Five years ago, the Cisco Security Technology Alliance (CSTA) launched with 22 partners and 22 product integrations.
Fast-forward to today, and it now includes more than 160 partners representing more than 280 product platform integrations. Fifty-seven new technology integrations and 23 net-new vendor partners were unveiled this week.
Scott Pope, dSecurity Technical Alliances Ecosystem, tells Channel Partners this is the largest and broadest CSTA announcement to date.
“Back when we started, it was one integration per partner, and now we’re getting up to an average of two integrations per partner,” he said. “All the things we use, APIs and integration frameworks, to integrate with our third-party partners we also use to integrate our own Cisco security products. So because of that integrated architecture, partners can integrate with one of our products and in a sense become part of that architecture. So I think what’s driven it is when you integrate to Cisco, you’re integrating to a security architecture, not to an individual product.”
These integrations span more than 15 technology areas from security orchestration, analytics and reporting (SOAR) systems, and deception technologies, to IoT visibility platforms that together bolster a customer’s cyber defenses, Pope said.
Cisco also unveiled a new version of its pxGrid security integration fabric, which is “how we integrate our own Cisco products to talk to each other, but also how we integrate our ecosystem partners to talk to Cisco products as well,” he said. The new version makes integration easier, he said.
Among the pxGrid integrations are: Acalvio ShadowPlex for threat containment; Armis for visibility and control over any device including unmanaged devices like Bluetooth peripherals, IoT devices and rogue access points; and Blackridge Technology to extend software defined perimeters to private and public clouds, IoT and other network environments.
The strategy behind CSTA is open integrations, as opposed to being a one-stop, already integrated solution.
“I’ve been in network security for 20 years now and one thing that’s remained constant throughout is security is definitely a multi-vendor affair for our customers,” Pope said. “Cisco is probably as close as anyone to doing this, but not everybody makes everything. Even Cisco with our broad portfolio of network security, we don’t have all the technologies, we don’t do vulnerability management, we don’t do security information management. There are newer technologies that are sort of on the cusp of going mainstream like user behavior analysis, we don’t do that. So there’s no vendor that’s going to be all things to all people.”
There’s strength in working with other vendors, and not just from the perspective of working with vendors whose technologies aren’t represented in Cisco’s security portfolio, he said.
“But even in our ecosystem, we work with…