Cisco Secure Workload: Looking Beyond Workload Protection to Internet of Things (IoT) Devices

Cisco Secure Workload (CSW) use cases go well beyond traditional workload protection on premise or in the cloud. It can help organizations address zero trust across the enterprise whether it is a Macro segmentation project, or the need to secure Internet of Things (IoT) devices where there is no ability to deploy an agent.


IoT Environment

Though most people don't tend to immediately consider CSW as a solution for IoT security, it's quite helpful here. CSW can collect flow data from network switches connected to the IoT devices, which can then be analyzed within the CSW platform. In IoT environments that include endpoints with custom operating systems where a user may not be able to deploy an agent on the actual end point, you can leverage the ability of switches to mirror traffic to CSW. Typically, in Cisco environments we use the Encapsulated Remote Switched Port Analyzer (ERSPAN) to deliver traffic to the CSW platform for analysis. With CSW, you'll see all the flows coming and going to those IoT endpoints. Once this data is processed by the CSW AI/ML algorithms you can perform policy analysis and define the "Allowed" flows into and out of the IoT environment. While CSW is not the enforcer in this use case it is a fast path to seeing all the data and providing the policy template to deploy to other enforcement points like Nexus 9K fabrics, firewalls, or good old Access Control Lists (ACL) in the network. Even without an agent, full micro segmentation is possible.

Automation

Manual and time consuming? We think not. BTA's "secret sauce" is our automation capability, which is continuously optimized by our team of CSW analysts and developers. In this case, we use CSW's API to automate and streamline the policy analysis and development processes. The bottom line here is that we are shortening time to value and reducing the people hours required to get to enforcement.

We Make It S.I.M.P.L.E.

Historically we have seen customers take 9-24 months to manually discover, iterate and deploy policy based on incomplete information (e.g., sampled flow data) CSW agents and ERSPAN and collect every flow header for analysis and uses AI/ML to analyze all communication to the workloads. With CSW and BTA's SIMPLE methodology for technology adoption we deliver enforcement for customers in weeks vs months reducing the attack surface of your critical business systems. "We're well ahead of where we would have been without their help, and we're extremely pleased with progress so far. The team we're working with as part of the engagement has been fantastic."-Steve Kitzinger, Director IT, CGB Enterprises S.I.M.P.L.E. is BTA's service delivery methodology for ensuring project success, by defining clear requirements of what equals done for the customer (deliverables, outcomes, test plans and checkpoints throughout the project). Getting clear and defined about how we do something so that it becomes a repeatable process for reduced time to value is how we do business.

To learn more about our SIMPLE process check out: https://gobta.com/simple Why take the long, painful, costly road to implementation when we make it so S.I.M.P.L.E.?

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