Cisco Hypershield: Revolutionizing Data Center and Cloud Security in the AI Era

By Stefania Viscusi  |  April 25, 2024

Cisco introduced Cisco (News - Alert) Hypershield, aimed at fortifying data centers and clouds to meet the evolving challenges brought about by the AI revolution. Hypershield is designed to protect applications, devices, and data across diverse environments, including public and private data centers, clouds, and physical locations. With an AI-centric design, it empowers organizations to achieve security outcomes beyond what traditional methods can offer.

Utilizing technology initially developed for hyperscale public clouds, it is now accessible to enterprises of all sizes. So instead of the usual perimeter defense, Hypershield operates as a dynamic fabric, enabling security enforcement at every level, from application services to network ports This works to thwart application exploits and prevent lateral movement within networks.

"AI is not just a force for good but also a tool used for nefarious purposes, allowing hackers to reverse engineer patches and create exploits in record time.Cisco looks to address an AI enabled problem with an AI solution as Cisco Hypershield aims to tip the scales back in favor of the defender by shielding new vulnerabilities against exploit in minutes - rather than the days, weeks or even months as we wait for patches to actually get deployed," said Frank Dickson, Group Vice President, Security & Trust at IDC (News - Alert). "With the number of vulnerabilities ever increasing and the time for attackers to exploit them at scale ever decreasing, it's clear that patching alone can't keep up. Tools like Hypershield are necessary to combat an increasingly clever malicious cyber adversary."

Hypershield is structured around three pillars: AI-Native, Cloud-Native, and Hyper-Distributed. It leverages autonomous and predictive capabilities, open-source eBPF technology, and advanced hardware accelerators like Data Processing Units (DPU) to deliver proactive security measures that adapt to evolving threats.

Cisco's collaboration with NVIDIA (News - Alert) further enhances the capabilities of Hypershield. By integrating NVIDIA Morpheus cybersecurity AI framework and NIM microservices, Hypershield gains accelerated network anomaly detection and custom security AI assistants, powered by converged GPU and DPU computing.

"AI has the potential to empower the world's 8 billion people to have the same impact as 80 billion. With this abundance, we must reimagine the role of the data center – how data centers are connected, secured, operated and scaled," said Jeetu Patel, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Security and Collaboration at Cisco. "The power of Cisco Hypershield is that it can put security anywhere you need it – in software, in a server, or in the future even in a network switch. When you have a distributed system that could include hundreds of thousands of enforcement points, simplified management is mission critical. And we need to be orders-of-magnitude more autonomous, at an orders-of-magnitude lower cost."

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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