A couple of months ago Cisco released the Webex Extended Security Pack. Given how important the question of cloud security is to most organisations, we’ve had plenty of interest. Now that a little time has passed, I think it’s worth reiterating some of the reasons why this update is so significant…

Here in EMEAR, as elsewhere, you tend to see varying levels of confidence in embracing cloud solutions. Customers recognise the benefits of moving to Cloud, as they are all looking for faster time-to-market and distributed decision-making. However, front-of-mind for most of them is the question of cloud security. As has been noted in a recent McKinsey report, as responsibility for securing solutions shifts from customers to vendors, it is crucial that customers feel confident in the level of security provided.

Cisco’s recent update allows organisations to extend the protection delivered by Cisco Security solutions right into Cisco Webex. By using a CASB solution – a Cloud Access Security Broker such as Cloudlock and products such as Talos ClamAV – we leverage the strength of our industry leading Security Portfolio and apply it to our collaboration solutions.

Not only does this extension improve our customers’ security – it also reinforces a principle central to Cisco’s collaboration offerings – that of ensuring frictionless meetings (and therefore ensuring better business interactions).

Take the example of cross-company interactions: ‘Business’ as the old adage goes, ‘is done with people’. The more seamlessly you can collaborate with those in other companies – whether customers, partners or suppliers – the better the result. With this combined solution, any CISO (and his legal or Infosec department) can allow for the definition and implementation of a compliance policy or a secure answer to an imposed industry regulation, and can then apply that immediately across all of his estate in a user-friendly way. In other words, the process becomes frictionless.

When a user interacts with a rogue agent from within or outside of the company, everyone is protected. And this includes protection against “accidental” clicking on friendly-looking URLs or installation of unwanted software (some of the biggest security risks in today’s organisations).

When Cisco release the extended Security Pack , an EMEAR customer (Wacker Chemie AG) saw immediately its advantages and adopt it. This was his feedback:

“The new Webex Extended Security Pack gives us the protection we need to confidently enable cross-company interactions and collaboration with our customers, partners and suppliers. The Cloudlock CASB functionality is very easy to deploy and it provides critical data loss prevention for our internal and external spaces. This allowed us to deliver a great user experience on an open, modern collaboration platform while still protecting important files and content. We are very excited about the upcoming anti-malware capabilities that will be included in the bundle that will protect us from Trojans, viruses, and ransomware – even when files are introduced by external users.”

–Jens Uhle, Solution Architect and Global Project ManagerUnified Communications, Wacker Chemie AG”

And this is really what it’s all about. Whatever enhancements we release, be they to enhance security, performance, workflow, look-and-feel, all have the same end-goal in mind of making our tools fade into the background, ensuring work becomes as seamless, productive, and secure as possible.

For further detail on this announcement, or to engage with us, please see Cisco’s earlier announcement, ‘Cisco Extends Webex Security Options Without Compromising User Experience’.