New Cisco Secure Firewall offers new architecture designed for hybrid work

New Cisco Secure Firewall offers new architecture designed for hybrid work

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Cisco Systems Inc. has announced Secure Firewall 3100 Series, a mid-range multi-purpose firewall appliance with a new architecture designed expressly with hybrid work in mind.

Secure Firewall 3100 Series offers high performance and flexibility to empower hybrid workers – not only in the modern hybrid workforce but also for firewall administrators who can now manage their cloud and hybrid firewalls from anywhere in the world.

The 3100 Series offers visibility and enforcement designed to keep the network from going dark and strengthen tzero trust posture. Cisco is pitching the new product as offering efficiency and simplicity through advanced automation and integrations that drive cost savings for modern environments.

Encryption is at the heart of the new Secure Firewall 3100 Series architecture with an emphasis on processing encrypted traffic.

Cisco argues that the traditional industry approach has been to deploy a look-aside crypto accelerator that works in tandem with the x86 CPU to process IPsec and Transport Layer Security traffic for virtual private network and transit inspection purposes. This approach is said to result in tremendous performance degradation due to the look-aside nature that requires multiple traversals of the shared system bus for each encrypted or decrypted packet.

Instead, Secure Firewall 3100 Series appliances offer a brand-new custom-built Field Programmable Gate Array component between the internal switch fabric and the x86 CPU complex. This not only implements a next-generation Flow Offload engine for both lightning-fast single-flow throughput and high-performance-computing grade latency, but it also provides in-path crypto acceleration capability across both IPsec and Datagram TLS VPN connections.

This intermediate component can decrypt and encrypt such flows in hardware without relying on the main system bus or consuming precious x86 CPU cycles. Cisco claims it provides a three times boost in FW+AVC+IPS, a nine times boost in IPSec VPN and a 10 times boost in TLS.

“Hybrid work is the most transformative workforce trend in a generation,” Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco Security and Collaboration, told SiliconANGLE. “Success requires highly integrated, immersive and interoperable hardware and software experiences that support every form of collaboration to address people’s expectations of flexibility, seamless engagement and inclusivity – whether they’re in the office, remote or anywhere in between.

Patel added that “as our people work from anywhere on any device, accessing applications and data from anywhere — security is more foundational than ever. Companies that fail to put people first and offer the flexibility of hybrid work will struggle to attract and retain talent.”

Image: Cisco

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