Cisco’s Hypershield coming in August

Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration at Cisco

LAS VEGAS — Partners waiting to get their hands on what Cisco calls “the most consequential innovation in 40 years” for the company in cybersecurity won’t have to wait much longer.

In his Tuesday morning keynote at the company’s Cisco Live event here, Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration at Cisco, said HyperShield will be available in August.

“HyperShield is the first AI-scale cloud native highly-distributed infrastructure for security, the first version of something new,” Patel said of the upcoming offering. “We’ve melted security into the fabric of the network, and we can distribute that from hundreds to thousands, to hundreds of thousands of enforcement points on the network.”

HyperShield uses Extended Berkley Packet Filters to examine any packet seen by any device running the technology. As it can run in the Linux kernel space, it can be run anywhere from a router to a mobile device and virtually within a container. It’s Cisco’s attempt to move from a more centralized security platform to one that can scale out in the same way hyperscalers have built their networks.

Patel said it addresses three significant security challenges: how hard it is to segment the network, challenges with patching only within minimal windows allowed to acceptable downtime and securing things outside the data centre.

The company says HyperShield will make segmentation nearly instantaneous. It describes it as solving the need to implement patches quickly by essentially virtualizing the process, meaning that “patches” can be rolled out. At the same time, systems remain up, much more in time with the rapid pace of exploits that threat actors bring today.

“Up until now, it was very hard to solve that in an elegant manner, but now it’s very solvable because there’s a core set of building blocks that make it all possible,” Patel said.

Brian Feeney, vice president of global security partner sales, stressed that HyperShield is new and opening new opportunities for partners.

“Our partners have great strength in both the network and security, so there’s a wonderful opportunity to bring to their customers something that is brand new to the market and really addresses security in a different way,” Feeney said.

He stressed that, like all modern Cisco products, HyperShield was designed to meet the needs and wants of partners, particularly managed service providers. This is important because processes like patch and update management are often a core part of the services MSPs provide customers. As well as offering a new way to offer familiar services, Feeney said HyperShield would present an opportunity for partners to add their services on top of the new platform.

Patel also announced that the company will work with AMD to support the company’s Pendando data accelerator hardware within HyperShield.

“Now you’ve really gone out and distributed security not only in software, but you’re distributing it into the hardware as well,” Patel said, adding that the company would be extending this type of integration to other chip providers, including Intel.

Robert Dutt

Robert Dutt is the founder and head blogger at He has been covering the Canadian solution provider channel community for a variety of publications and Web sites since 1997. 

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