Artificial intelligence

Cisco Launches A New AI-Focused Security Solution

Cisco Systems, the titan of enterprise technology today, launched a new security architecture product designed to use AI to secure clouds, data centres, and other IT environments.

TakeAway Points:

  • Cisco unveiled HyperShield, a new security solution, on Thursday that employs artificial intelligence (AI) to safeguard data, devices, and apps across data centres, clouds, and physical sites.
  • The action comes after business tech giant Cisco paid $28 billion to acquire Splunk earlier this year.
  • Jeetu Patel, the executive vice president of Cisco, stated that ChatGPT and other innovative digital AI tools were taken into consideration when designing HyperShield.

Cisco unveils HyperShield

According to a corporate news release, the software, named HyperShield, employs artificial intelligence (AI) to safeguard apps, devices, and data across public and private data centres, clouds, and physical locations.

HyperShield is the company’s second acquisition after purchasing cybersecurity startup Splunk for $28 billion last year. Splunk competes with companies such as DataDog, Elastic, SolarWinds, and Dynatrace. With its introduction, Cisco and Nvidia will be able to manage and secure AI infrastructure together even more.

According to the report, Cisco has a great opportunity to establish itself as a major participant in artificial intelligence at a time when major tech companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are investing billions to become leaders in the field.

“This is not a product, but a new architecture—the first version of something new,” Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration, said an interview this week.

Similar trends are being followed by other brands. Recently, Hewlett Packard Enterprise revealed plans to integrate new, large-scale AI models into its Aruba networking company. Meanwhile, VMware, a part of Broadcom, unveiled a solution designed to enable businesses to employ generative AI products safely and securely.

HyperShield Functionality

According to Patel, HyperShield acts as a “shield for security,” taking security straight to the objects that require protection.

According to Patel, the system functions more like a “fabric” than a “fence,” providing cyber workers with improved visibility of software vulnerabilities across apps.

The autonomous segmentation feature of the solution is designed to assist enterprises in preventing security lapses and breaches. In order to increase performance and security, it enables Cisco’s AI to partition a computer network into smaller sections.

Another feature that enables organisations to automate the testing and deployment of upgrades is self-qualifying upgrades.

When modernising their systems, Patel added, companies that work with vital infrastructure—like oil rigs, internet of things (IoT) devices, and hospital MRI machines—need to exercise extra caution.

HyperShield in Line with AI Technology

According to Patel, the architecture of Cisco’s HyperShield technology took into consideration the emerging field of digital AI helpers, such as ChatGPT, Google Gemini, and other cutting-edge technologies.

“We’re moving from a world of scarcity to a world of abundance, with digital AI assistants for everything. Those assistants live in data centres.” Patel said.

“So when you consider the increase in requirements that this places on the data centre, and how we build for that, there is a need to rearchitect, not build more of the same,” Patel added.

He pointed out that the lack of a security architecture such as HyperShield in the past was due to the fact that most industry architectures were developed at a time before the advent of contemporary applications and technologies like generative AI.

According to Patel, it presently takes about four days for a network vulnerability to be found before it is exploited, and it takes an additional 45 days on average to patch it.

He claimed that in order to find and fix vulnerabilities, which would otherwise take days to fix, new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are required.

“Previously, you had to work on the assumption that a breach had happened, [and that] once someone was in, there was lateral movement that you had to identify before you could respond. We need to move to a position where we can predict and respond.” Patel mentioned.

Concerns for Investors

Meanwhile, in the past 12 months, Cisco shares have underperformed compared to the Nasdaq, declining by almost 5% year over year while the tech-heavy index has increased by more than 30%.

Comparing it to the entire sector over the last five years, it has been an even worse investment. During that time, the stock has lost 14%, lagging the Nasdaq’s 95% increase.

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