The Stack Archive

Cisco targets SMEs with extended cyberattack protection

Tue 7 Apr 2015

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Cisco has announced that it is adding another string to its cybercriminal-defeating bow, expanding its firewall services for midsize businesses and offering a further malware protection layer following its acquisition of security software firm ThreatGrid last June.

According to the networking giant, it plans to extend its range of ASA Firewall and FirePower services to SMEs, branch offices, factories, power plants, as well as other companies that may be vulnerable to targeted cyberattacks.

Jason Brvenik, principal engineer of Cisco’s security business division, explained that many organisations only learn of their security ‘weak spots’ after it is too late and cannot do anything to stop the continuing onslaught.

“The challenge in cybersecurity is there are many areas where a compromise can occur, and having the visibility to act upon them is really the challenge,” said Brvenik.

Cisco security consulting vice president James Mobley also added that many smaller companies and other vulnerable facilities often have cohesive security systems which provide a simple gateway for hackers to enter into larger domains.

“When you think about the ecosystem of the large environment, the smaller environment is sometimes the launching pad into the large one,” Mobley explained. Using Target as an example, he added that the retailer was “breached primarily because of compromise of one of its partners.

“We need to make sure we address the large area of risk, which happens to be a number of the smaller and medium-sized companies.”

Cisco claims that the new ASA with FirePower will provide its customers with multi-layered protection which will monitor and control zero-day threats, in addition to persistent and targeted attacks. The newly acquired ThreatGrid software will also bring a further layer to safeguard businesses against hacks which target sensitive and critical data, such as payment details and ID numbers.

“We developed a continuous monitoring approach to observe these files in the field constantly […] Constantly generating assessments of their behaviours and activities, and our dynamic malware analysis, lets us deconstruct them and remember that action, so every time we encounter these files somewhere we know uniquely what this file represents,” said Brvenik.


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