Cisco Takes On AI Cybersecurity Threats, Launches 'Hypershield'

The tool leverages hyperscaler technology, bringing a fresh data center/cloud security approach.

Moshe Beauford, Contributing Editor

April 18, 2024

3 Min Read
AI cybersecurity threats challenged by Cisco Hypershield
Monster Ztudio/Shutterstock

AI cybersecurity threats are some of the biggest new challenges for IT teams everywhere. Therefore, IT giant Cisco on Thursday announced what it's calling a "radically new approach to securing data centers and clouds, nearly instantaneously."

Cisco says the move is in response to "the increasing demands the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution has put on IT infrastructure."

The new cybersecurity offer − Cisco Hypershield − enables users to insert security in the cloud, data centers, factory floors or even a hospital imaging room. According to the company, enterprises will gain access to self-qualifying software upgrades with zero downtime. 

Leveraging AI-native security, Cisco says customers can harness the offering to autonomously segment networks and benefit from distributed and almost instantaneous exploit protection without a patch. 

All this, Cisco says, is in hopes of "tipping the scales in favor of defenders," an attempt to take on AI cybersecurity threats head-on.

Cisco Targets Verticals to Thwart AI Cybersecurity Threats

Health care cyber consultant Dave Meeker, who heads Bringing Tech 2 You, said that security is a challenge for IT and information security infrastructure, which he believes "suffers" in the health care vertical.

Bringing Tech 2 You's Dave Meeker

"Cisco's computer networks are only as strong as their weakest component," Meeker told Channel Futures, highlighting a security update Cisco made in its health care sector seven years ago. 

"They made the widespread update of health care computer network switches and related components because they were vulnerable to outside disruptions," said Meeker.

Meeker sees the update as "the starting point of these kinds of hardware/software updates," warning they will most likely occur more frequently.

AI has thrown a monkey wrench at IT, Meeker shared.

"AI has given many features to the tech world, but in some cases, it has given the upper hand to threat actors," he noted.

Partners Will Play Key Role in Cisco Hypershield Salest 

"Cisco's introduction of Cisco Hypershield is not only a positive and significant advancement in securing data centers and cloud environments but also presents substantial benefits for channel partners," said Krishna Rajagopal, CEO of cybersecurity firm Akati Sekurity.

Rajagopal added that Cisco's novel approach to blocking AI cybersecurity threats "reflects the need of the hour in the evolving cybersecurity landscape." Particularly, he told us, "with the growth of AI workloads in data centers that demand robust and scalable security solutions."

A partner-ripe offer, Cisco Hypershield is what Rajagopal called "a forward-thinking solution that seeks to integrate security deeply into the infrastructure layer." 

Akati Sekurity's Krishna Rajagopal

He further noted that this remains crucial as AI applications can significantly expand the attack surface of IT systems.

"By embedding security at the infrastructure layer, Cisco is enhancing the foundational security posture and making it inherently difficult for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities at these critical touch points," Rajagopal explained.

Cisco's Motivations Appear Much Grander

Cisco likely has grander aspirations than a straightforward product release. 

Above: Channel Futures TV's James Anderson talks with Cisco's Brad Feldman at the 2024 Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Rajagopal reasons that building security into the company's hardware components can help enforce more granular security policies that reside at the periphery of networks, "thus safeguarding sensitive AI workloads," he said. 

"Doing this means that the channel can deliver solutions at the forefront of cybersecurity, providing them with a competitive edge in the market," Rajagopal asserted.

Cisco’s product launch of Hypershield, Rajagopal says, could set a new standard for how cybersecurity needs to integrate into modern data center and cloud infrastructures, "especially in environments heavily utilizing AI and other advanced technologies," the cybersecurity expert added.

About the Author(s)

Moshe Beauford

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.

As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.

Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.

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