Firewalls have long operated on the model of providing deep packet inspection in order to protect IT assets. Deep packet inspection, however, has often lacked a key attribute: context awareness. Cisco is now advancing its context awareness agenda with the release of the ASA CX upgrade for its hardware firewall portfolio.
The ASA CX is part of Cisco’s overall SecureX initiative that was first announced a year ago. SecureX is now being expanded with enhanced capabilities to Cisco’s TrustSec security architecture.
“The story on TrustSec is we’re moving it forward deeper into the network and the objective is to have TrustSec as a pervasive service on the network,” Bill McGee, manager for Cisco’s Security Solutions team, told InternetNews.com. “It really strengthens the network’s ability to recognized and protect itself against threats.”
Cisco first announced the TrustSec initiative back in 2007. The general idea behind TrustSec is to be a super set of network access control (NAC) enabling identification and security control for all devices on a network.
Cisco is also delivering new software and hardware for the ASA firewall lineup that builds on TrustSec to provide more context awareness. The ASA CX software update is available for the Cisco’s top-end ASA 5585 appliance and is being included on a new series of mid-range ASA devices.