Cisco Lights a Fire in Its Security Business

VIDEO: Martin Roesch, VP and chief architect of Cisco's Security Business Group, discusses how things are going two years after his company Sourcefire was acquired by Cisco.

In 2013, Cisco acquired Martin Roesch's company Sourcefire for $2.7 billion, and since then Sourcefire's technology has become a foundation for Cisco's network security portfolio. Today, Roesch is still with Cisco, serving as vice president and chief architect of Cisco's Security Business Group.

In a video interview with eWEEK, Roesch explains why he believes in Cisco and how nearly three years after his company was acquired, he's more energized then ever. At the core of Sourcefire's original business is intrusion prevention system (IPS) technology, which is a class of network security that has now evolved into a next generation. Cisco's new Firepower next-generation firewall (NGFW) technology integrates multiple sets of capabilities including some that in the past only existed on IPS with Firewall capabilities.

While some in the security industry decry the utility of firewalls, Roesch still sees the technology as serving a critical function. In his view, the firewall still plays a role in helping to control a network and, when threats are detected, to help protect an enterprise. From a terminology perspective, IPS and firewall can sometimes be two separate technologies, though that's not quite how Roesch is positioning Cisco's Firepower approach.

"The way we look at it is as a threat-centric next-generation firewall," Roesch said.

A key pillar of Roesch's strategy for security is to help organizations automate responses as opposed to just providing a detection capability for threats.

"All detection has a fundamental value associated with it, which is multiplied by the efficacy of the response that is available," Roesch said.

After being part of Cisco for nearly three years after the Sourcefire acquisition, Roesch remains impressed and committed to Cisco.

"There is a very big opportunity that we think is unique to Cisco, to attack big problems and make a dent in them," Roesch said. "There is some really cool stuff going on at Cisco."

Watch the full video interview with Martin Roesch below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.