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Can Cisco Deliver On Security Strategy?

New leadership makes promises, but some pundits remain skeptical.

After flux in leadership late last year, Cisco kicked off its efforts to reboot its security image at RSA on Monday with a press and analyst event that acted as a sort of debutante affair for a new team headed up by former RSA and VMWare executive Chris Young. But even as the company released a slate of new products, some analysts remain skeptical of the networking giant's vision and execution of security strategy given how the IT landscape has changed.

One person who seems confident in Cisco's ability to deliver security is Young, who joined the company in November 2011 as senior vice president of the Security and Government Group. At the event, Young said the fact that he's the first senior vice president in that position offers proof of Cisco's upper-level management focus on security in every product it delivers.

"What we've brought to the network to what we've done around voice, video and data, I believe we can do a lot of that with security as well and can really make it part of the network fabric. That's a big part of why I'm here," Young said. "Cisco can uniquely deliver the capabilities that no other company can bring because we're basically the network, and that's a unique position for us in the industry."

[ See our complete RSA 2012 Security Conference coverage, live from San Francisco.]

He pointed to recent statements by Cisco CEO John Chambers--who was notably absent in favor of Mobile Congress in Barcelona--as a testament to the company's concentration on security. That was a lead-in to Young recommitting to the SecureX architecture laid out by his predecessor, Tom Gillis, at last year's RSA. The gist behind SecureX is that Cisco will leverage its presence at the network level to enforce policy on devices regardless of where they are in the enterprise, who owns the device, or whether there is even a user driving that device.

"Last year Cisco announced SecureX. I wasn't here so I can't take credit for it, but it really resonated with me because I think it made perfect sense," he said.

Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

Secure Sockets Layer isn't perfect, but there are ways to optimize it. The new Web Encryption That Works supplement from Dark Reading shows four places to start. (Free registration required.)

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