Infosec 2011: Cisco announces new tools for securing the mobile enterprise


Infosec 2011: Cisco announces new tools for securing the mobile enterprise

Warwick Ashford

Cisco has introduced new security products to its Borderless Networks portfolio to help IT departments manage mobile devices, changing workforce habits and the impact of video on the network.

The new tools are designed to enable IT departments to centrally manage and automate security and access control for any device across the organisation.

The products announced at Infosecurity Europe 2011 in London include an identity services engine (ISE), which is a centralised policy engine that enables enterprises to define and manage organisation-wide security policies.

"The Cisco Identity Services Engine integration with wireless has been a huge hit within our organisation," said Timothy Abbott, senior network engineer at San Antonio Water System.

"As a result of the widespread proliferation of personal wireless mobile devices, we have needed a solution to restrict network access for some time," he said.

According to Abbott, the Cisco ISE allows his organisation to establish an overarching access policy by device type, including wireless and wired. "It was easy to implement, is very responsive and has a clean, clear user interface," he said.

Cisco claims its ISE solves the "any device" challenge by enforcing context-aware access security policy.

It also helps distinguish between organisation-owned devices and personal user devices, automates security across the organisation with network-enforced access policies and encryption, simplifies IT operations by enabling policy definitions that mirror business rules, based on user, device, application and location, and integrates with Cisco Prime for Enterprise to provide endpoint connectivity management.

"The demand for anytime, anywhere, any device network access has become a workplace mandate but has also introduced new, complex IT challenges," said Marie Hattar, vice-president, Borderless Networks marketing, Cisco.

"By leveraging Cisco's architectural approach, the enhancements announced today span across Cisco's switching, routing, security, wireless and network management portfolios to simplify IT support of this mandate while maintaining corporate security," she said.

Hattar says the tools are designed to address the network demands that come with the proliferation of diverse devices within organisations as well as handle the growth of video.

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