Cisco Umbrella Security: What It Means to OpenDNS Partners

Cisco Systems continues to round out and enhance the company's cloud-based security solutions. The company's latest "Umbrella" moves could give channel partners a boost on multiple fronts -- with OpenDNS partners among the big potential winners.

First, the big picture: Cisco's latest offerings seek to make it "simple for distributed and mobile businesses to deploy effective security where needed from the branch office to headquarters or with the end user wherever they go," the company claims.

The latest offerings include:

  • Cisco Umbrella Roaming: A centralized, cloud-delivered protection platform that guards roaming employees. The offering is embedded as a module with AnyConnect (Cisco’s VPN solution), Cisco adds.
  • Cisco Umbrella Branch:  This cloud-delivered solution gives businesses more control over guest WiFi use. Umbrella Branch works with Cisco's Integrated Services Routers (ISR), Cisco explains.
  • Cisco Defense Orchestrator: This cloud-based management application enables users to manage a large security infrastructure and policies in distributed locations across thousands of devices through a cloud-based console, Cisco states.
  • Cisco Meraki MX Security Appliances with Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) and Threat Grid: This cloud-managed unified threat management (UTM) solution allows branch offices to checks files against a cloud database to identify malicious content, blocking the files before users download them, Cisco asserts.
  • Cisco Stealthwatch Learning Network License: This component enables the Cisco ISR to act as a security sensor and enforcer for branch threat protection, Cisco says.

Cisco Security: Channel Partners and OpenDNS

Cisco didn't mention OpenDNS by name in the announcement. But poke around and you'll learn that existing OpenDNS partners -- typically MSPs -- will gain Umbrella and Anyconnect integration.

Wendy Bahr
Wendy Bahr

OpenDNS has ranked among Cisco's fastest-growing businesses -- an important piece in Channel Chief Wendy Bahr's overall security strategy for the channel.

In recent days, some pundits have suggested that fast-growing public clouds like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure will gut Cisco's legacy networking business. But so far that scenario hasn't played out. And Cisco's security business, in particular, has been a strong performer.

The reason: While some server and storage workloads shift to the cloud, the hasn't necessarily been true for networking. Corporations and their employees will always need network infrastructure for connectivity. And global service providers -- i.e., telcos -- will need ongoing network build-outs.

With that reality in mind, Cisco is calling on partners to include security in all network deployments or upgrades.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.