Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Cisco Webex triples capacity and doubles down on security

Cisco has revealed its video conferencing platform Webex will receive a host of new security facilities designed to better reflect the new business reality, amid an unprecedented surge in demand.

At Cisco Live! 2020, the firm announced it would build upon existing security facilities by extending its data loss prevention (DLP) retention, Legal Hold and eDiscovery to Webex Meetings.

The service will also see AES 256 Bit encryption with GCM mode added to its end-to-end encryption options - a move designed to deliver superior protection for meeting data and resistance to tampering.

The company also revealed it has scaled Webex’s global capacity dramatically in recent weeks, and is now running the service at three times the previous capacity. The platform supported half a billion meeting participants in April alone, accounting for 25 billion meeting minutes.

Future of work

Speaking during the opening keynote of Cisco Live! 2020, CEO Chuck Robbins addressed the dramatic changes to ways of working brought about by the pandemic - and squeezed into a mere three months.

He acknowledged the challenges businesses faced in transitioning the entire workforce to a new environment, but also called for a commitment to further acceleration of the transformation process.

“I think this is the opportunity, this is the time to build out a more robust technology infrastructure to prepare for what’s next, because we don’t know what will come next,” Robbins said.

“What we know is possible now versus what we believed 6 months will fundamentally change how we think about work in the future. Period.”

“It’s time to think about how our wider network architecture really needs to change, based on these incredibly different traffic flows we see today, versus the way they were when we architected this infrastructure 15-20 years ago.”

Like competitors Zoom and Microsoft Teams, Cisco was well-positioned to capitalize on the sudden dependence on cloud-based collaboration services.

Having scaled rapidly to match the explosion in demand, the firm is now looking to cement its position with a heightened emphasis on security - an issue that has defined recent debates around video collaboration.

“When it comes to business meetings, learning in classrooms, doctors appointments, government hearings - those need safeguarding,” said Javed Khan, VP and GM of Cisco’s Collaboration Group.

“Security has to be core to who you are as a company. It is not something that can be bolted on top as an afterthought.”

According to the firm, dynamism defines the new enterprise environment, and security measures should reflect this new reality.

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