Cisco Revamps Security for Data Centers and Clouds

Cisco, the leader in security and networking, revealed a new approach to securing data centers and clouds in response to the increasing demands the AI revolution has put on IT infrastructure—introducing Cisco Hypershield.

According to the company, with this unprecedented innovation, Cisco is tipping the scales in favor of defenders, building on its recent announcements to accelerate AI infrastructure with Cisco's ethernet switching, silicon, and compute portfolio.

Cisco Hypershield protects applications, devices, and data across public and private data centers, clouds and physical locations—anywhere customers need it. Designed and built with AI in mind from the start, Hypershield enables organizations to achieve security outcomes beyond what has been possible with humans alone, according to the company.

"Cisco Hypershield is one of the most significant security innovations in our history," said Chuck Robbins, Cisco chair and CEO. "With our data advantage and strength in security, infrastructure and observability platforms, Cisco is uniquely positioned to help our customers harness the power of AI."

Hypershield is built with technology originally developed for hyperscale public clouds and is now available for enterprise IT teams of all sizes. More a fabric than a fence, Hypershield enables security enforcement to be placed everywhere it needs to be. This new technology blocks application exploits in minutes and stops lateral movement in its tracks.

"AI has the potential to empower the world's 8 billion people to have the same impact as 80 billion. With this abundance, we must reimagine the role of the data center—how data centers are connected, secured, operated, and scaled," said Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager for security and collaboration at Cisco. "The power of Cisco Hypershield is that it can put security anywhere you need it—in software, in a server, or in the future even in a network switch. When you have a distributed system that could include hundreds of thousands of enforcement points, simplified management is mission critical. And we need to be orders-of-magnitude more autonomous, at an orders-of-magnitude lower cost."

Security enforcement with Hypershield happens at three different layers: in software, in virtual machines, and in network and compute servers and appliances, leveraging the same powerful hardware accelerators that are used extensively in high-performance computing and hyperscale public clouds.

Hypershield was built on three key pillars:

  • AI-Native: Built and designed from the start to be autonomous and predictive, Hypershield manages itself once it earns trust, making a hyper-distributed approach at scale possible.
  • Cloud-Native: Hypershield is built on open source eBPF, the default mechanism for connecting and protecting cloud-native workloads in the hyperscale cloud. Cisco acquired the leading provider of eBPF for enterprises, Isovalent, earlier this month.
  • Hyper-Distributed: Cisco is completely reimagining how traditional network security works by embedding advanced security controls into servers and the network fabric itself. Hypershield spans all clouds and leverages hardware acceleration like Data Processing Units (DPU) to analyze and respond to anomalies in application and network behavior. It shifts security closer to the workloads that need protection.

Cisco, with its industry-leading expertise in networking, security, and extensive partner ecosystem, together with NVIDIA, is committed to building and optimizing AI-native security solutions to protect and scale the data centers of tomorrow.

This collaboration includes leveraging the NVIDIA Morpheus cybersecurity AI framework for accelerated network anomaly detection, as well as NVIDIA NIM microservices for powering custom security AI assistants for the enterprise. NVIDIA's class of converged accelerators combine the power of GPU and DPU computing, to augment Cisco Hypershield with robust security from cloud to edge.

"Enterprises across all industries are seeking the security that can protect them against ever expanding cyber threats," said Kevin Deierling, senior vice president of networking at NVIDIA. "Together, Cisco and NVIDIA are leveraging the power of AI to deliver powerful, incredibly secure data center infrastructure that will enable enterprises to transform their businesses and benefit customers everywhere."

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