Cisco fights to keep No. 1 spot in network security

Latest tests raise question about Cisco software modules

Stiennon says Cisco's security is not actually "integrated, except on the purchase order, because for years and years they haven't delivered on an effective central management platform for the enterprise." Customers are stuck managing the security functions from different consoles anyway even if it's inside the switch or router, he says.

Some security managers in organizations with large Cisco networks are searching for the middle ground, open to using products from Cisco or the pure-play security vendors competing in IPS, UTM, firewall/VPNs and also network-access control.

James Perry is executive director of IT security and information security officer for the University of Tennessee. Cisco routers and switches provide the university's network foundation, but the five main campuses each went their own way in choosing a network security path. A variety of Check Point, Juniper, TippingPoint, Cisco appliances co-exist on the Cisco router and switch network, and logged security data is consolidated through an ArcSight system.

The Knoxville campus a few years ago tried testing the Cisco firewall services module when it was still new, but Perry says it didn't work well at the time for the data center, so the university decided on the Juniper NetScreen 5400 instead.

That's not to say Perry is opposed to services modules or Cisco security gear, and other campuses at the school use Cisco's  multipurpose Adaptive Security Appliance, which combines security functions.

"It all depends on the goals of your project," says Perry, who's starting a network access control evaluation for the university to enforce policy-based access for students and staff. Candidates with NAC-style options under review are TippingPoint, Juniper, Cisco and Microsoft, among others.

Cisco's success in the security market is unlikely to abruptly slow down, says Andrew Hanson, associate research analyst for network security and endpoint security at IDC. But he notes that the firewall market, where Cisco dominates, is expected to start declining this year, possibly displaced by multipurpose UTM-style products.

Will Cisco be able to hold the security fort? "Cisco is a giant and is always going to be a player," Hanson says.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags network securitycisco

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ellen Messmer

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?