The past two years unleashed the full force of a cloud-based evolution. Overnight, security leaders around the globe were forced to make sense of their new boundary-free environments as they scrambled to support a remote workforce. And even in a post-pandemic world, many companies still feel woefully under equipped to meet the needs of the emerging hybrid work status quo.
Solving this challenge is no small feat, and bolt-on technology doesn’t address the multi-faceted challenge of shoring up security operations to meet the needs of today and tomorrow. More and more, businesses are embracing a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) approach to security, often turning to Secure Web Gateway (SWG) capabilities to lay the groundwork for better, more flexible security.
So, when solution providers successfully rise to this challenge, industry pundits take note.
Acknowledging the tech leadership of Cisco Umbrella
Leading security market analysts at Frost & Sullivan recently recognized Cisco Secure for enriching the SWG market with a comprehensive, cloud resilient SASE security model to help navigate this ongoing era of unpredictability. Frost & Sullivan honored us with the 2022 Global Secure Web Gateway Enabling Technology Leadership Award as part of their annual Best Practices technology award suite acknowledging outstanding achievements and performers in leadership, innovation, customer service, and strategic product development.
The focal point of this technology award is Cisco Umbrella Secure Internet Gateway (SIG), which Frost & Sullivan praised for being a flexible and scalable security framework that integrates and consolidates multiple solutions into a single cloud service. In addition to SWG functionality, Umbrella also incorporates cloud-delivered firewall, DNS-layer security, cloud access security broker (CASB), and threat intelligence.
In its award write up, Frost & Sullivan called out Cisco for our differentiation across multiple criteria, including commitment to innovation, application diversity, commercialization success, stage gate efficiency (essentially the customer journey), brand equity and customer ownership. All of these, says the analyst firm, are necessary for SWG vendors to be successful.
Setting the bar for SWG solution providers
The SWG marketplace is awash in vendor solutions, and this makes differentiation vitally important. In presenting the technology award, Frost & Sullivan also pointed out the capabilities and scope that SWG vendors must meet to distinguish themselves in this highly competitive marketplace. Several of these are worth a closer look.
Hybrid workforces, blurred boundaries and multiplying endpoints have complicated the work of security professionals struggling to provide employees with secure access to networks and applications. But that work is more important than ever. By 2023, the number of connected devices will total three times the number of humans on the planet.
At Cisco, we know how vital it is to meet that challenge–reliably, and at scale, which is why we’re proud to note that Umbrella has delivered 100% business uptime in its DNS security service since its 2006 inception. And because Umbrella SIG Essentials/Advantage run on this foundation, it possesses the same qualities and benefits.
Umbrella uses Anycast routing to ensure all of our 38-plus data centers around the globe are available under the same single IP address, with requests transparently sent to the nearest, fastest data center, with automatic failover.
“As customers scale up workloads and add more and more endpoints, a vendor must be able to increase throughput at any given moment. The challenge for a security vendor is to provide scalable and rock‐solid cloud delivery with minimal down‐time and latency.”– Frost & Sullivan, Cisco 2022 Enabling Technology Leader
We agree with this assessment because cybercriminals work from everywhere. The global cloud architecture that underpins Cisco Umbrella is designed to allow us to serve customers of all sizes and in all our service areas. In fact, organizations worldwide trust Cisco Secure to protect 840,000 networks, 67 million mailboxes, and 87 million endpoints.
“A SWG vendor needs a large number of Points‐of‐Presence (PoPs) and must cover a broad global footprint to meet the data privacy regulations in various countries and regions.”– Frost & Sullivan, Cisco 2022 Enabling Technology Leader
Tight integration and unified environments
The days of siloed point solutions are over. Tight, seamless integration across all elements of security has become a business imperative, especially as organizations migrate more of their operations to hybrid, multi-cloud environments.
Cisco Umbrella is not only tightly integrated across our entire Cisco Secure product portfolio – the building blocks of our unified platform for end-to-end security – but our robust APIs also enable integration with leading third-party services and solutions. Frost & Sullivan recognizes that at Cisco, SWG “is an integral component of the company’s SASE journey.”
“To compete effectively a SWG vendor must develop a broad portfolio for an integrated platform. Customers seek scalable frameworks that integrate and consolidate multiple security solutions and services on one platform. Vendors must meet the challenge of delivering a SWG that seamlessly integrates with other security solutions.”– Frost & Sullivan, Cisco 2022 Enabling Technology Leader
A proud moment
This is a proud moment for us, not only because distinguished technology thought leaders called us out as an industry leader, but because this recognition is a sign that our vision for security is taking shape industry wide–a vision characterized by open integration, simplicity, and resilience.
We’re proud that our investments in these solutions are paying dividends both in the marketplace and among influential analysts who have the ear of enterprises everywhere. But most importantly, we’re committed to continuing to innovate and expand our solution set to benefit our customers everywhere.