Cisco unveils innovations towards AI-driven, cross-domain security platform

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Cisco unveiled at Cisco Live in Amsterdam new innovations within the Cisco Security Cloud as part of its mission to simplify security. Cisco Identity Intelligence and continued innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities are the latest milestones towards its vision of a unified, AI-driven, cross-domain security platform.

Cisco is introducing an industry-first approach that brings together identity, networking and security to better protect organizations’ complex identity stack against increasingly sophisticated attacker techniques.

Today there is blind trust between authentication and access solutions, and threat actors have successfully compromised some of the largest organizations in the world in 2023 by targeting these weaknesses. In fact, more than 26% of all Cisco Talos Incident Response engagements in 2023 involved adversaries using compromised credentials on valid accounts.

A user is often mapped to many digital identities and accounts – drastically increasing entry points for attackers and the possibility of lateral movement “across” identities. Too often legacy permissions have not been removed, and security teams are missing crucial context about historical identity behavior, actions across systems and current risk levels that are needed to make trusted access decisions.

Cisco Identity Intelligence runs on top of customers’ existing identity stores and provides unified visibility, as well as AI-driven analytics. Customers can discover their whole identity population, clean up vulnerable accounts, eliminate unused and risky privileges, detect behavior anomalies and block high-risk access attempts – without ripping and replacing their current solutions.

While multifactor authentication (MFA) remains a critical first line of defense against identity-based attacks, malicious actors are using new and creative ways to steal credentials. According to the 2024 Duo Trusted Access Report, Cisco Duo processed 16 billion authentications in 2023, up 41% annually, and saw weaker forms of MFA like SMS and phone calls dip to an all-time low of 5%, yet the volume of identity attacks is higher than ever.

“Identity management is the cornerstone of security. Cisco Identity Intelligence brings an innovative solution to our region, offering unified visibility and AI-driven analytics that empower organizations to defend against identity-based attacks. By bridging the gap between authentication and access, Cisco is equipping enterprises in the region with the tools needed to safeguard their digital identities and preserve the integrity of their networks,” said Fady Younes, Managing Director for Cybersecurity at Cisco in the Middle East and Africa.

Cisco Identity Intelligence is built on a powerful identity graph that pulls data from customers’ many existing third-party sources that manage identity and access. With AI-driven behavioral analytics and Cisco’s unmatched reach into the network, organizations can take a graduated response, such as quarantining an identity, killing active sessions or isolating the network leveraging Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE). Cisco customers will gain visibility with these critical insights through their existing solutions, including:

  • Smart Authentication with Cisco Duo: Detect unusual patterns based on behavior and third-party signals.
  • Smart Access with Cisco Secure Access: Verify the authentication decision and block unusual or high-risk behaviors.
  • Smart Threat Detection with Cisco XDR: Correlate identity signals to provide missing information that traditional endpoint and network security solutions miss.

Cisco Identity Intelligence will be available July 2024. With the addition of Identity Intelligence to the Cisco Security Cloud, customers will get even more value from their existing investments.

Continued AI Momentum

Cisco continues to make AI pervasive across the Cisco Security Cloud to help to tip the scales in favor of defenders, including the recently unveiled Cisco AI Assistant for Security, which helps customers make informed decisions, augment their tool capabilities and automate complex tasks. On the heels of launching the AI Assistant for firewall, today, Cisco’s rapid pace of innovation is on display with additional groundbreaking AI capabilities.

Secure Connectivity

Cisco is integrating its robust Networking capabilities with Cisco Secure Access. Experience Insights, powered by Cisco ThousandEyes, improves productivity for hybrid workers by quickly revealing connectivity and application issues and fostering faster resolution. There is no additional cost for this feature, as it is included in all Secure Access licenses. Cisco Secure Access also now integrates Catalyst SD-WAN, for a complete Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) offering.

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