Apple, Cisco to help firms get cyber security insurance discounts

Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed plans to collaborate with networking and security major Cisco to get discounts on cyber-security insurance premium for businesses that use products of both companies.

Cisco separately announced the impending launch of a Security Connector app for the iPhone and iPad.

Making a surprise entry to share the stage with Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins at the three-day Cisco Live jamboree here on Monday, Cook said: “If your enterprise or company is using Cisco and Apple, …the combination… should make that insurance cost significantly less.”

Cook, who arrived here after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington on Sunday where he apprised the Indian leader of the start of production of the iPhone SE in Bengaluru, said the insurance discounts were something Apple and Cisco were “going to spend some energy on. You should reap that benefit”.

Expected to be released by September, the Cisco Security Connector is “designed to deliver the deepest visibility, control, and privacy for iOS devices”, according to David Ulevitch, Vice President, Cisco Security.

The Security Connector offers organisations “the most granular view of what is happening on enterprise-owned mobile devices and provides the best protection for users, anywhere they travel”, Ulevitch wrote in a blog making the announcement on Day 1 of the gigantic Cisco event that has brought together some 28,000 people at the Mandalay Bay convention centre here.

The Cisco Security Connector offers security functionality from Cisco Umbrella and Cisco Clarity in a single app. It can be deployed on enterprise supervised iOS devices via a mobile device management (MDM) solution, such as the Cisco Meraki Systems Manager.

The focus of the Cisco Live event so far has been the newly unveiled “intent-based” networking solution that was developed with significant inputs from the company’s Global Development Centre in Bengaluru and represent a “significant breakthrough in enterprise networking”.

The new networking architecture, which leverages artificial intelligence and claims to detect security threats with 99 per cent accuracy, will also have a subscription pricing model and has been dubbed as “The Network. Intuitive.”

“Intent-based” networking allows IT to move from traditional processes to automating intent, making it possible to manage millions of devices in minutes — crucial to helping organisations navigate an expanding technology landscape, said the company, which posted revenues of close to $50 billion in 2016.

In India, the company — which began operations in the country in 1995 — saw profits grow 340 per cent in the 2016 financial year on the back of Smart City initiatives and its partnership with Reliance Jio.

With an all-IP converged network provided by Cisco, Reliance Jio would offer high-speed data, mobile video, VoLTE, digital commerce, media, Cloud and payment services.

Cisco employs almost 12,000 people across its various centres in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Gurugram.