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Cisco to secure organisations wherever work happens

Cisco has announced new capabilities across its security portfolio so teams can be more productive and protected wherever they work. 

Unveiled at Cisco's annual Partner Summit conference, the news demonstrates continued progress towards the strategic vision of the Cisco Security Cloud that will protect the integrity of an organisation's entire IT ecosystem. 

The end-to-end platform will safeguard users, devices and applications across public clouds and private data centres without public cloud lock-in. 

“Security is no longer optional. It is critical to every major initiative an organisation may have," says Jeetu Patel, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Security and Collaboration at Cisco. 

“We are committed to delivering more value for our partners by continuing to drive innovation and making it easier to do business with Cisco. Partners can land key products and then expand across the Cisco Secure portfolio to increase profitability while enabling customers to securely achieve their digital transformation goals.”

Duo Passwordless Authentication is now available for all customers to protect Single Sign On (SSO) applications. 

Users can log in without a password by leveraging biometrics (Windows Hello and Mac touch ID) and security keys. 

Cisco is also adding the Duo Mobile app as a new option for passwordless authentication. This will simplify implementation, lower the total cost of ownership for customers, and better meet the needs of all end-users as global biometric adoption stalled after several years of sharp growth. Among Duo customers, biometrics were enabled on 81% of mobile devices.

The findings are from Cisco’s 2022 Duo Trusted Access Report, also released at the Summit. The annual study is based on roughly 1.1 billion monthly global authentications, an increase of 38% year-over-year across more than 49 million devices and 490 thousand unique applications.

“Passwordless authentication reduces the risk of phishing attacks and their ability to utilise stolen passwords or as we've seen more recently, MFA fatigue," says Dave Lewis, Global Advisory CISO at Cisco. 

“As cyberattacks continue to move closer to end-users, there is a huge opportunity to embrace low-friction authentication methods that ensure only trusted users and devices gain access to applications and corporate resources.”

"Cisco Duo simplifies the passwordless journey for organisations that want to implement phishing-resistant authentication and adopt a zero trust security strategy," adds Jack Poller, Senior Analyst, ESG.

"Password management is a challenging proposition for many enterprises, especially in light of BYOD and ever increasing sophistication of phishing schemes. Cisco aims to simplify the process with its Duo passwordless authentication that offers out-of-box integrations with popular single sign-on solutions,” notes Will Townsend, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Networking and Security, Moor Insights and Strategy.

Employees are going back to the office. Among Duo customers, remote access authentications have declined since peaking in 2020, reaching lower than pre-pandemic levels in 2022. As hybrid work becomes, the new normal, organisations demand high-performance network security without increasing costs.

To meet customers' needs better, Cisco is introducing the newest addition to the Secure Firewall 3100 Series, the first firewalls purpose-built for hybrid work.

Secure Firewall 3105 expands sizing options for branch offices at a price point accessible to more organisations. In addition, it empowers hybrid workers with support for more remote users and increases VPN speed and performance by 17X.

Initially launching in the US, Cisco Capital is now offering Cisco Lifecycle Pay for Secure Firewall, a Cisco Capital fixed-term subscription payment solution, to provide a financial incentive and lower the total cost of usage without the burden of ownership. 

Customers can receive a 10% replacement incentive when returning existing firewall hardware and upgrading to Cisco’s latest qualifying firewall technology. 

Cisco Capital offers a global suite of segment-and architecture-agnostic payment solutions that enable partners to support their customers better and match their buying preferences.

Customers are concerned about data vulnerability as critical resources are moved into the cloud. Moreover, the challenge is only growing, as authentications to cloud applications increased by 24% in 2022. 

Data needs to be protected, not just because of the risk tied to malicious threat actors but the unintentional issues caused by inexperienced users. 

To help with this, Cisco is enhancing Umbrella with more robust data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities, including unified policies and reporting across API-based out-of-band DLP and real-time inline DLP, making management easier for security teams.

Umbrella is a foundational component of Cisco+ Secure Connect, Cisco’s unified Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution. 

Highlighting their abilities with the integrated networking and security architecture, partners can now achieve SASE specialisation to help customers securely enable cloud development and deployment, remote work, and edge computing.

“The breadth and depth of Cisco’s security portfolio provides our customers with resilience in the wake of an ever-shifting threat landscape, letting us drive more value with a strategic, full stack approach,” says Stephanie Hagopian, VP Security Solutions, CDW.

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