Cisco is planning to offer a new set of managed, hosted and hybrid e-mail security services to give businesses more choice in defending their networks. Cisco's approach puts them on a path similar to the one vendors such as Symantec and Google are walking.
Cisco Systems has hopped aboard the cloud security train with a set of new managed, hosted and hybrid e-mail security services.
In April, Cisco will launch Cisco IronPort E-mail Security services
with the goal of giving businesses the opportunity to choose from
three different approaches to e-mail security - managed, hosted or
a combination of on-premise and cloud-based security.
"Our strategy is one of really making sure we're able to provide
that best of breed threat operations and threat intelligence in every
form factor," said Keith Valory, director of product management. "We
don't want the customer to have to compromise in terms of their threat
Hence the birth of Cisco IronPort Hosted E-mail Security, Hybrid
Hosted E-mail Security and Managed E-mail Security services. But with
other vendors already pushing security in the cloud
, Cisco may face challenges in its latest move.
"Cisco's new hosted e-mail security offering is a good offering, but
doesn't do enough to distinguish them from the other cloud offerings,"
said Forrester Research analyst Chenxi Wang. "The one thing that is
different is that they offer a nice hybrid model, which allows people
to keep certain filtering tasks, such as outbound e-mail filtering, on
Other vendors such as Symantec and Google have been playing in the
cloud for years, she noted, and already have an established presence.
"They have very nice visibility across e-mail and Web," Wang said.
"Cisco's Web visibility is not as extensive as some of the competitors.
Will this win customers away from Symantec, Google, Trend and others?
Perhaps, but I don't see that as a given."
Still, Cisco is moving full steam ahead. With the Cisco IronPort
Hosted E-mail Security Solution, protection is delivered via a
dedicated e-mail infrastructure hosted in a network of Cisco data
centers. Unlike other hosted e-mail security offerings, the Cisco
IronPort offering has no shared infrastructure to offer organizations
maximum uptime while simultaneously protecting sensitive data, Cisco
The hybrid model, meanwhile, allows customers to control inbound
traffic in the cloud, while outbound controls such as data loss
prevention and encryption can be handled on site. Cisco is also
offering a managed service staffed by Cisco e-mail security experts who
remotely manage and monitor customers' e-mail infrastructure.
"Monitoring e-mail is just one task in an ever-growing list of IT
issues we confront on a daily basis," said Richard Rothschild, senior
IT director at TiVo, in a statement. "The Cisco IronPort Managed E-mail
Security service combines the best of the traditional outsourced hosted
model while keeping the appliances on my network."