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Cisco to push threat intelligence to all devices

Adds SecureX to big and middling firewalls

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RSA 2012 Cisco plans to push security intelligence into its entire firewall line in an attempt to make its hardware a lot smarter and ease the load on IT managers.

On Tuesday, Cisco will announce the extension of its SecureX threat monitoring system into some of its largest firewalls, with the Cisco ASA CX firewall. It's also upgrading its Trustsec and Identity Service Engine (ISE) to boost the company's ability to monitor threats on the cloud and across a wide range of device types. Ultimately, the goal is to integrate the intelligence on the software side with no additional hardware.

"Long term, we're going to be taking the power of SecureX, and bringing it into the Cisco core architecture, and delivering it on everything we do - our core router and switching, but also data, voice and video. We're bringing security to all parts of the Cisco landscape," said Cisco's new senior vice president of security Christopher Young at the RSA 2012 conference in San Francisco.

Every day Cisco handles 35 per cent of the world's email via its systems, accounting for 4TB of information, he explained, and routes 30 billion website requests. This kind of information is now being analyzed and fed into Cisco's SecureX network. Cisco's CSO John Stewart said this gave the company a unique selling point.

"We've got to work together – you're not going to survive on your own. You've got to work in a community of data. Cisco's been quietly successful in protecting customers from a phenomenal data source, which is ours," Stewart said. Cisco claims the ASA CX system will be capable of identifying over a thousand individual applications such as Facebook and Google+, as well as 75,000 micro applications. For example, the system can be configured to allow access to Facebook, but not to specific applications within it.

As a first step, the company announced that SecureX will be built into the ASA 5500 Series X firewalls aimed at large and medium-sized business sector. The company declined to give any details regarding the roadmap of further roll-out plans. ®

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