Apple and the FBI will need to compromise, Cisco's CEO says

Chuck Robbins opposes back doors but sees a need for balance between privacy and national security

Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins gave up a chance to strongly support enterprise mobility partner Apple in its fight with the FBI over iPhone encryption.

Asked about the controversy during a press briefing at Mobile World Congress, Robbins said he doesn't think vendors should put back doors in products. But when it comes to personal privacy versus national security, "There needs to be a balance," he said. Ultimately, the two sides will need to compromise, Robbins said.

"Our situation is completely different" from Apple's, because Cisco's customers make the choice whether and how to use encryption on the company's products, he said.

Cisco partnered with Apple last September in a deal that will let enterprises give iOS devices some priority on Cisco networks. One thing they'll be able to do is put iPhone calls over corporate LANs and track them the way desk phones are logged today for security and regulatory compliance.

The first deliverables from the partnership will come this summer, Robbins said.

Also at the briefing, Robbins pressed one of the major themes of this year's MWC, the Internet of Things, as a chance for Cisco to shine. IoT brings a centrifugal force to the IT universe that plays to Cisco's strengths, he said.

IoT will put more devices and more data at the edges of networks, too far away from centralized cloud data centers for the quick responses needed for things like keeping autonomous cars safe, Robbins said. Getting to the cloud takes too much time for split-second decisions to avoid a crash.

"I don't see a world where 100 percent of everything is sitting in a cloud," he said. Instead, hybrid IT architectures will be critical.

It was a pitch for Cisco's "fog computing" architecture, which provides computing modules close to IoT devices like industrial sensors, and for the company's network-based security technology. Where it used to be enough to protect a network with appliances like firewalls, now security needs to extend all the way to the end device, Robbins said.

IoT is also a replay of Cisco's early days of handling a multitude of protocols, the original reason for the company's first routers. Cellular, Wi-Fi, low-power wireless systems and legacy industrial protocols will all be part of the mix. Cisco announced Tuesday it's working with new partner Ericsson on a 5G router to connect remote assets like cash machines. It sells 4G routers today.

At the show, the companies have also introduced Dynamic Service Manager, a software platform that combines components from each partner and is designed to help carriers roll out new networks more quickly.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applefbiMWC 2016

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.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

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?