Cisco Security Business: UTM, Zero Trust and Duo Drive Growth

The Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco surrounded by fog at twilight, USA.

Cisco Systems' end-to-end security business grew 9% in the company's latest quarter, driven by unified threat management and Zero Trust offerings -- including the Duo platform, according to Cisco CFO Scott Herren.

Scott Herren, CFO, Cisco Systems
Scott Herren, CFO, Cisco Systems

The comments -- which surfaced during Cisco's earnings call on November 16, 2022 -- come at a key time for the networking company and its channel partners.

The backgrounds: Amid fierce competition from Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet (among others), Cisco shook up its security business in May 2022.

Fast forward to November 2022, and Cisco's top four priorities in the security market include:

  1. Address product scalability and quality
  2. Focus on the experience
  3. Deliver a unified platform for the cloud
  4. Improve core security features.

Cisco Executive VP Jeetu Patel described progress on those four fronts during Cisco Partner Summit in early November 2022.

Cisco Security: Partner Opportunities

To win business today, Cisco is calling on channel partners and MSPs to:

  1. Secure and/or refresh the base with the new firewall capabilities.
  2. Sell the end-to-end story, while positioning the  resulting experience becomes a force multiplier.
  3. In addition to selling to CISOs, sell to the security operations center team.

To stir customer demand and awareness, Cisco is planning a $20 million “Secure the Enterprise” branding campaign.

Meanwhile, Cisco's overall business appears to be holding up well despite Wall Street's concerns about a potential recession. For its Q1 of 2023, Cisco said:

  • Revenue was $13.6 billion, up 6% compared to the corresponding quarter last year.
  • Net income was $2.7 billion, down 10% from the corresponding quarter last year.

The figures generally beat Wall Street's expectations.

Cisco Layoffs 2022: Some Job Cuts, Real Estate Reductions

Nevertheless, Cisco is maintaining a sharp focus on cost controls. The company plans to cut about 5% of its staff -- or roughly 4,165 employees -- while also cutting back on real estate holdings, Silicon Valley Business Journal reported.

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.