A look at Cisco’s new Managed Threat Defense Service


medium_3327578654Cisco today announced its new Managed Threat Defense Service, a managed security solution designed to help customers defend themselves from the modern threat landscape.  The new service was designed in response to the many significant challenges in IT security. Cisco aims to lead a market filled with a variety of ‘fragmented’ solutions.  The difference in Managed Threat Defense is real-time protection, tying customer environments to 24/7 Security Operation Centers (SOCs), security analytics and advanced threat detection.

Report after report show that cybercrime is on the rise.  If you just look to the headlines and recent major breaches such as Target and Michaels you can see how significant of a problem this has become.  Cisco aims to help customers detect and mitigate security issues in a way that is cohesive to their corporate and compliance requirements.  Changing business models, a dynamic threat landscape, technical complexity and massive security fragmentation are all community drivers to which the Managed Threat Defense approach provides this new alternative.

Cisco’s Managed Threat Defense is an on-premises solution, comprised of hardware, software, and analytics designed to monitor, capture, and analyze threats.  The company’s worldwide network of expert-staffed security operations centers monitor the service and provide incident response analysis, escalation, and remediation recommendations. The modern technology paradigms of today include extended networks, cloud, mobility, advanced malware advanced persistent threats (APTs), among others and Cisco aims to protect and integrate in all of these.

In a briefing with Bryan Palma, Senior Vice President of Cisco Security services, he introduced the new security service as one whose time has come:

“We built this for many reasons, there are so many security challenges out there and we’re to help those industries take them on.  …There’s a massive shortage of security personnel out there, people are losing staff … customers have data centers full of point products.. quite often there are 75 or more security customers at some of the largest customers.  So not only is the security itself a challenge, but operations becomes a challenge.  That’s where our SOCs and Managed Threat Defense is so valuable.”

Source: Cisco

Source: Cisco

Managed Threat Defense also boasts features such as real-time streaming telemetry, which protects against unknown attacks unseen by anti-virus and predictive analytics using Hadoop 2.0 to detect anomalies in the customer environment. The services implement community threat intelligence data to analyze and react to threats.  Finally, the services also feature advanced malware protection to fight the battle of zero-day vulnerabilities and exploits that dominate the headlines today.

The product is available as a direct service from Cisco and through their network of resell partners. Currently it is available in the United States and Canada, and select locations in APJC (Asia Pacific, Japan and China).

This new service is a departure from the hardware and support that Cisco is known for. That means a significant campaign can likely be expected to help get the word out.

Through the very major public security events in recent memory, the enterprise has gotten a glimpse of the security challenges ahead, and services are coming forward to answer the call.  As Cisco predicts a global shortage of more than one million security professionals, the enterprise at large may look to leverage external security experts to help reduce costs, provide better security and be able to focus on other business priorities.

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