products Aren’t ‘Getting The Job Done’ ]

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.”

Innovations In Cisco Security

Cisco Multicloud Defense is a new feature that comes on the heels of the company’s acquisition of cloud network security startup Valtix. Multicloud Defense extends the concept of a traditional firewall out to an application-centric, multi-cloud world, Patel said.

“We wanted to take this whole notion of zero trust but moved to applications in the cloud,” he said. “It allows you to have a set of defenses for any cloud environment [and] granularity of access.”

Cisco Multicloud Defense can consolidate cloud networking and security functions in one place and allow businesses to be cloud-agnostic, meaning that IT teams can now manage their security policies across the largest cloud players, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud as well as private data centers, from a single SaaS platform.

Cisco Gold partner Long View Systems appreciates the shift that Cisco is making in favor of interoperability, especially for customers that may have requirements for specific technologies in their environments.

“They’re now recognizing the importance of third-party integration,” said Lane Irvine, network business solutions director for Vancouver, British Columbia-based Long View.

In addition to the major cloud players, Cisco Security now offers integration with CrowdStrike and Microsoft Sentinel.

“Now [Cisco] is saying, ‘Hey, let’s put the best Cisco technology possible in your environment for what you need, but we’re also going to tie into the third-party products.’ Those third-party products allow customers to continue to use what they’ve got where it makes sense for that,” Irvine said. “I think that’s a huge step in the right direction.”

Cisco Multicloud Defense is now available.

Cisco at the event also unveiled the Secure Firewall 4200 Series, its new high-performance series with hybrid workers in mind. The new line offers cryptographic acceleration, clustering and modularity. It runs on the new 7.4 operating system and uses artificial intelligence and machine learning for encrypted threat blocking without decryption, which the company is calling an evolution of Zero Trust Network Access.

The Cisco Secure Firewall 4200 Series appliance will be generally available in September supporting 7.4 software. The software will be generally available for the rest of the Secure Firewall appliance product line in December, according to Cisco.

Further supporting the Cisco Security Cloud push, the company at RSA 2023 in April revealed its Extended Detection and Response (XDR) strategy that converges Cisco’s expertise and visibility across the network and endpoints into one risk-based offering. It uses Cisco’s own telemetry and integrates with leading third-party vendors to share telemetry and increase interoperability. Cisco XDR is now in beta with general availability coming in July 2023.

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at

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