In the wake of ongoing cyberattacks, highlighted recently by ransomware assaults, companies are being forced to pay more attention than ever – in dollars and intellectual capital – to fight back. Cisco sees an opportunity, stepping up its security offerings. And CEO Chuck Robbins warns that centralized solutions won’t work in the days of IoT and cloud.

In a conference call with analysts Wednesday to discuss the tech giant’s latest earnings report, Robbins labeled centralized security as “hair pinning.”

Won’t work any more.

“[I]f you think about how our customers are building their IT infrastructure or how their IT assets are being deployed, they are in a massively distributed mode and they are trying to navigate and manage technology assets spanning from the public cloud to connected vehicles, connected mining operations, all the way back to their private data center over to SaaS applications, so the architecture of sort of hair pinning all that stuff back to a central point in the enterprise is not going to be sustainable,” Robbins explained.

“Therefore, we see our customers transitioning to a fundamentally new architecture that’s enabled by the network and that’s why they are moving to the security architecture because as I said, our teams have built this strategy where you have to deploy security everywhere which is at the endpoint in the network in the cloud.”

Cisco has had its own problems. It recently conceded a snafu in its cloud offerings, leadling to hits on customers.

And the tech firm, which operates one of its largest campuses in RTP, recently acquired a cloud security tech company to add to its security arsenal.

Robbins says Cisco is seeing more demand for distributed security offerings as the onslaught of cyberattacks continues.

“And I think as it relates to some of the attacks, I don’t remember the number exactly last quarter or the quarter before relative to our threat – new threat customers that we have, the Amp customers, but I believe the 7,600 discussed this quarter was a pretty significant increase over what we saw during a quarter over the last two quarters,” Robbins said,”and I think that’s probably related to not only the architectural buy-end that our customers have but also the fact that that solution was pretty resilient during the recent ransom ware attacks.”

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