Cisco communicates with the “new normality”

IT NewsSecurity News

Max Wolf | 06/20/2020

Cisco announced advanced technologies designed for the “new normality” – that is, those foundations of life that we have to live after the pandemic. Ads were made in
Cisco Annual Conference
Live. IN 2020 event attracted 124 thousand participants – three times more than a year earlier.

The main news was about updating the SD-WAN architecture for Intent Based Networks (IBNs), User Defined Networks and
Webex collaboration platforms.


All changes are directly related to the new realities faced by customers, primarily large corporations. Their corporate networks, with the introduction of remote work radically
transformed in a matter of days, and after the abolition of self-isolation and the introduction of distance rules in offices, they continue to mutate at an incredible speed. Including – due to strict
regulations governing the location and disinfection of rooms, and also because of the connection to networks of new classes of various IoT devices. The habits that
formed by users during their work in the home office, who migrated to regular offices. One of them is the preserved priority of online communication over face-to-face meetings, which remains even after
returning people to their former office buildings.

Following trends and demands, Cisco offers new automation features to improve user experience and simplify IT services. For the latter, always comes first
safety. It was upgraded by integrating the Cisco SD-WAN architecture with the Cisco Umbrella cloud service, which includes SWG secure web gateway features, DNS layer security, a firewall, and a broker
secure cloud access CASB. This helped protect enterprises from all major web attacks related to SaaS and Internet access.

Security can be monitored by both network administrators and artificial intelligence, as well as by the users themselves. Thanks to the User Defined Network application, they were given the opportunity to safely
connect your gadgets, as well as decide which devices can connect to their personal network space.


Starting in July, Cisco will expand the analytical capabilities of DNA Center by giving AI the authority to collect data on previously uncontrolled devices, classify them, and, in accordance with practices and
regulations – give access to the necessary network sections. At the same time, the AI ​​used in DNA Center, when analyzing the potential danger of network devices, will rely not only on data about themselves
devices, but also on the traffic generated by them, as well as on those changes that their work brings. Including – in the operation of operating systems.

Also in July, Cisco will replenish the DNA Spaces toolkit with an up-to-date and retrospective analysis function designed to monitor jobs in order to comply with social recommendations
distancing. Customers will be able to control the density of visitors in the premises – to plan effective work and compliance with sanitary safety standards.

In addition, Cisco DNA Spaces will offer IoT for the first time since July – as an indoor service (Indoor IoT-as-a-Service) based on Wi-Fi 6 access points. This should help companies quickly, economically
Deploy and scale IoT applications. Moreover, Cisco DNA Spaces will now fall under the control of previously non-Bluetooth devices (BLE).

Going back from network architecture updates to the Webex corporate communications platform, several key points can be noted.

First, Cisco has managed to cope with the tremendously increased volumes of traffic that jumped during the pandemic. The company over the past spring has significantly increased the capabilities of the infrastructure serving
Webex users. This was a non-trivial task, considering that even before the pandemic, Webex was considered the largest corporate communications platform, despite the fact that back in January 2020, remote access
actively used by no more than 20% of company employees. And in April, this figure increased to 90%, traffic increased 3.5 times, while users on Webex video conferences alone
spent 25 billion minutes.

The traffic was raised, including by doctors, including because Webex was quickly integrated with Epic, an American medical information platform that stores data of 250 million
patients. The streamlined exchange of Webex and Epic data allows Webex Teams users to conduct a video call session with the patient, view the medical history and make the necessary entries in the medical
the documentation. At the same time, patients do not need to download any applications – to get help, just register using a browser in a secure session.

The demand for Webex from doctors, including for telemedicine services, is also due to high safety standards. Which came from corporate communications and polished on
over a long period – today 95% of Fortune 500 companies trust the Cisco Collaboration platform. Despite the fact that corporate communications security standards have been used before
Webex were high, Cisco called the measures taken to increase it – unprecedented. Developers, using built-in defense mechanisms, have expanded the policies to prevent loss and
data security and storage of legally relevant documents at Webex Meetings. This provides a new level of security for the entire content of remote meetings: recordings,
transcriptions, planned events and key decisions. In addition, end-to-end encryption options have been expanded, including AES 256 encryption with GCM mode, which provides even greater
the safety of advisory data and protects against unauthorized interference.

According to a survey conducted by Cisco analysts, companies today are concerned about two main questions: how to maximize the efficiency of supporting remote personnel and how to provide a more secure
deliberative environment in the office. In response to them, the developers proposed an updated Cisco Webex Control Hub with intelligent analytics. It allows you to manage all from a single panel
workloads, regardless of where employees are located – at home or in the office.

Webex users, who have also not been forgotten, are assigned the Webex Assistant, which allows you to control various processes with your voice and create structured transcripts of meetings,
deciphering audio messages of the participants into the text. The Russian language, however, is not yet supported by an assistant and this year, most likely will not be available, but plans for a more distant
the future, however, judging by the statements of top managers of the Russian office of Cisco, it is included.

In Russia, the popularity of Webex in 2020 grew not by 3.5 times, as in the world as a whole, but by several orders of magnitude. But, as explained by Maxim Repin, head of the Russian division of Cisco
promoting technology for collaboration, such an explosive growth of the product was primarily affected by the low base. As well as the fact that the company offered corporate customers for free
use the solution within 90 days. At the same time, they practically did not limit the scope of organization of conferences of potential customers, which made the communication platform available
for any, even the largest organizations.

As Maxim Repin specified for IT News, the number of testing projects (more precisely, the free use of a full, in fact, version of Webex) initiated over the past months has exceeded 700. In
in the middle of summer, the mentioned 90 days will end, and companies will have to decide whether to switch to the paid version. And, judging by the negotiations, many customers do not plan to abandon the test
Webex platforms will replace the “probe” with a full-fledged commercial solution.

To the main trump cards of the Webex platform, which allows you to compete with Zoom and any other applications, including Russian developments, Maxim Repin attributed security, functionality (including
availability in the Webex Tools corporate communications platform) and product price. Which, according to the top manager, is surprisingly competitive.

Remote work

Hot topics: Remote Tools



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