Cisco extends firewall platform with new context-aware measures

Cisco Systems is upgrading its firewall technologies and even its own certification courses to better meet newer challenges in network security.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cisco Systems is building out its Adaptive Security Applicance firewall platform by making it more adaptable to newer threats plaguing network-connected devices.

See also: Cisco taking more 'integrated and holistic' approach to network security

Specifically, it will now include Cisco's new ASA CX context-aware security solution, which is designed to enable IT managers to control which devices and users have access (and what levels of access) to network resources.

The solution also gives IT managers control over access to more than 1,000 applications (i.e. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.) and 75,000 micro-applications.

Using Cisco's SecureX framework delivered cross unified access, edge, branch, data center and cloud segments, ASA CX is touted to be the only firewall solution that uses SecureX to gain end-to-end network intelligence, aggregating data from local networks and real-time threat information.

Other new releases announced at the 2012 RSA Conference this week include Cisco's TrustSee and Identity Service Engine products, which provide comprehensive visibility via new device sensors integrated into a network's infrastructure to automatically detect and classify all devices connecting to said network.

In related news, Cisco also announced at RSA that it will be updating its CCNA and CCNP security certification courses and exams to provide updated information on new security products and best practices.

Newer themes include some of the most buzzworthy topics of 2011 and 2012 already, including bringing your own device to work, mobility, cloud computing, and virtualization. All of these topics include a new range of benefits that come at a high price -- often revolving around security threats.

The updated exams are now available through Pearson Vue, and the courses and self-study materials are ready from Cisco itself.