Cisco Announces 'Borderless' Security at RSA

On Tuesday at this week's RSA Conference, Cisco Systems Inc. announced its Secure Borderless Network (SBN) architecture, which the company is positioning as a reconceptualization of enterprise security that focuses on four distinct aspects: endpoints (fixed or mobile), the network edge, context- and location-aware policy enforcement, and the enterprise datacenter.

As the first "proof point" in its SBN push, Cisco announced AnyConnect Secure Mobility, a new umbrella offering designed to facilitate interoperability between and among the AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client and Cisco's IronPort Web security appliances and Adaptive Security Appliance firewall devices.

AnyConnect Secure Mobility is slated to ship some time in Q2 of this year, according to Cisco officials. They said the new offering will support automatic gateway detection and will also help facilitate secure application access for managed and unmanaged clients alike. Similarly, Cisco is revamping its IronPort S-Series to improve application visibility, support SaaS access controls, and unify both on- and off-premises policy enforcement and reporting.

Elsewhere, Cisco said that it has expanded its TrustSec offering to support Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) and Identity-Based Networking Services (IBNS) technologies.

All told, AnyConnect Secure Mobility is the kind of offering that sells itself, according to Cisco's Tom Gillis, particularly in the context of a rapidly transforming business workforce.

"The security needs of businesses are changing and becoming more complex as more employees spend time out of the office accessing the corporate network via their smartphone or laptop," said Gillis, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Security Technology business unit, in a prepared release. "[E]nterprises need a solution that will not hamper employee productivity, while helping to ensure that the network is not exposed to hackers, malware and other threats."

He describes AnyConnect Secure Mobility as a pragmatic product deliverable, arguing that it's "the solution that our customers have been demanding" because it enables "them to strike that balance between providing consistent security and supporting access from individuals using any device to connect to the network from anywhere in the world."

As Cisco evolves both SBN and AnyConnect Secure Mobility, it plans to deliver "hybrid enforcement" via its IronPort S-Series appliances and deliver cloud-based security via its ScanSafe technologies, officials said.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.