Cisco Not Kidding About MSP Security

By Doug Barney

Don’t think MSPs matter, or more realistically, that gargantuan vendors don’t pay enough attention? Don’t mention that to Cisco, which has a new security practice aimed 100 percent at managed services.

The idea is for Cisco to promote MSP offerings based on its current security line. This is a full range of IPS, VPNs, firewalls and gateways that include security protection. The new practice is led by Bryan Palma, a Boeing security vet who now serves as general manager. Oh, and Palma was a U.S. Secret Service special agent, but don’t tell anyone we told you that!

Cisco may be best known for its switches and routers, but the company is deep into building data center infrastructure, and here security has to come first.

Of course this is particularly true for Cisco on the network front, but Cisco today protects far more than just network connections.

Some large vendors fear MSP partnerships, believing that all the margin that goes to partners could stay in-house. Cisco disagrees, at least on the security front, likely believing that good MSPs make great trusted advisors to Cisco customers and helps make sure the Cisco gear works properly.

The Cisco security group is closely allied with the new practice, and group head Chris Young sees a sea change in how security is done, as he explained in a recent blog. “Over the past 20 years, the industry has been largely product focused, with customers deploying point products across the network in an effort to ‘cover’ all security gaps. Over time and with the arrival of mobile, social and cloud, customers now recognize that having all the security products in the world is not going to close all the gaps. Cisco’s integrated security strategy is to defend, discover and remediate the most critical threats. With world-class products, research teams, global intelligence, advanced threat protection — and now services — our customers will benefit from continuous security in more places across the infrastructure.”

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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