With Cisco, Apple weaves itself into enterprise infrastructure

There is no longer any credible way to dismiss Apple as a viable choice for enterprise IT

Apple, Cisco, iPhone, iPad, Mac, iOS, enterprise, security
Credit: Apple

Apple is on course to become the most secure platform provider in the modern enterprise, and Cisco is helping this happen.

You heard that right

“If your enterprise and company is using Cisco and Apple the combination should make the [cybersecurity] insurance cost significantly less for you than it would if you were using some other personal network side and the other operating system in the mobile area,” Apple CEO, Tim Cook, told Cisco Live.

This is a big deal and Cook’s appearance at the show confirms the growing bond between the two firms – and confirms (all over again) that Apple is resolute in its determination to transform enterprise IT infrastructure. Cook even cited the “deeper partnership” with Cisco.

The big reveals

Apple and Cisco confirmed the two firms are working together in lots of ways, including the new announcement around Cisco Security Connector, which should appear late this year.

Cisco says this system lets enterprises take a deep look at what is happening on enterprise-owned mobile devices.

As I understand it, both Apple and Cisco are building on the inherent iOS platform’s security advantages, introducing the added protections enterprise users need to survive in an age of increasingly complex cyberattacks.

Cisco describes its solution (which combines security functionality from Cisco Umbrella and Cisco Clarity in a single app) as providing organizations with tools to boost visibility, control and privacy.

These solutions will prevent users of protected devices from accessing malicious sites online and will encrypt DNS requests.

There is also a strong focus on compliance. “Ensure compliance of mobile users and their enterprise-owned iOS devices during incident investigations by rapidly identifying what happened, whom it affected, and the risk exposure,” Cisco states.

In combination with the two firm’s other recently announced Next Big Thing, deep network support to enable huge efficiency when using iOS devices on Cisco-based enterprise networks, the message is surely clear. Apple is telling enterprise CIOs to add its solutions to their future purchase plans.

Your next upgrade

The motivation is crystal clear. Spurred by the success of the iPhone in enabling the digital transformation of the enterprise, Apple seeks not only to expand in that space, but also to take a huge chunk out of it when it does.

A big part of Apple’s plan is to deliver the most secure, more user-focused, best to code solutions out of the box. It is also showing the depth of its commitment to this space by  promising enterprise users a forward path to new technologies they also want to explore: Augmented Reality; Machine Intelligence; and best in the industry security.

It’s plans also invoke new key partnerships with Cisco, SIP, IBM and anybody else who takes enterprise IT seriously enough plan their technology infrastructure after their existing proprietary kit finally times out. (Hello, Windows XP; Sayonara, Android).

And in case that’s not enough, Apple’s about to combine its security advantages with those of Cisco to promise enterprise users that they will keep you safe – and save you money.

The protection racket

Cyber-criminals have become incredibly sophisticated. They have become professional. They command high fees, which is why most new attacks focus on the more vulnerable and therefore cheaper to attack Android and Windows systems. Apple wants to take that ball and run with it.

Cisco yesterday announced that it is “collaborating with insurance industry heavyweights to lead the way in developing the architecture that enables cyber insurance providers to offer more robust policies to our customers.”

How is it going to achieve this kind of protection racket? “We will do this by enabling continuous security monitoring and a measurable reference architecture that includes technologies from Apple and Cisco,” the company said.

Appe’s Tim Cook puts it this way: “The thinking we share here is that if your enterprise and company is using Cisco and Apple the combination should make the insurance cost significantly less for you than it would if you were using some other personal network side and the other operating system in the mobile area.”

Apple’s never looked better for the enterprise

That’s all well and good, but this isn’t all that is happening here. A selection of the compelling messages Apple now offers enterprise users include:

  • Apple’s solutions are nicer to use, and more secure
  • Apple offers a predictable product and software upgrade path
  • Apple’s solutions can save enterprises money, as evidenced by IBM
  • Apple’s inherent security in combination with Cisco means your enterprise will save even more money while also being insured against vulnerability.
  • Apple’s device security model means around 86 percent of all iOS devices run the latest operating system with the latest security upgrades
  • Apple has a string of partnerships which mean your enterprise can get the support and software it needs to integrate its solutions into your existing infrastructure.

Looking at these messages it seems to me there is no longer any credible way to dismiss Apple as a viable choice for enterprise IT. Which is great, as this means enterprise users now enjoy the benefit of choice.

Will your enterprise be moving to adopt Apple kit? Please drop me a line and let me know.

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