Cisco is going after managed security service providers (MSSPs) with a bundle of cloud-based endpoint security products now packaged as an MSSP portfolio.
The portfolio includes: Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints; Cisco Umbrella, which helps create a secure Internet gateway, thus securing access to the cloud; and Meraki Systems Manager to protect against advanced malware and threats.
The move into the MSSP market reflects a couple security industry trends, said Cisco’s Gee Rittenhouse, SVP of engineering, security.
First, there’s the mobile worker trend. Employees work on the enterprise campus and off campus. “So being able to protect mobile devices, being able to protect them whether they are behind a firewall or in front of a firewall is very, very important,” Rittenhouse said.
Second is the shortage of security professionals. This primarily hurts low- and mid-market companies that don’t have the resources to support an on-site security operations center 24-7. These businesses are turning to managed services providers to not only install and maintain their infrastructure, but also to manage their security operations.
Both of these present a massive business opportunity for MSSPs — and an opportunity for Cisco to sell its security products to MSSPs.
“The emergence of the managed security service provider is a big trend in the industry, and one that the Cisco security business is actively pursuing across our entire portfolio,” Rittenhouse said.
Up First: Endpoint Security
This first MSSP product grouping focuses on endpoint security that is managed in the cloud.
“The reason we chose this first,” Rittenhouse said, “is because without requiring any real equipment — you don’t need firewalls or email security appliances — you get very strong protection around the device, in a very frictionless way.”
To make product licensing more palatable to MSSPs, Cisco offers them on a subscription basis. The company also provided tighter integration between the technologies on the back-end of things “to make sure it produces a seamless experience for the customer,” Rittenhouse said. “And by bundling these, you get enhanced security.”
Cisco’s MSSP portfolio follows a similar move toward cloud-based security for its enterprise customers. Late last year, Cisco repackaged a bunch of its security technologies — both homegrown and acquired from cloud security startups — as a multi-cloud security portfolio.