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Cisco Partner Summit 2015: Cisco raises the bar for datacentre security

Cisco to integrate ACI with Firepower products in June
Rob Soderbery, Cisco senior vice president, enterprise products and solutions

Rob Soderbery, Cisco senior vice president, enterprise products and solutions

Cisco has announced that it will be integrating its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) with its Firepower intrusion prevention systems to help secure datacentre infrastructure.

The company claims the integrated security solution, which launches in June 2015, will allow companies to secure their networks and datacentres from the infrastructure right through to the application level as part of its software defined networking focus.

As part of a singular package, Cisco is challenging rivals/partners such as Palo Alto and reducing infrastructure and management costs.

ACI, its form of Software Defined Networking, means that its open ecosystem will make it available to work in conjunction with specialist security vendors such as Check Point, Fortinet, and Symantec.

The Firepower brand of network based security appliances run the gamut from hardware to virtualised software offerings, and Cisco claims will offer global threat intelligence, network security visibility and the opportunity to isolate threats to silos within the network before they can do too much damage.

Cisco's Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS) functions similar to Palo Alto and FireEye's offerings, boasting real time intrusion detection, and comparing threats to a malware database. It will be completely compatible with Cisco's Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), allowing for whitelisting/blacklisting on firewalls, and centralised automation - reducing human input.

Cisco has said, as part of its tagline for the event, that it wants to become a software vendor, and security is now part of the package too.

Cisco will also be targeting the payment card industry with the new product portfolio, helping PCI compliant networks achieve compliance and reduce costs, it said.

Rob Soderbery, Cisco's senior vice-president of enterprise products and solutions used his spot on the day two keynote to treat the company's new security focus as a throwdown to the rest of the security industry.

"Not only are we in it to win, not only can we win, but we will win," he said.