Threat Detection

Threat Detection with Cisco

Cisco have a long standing reputation as a networking vendor or choice and one area they are currently excelling in, is online security. There are a range of tools available, and as ever the 'defense in depth' strategy is your best bet.


The logical starting point is to install an internet facing firewall. The Cisco ASA is one of a number of market leading firewalls (although Meraki also make the MX series of cloud managed security appliances - perfect for the SMB market). The ASA can also be installed with the firePower module, which provides traffic inspection and can provide similar sort of output to netflow analysers

You can link firePower in with your Active Directory setup and see what your users are up to. It can automatically block suspected attacks and includes various levels of security, depending on how security conscious you are. The ability to see what various users are up to on your network is quite enlightening and apart from the security benefit, might help you zero in on those users who spend all day playing Candy Crush Saga.

Cisco ISE is a major aspect of the Cisco security package - this is a highly flexible tool used to authenticate users and devices. It can profile and authenticate against various sources, providing real flexibility in the Authentication, Authorization and Accounting space.

Newer tools are available now too - Cisco Umbrella and Cisco StealthWatch are two tools used to provide part of that defense in depth. They allow you to route DNS requests so you can prevent people getting to a suspect web page in the first place, not just blocking the page as its sent back into your network. StealthWatch enables you to baseline your network for normal behavior and spot anything abnormal - which is essentially the definition of a zero day attack.

The Cisco line up is impressive in its array and its depth. In the end, you need as many tools at your disposal as you can and the above provide a solid starting point.


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