The Cisco security directive

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The Cisco Security Group senior vice president talks about Cisco's plans for firewalls, security architecture, BYOD, and more

Chris Young just celebrated his six-month anniversary as senior vice president of the recently formed Cisco Security Group reporting to Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior. He brings an interesting perspective to the position, hailing as he does from VMware and RSA. Young was senior vice president and general manager for VMware's end user computing solutions and, prior to that, senior vice president for products at RSA. After hearing Cisco CEO John Chambers proclaim in a recent teleconference that we could expect to see Cisco make big strides in security with Young onboard, Network World Editor in Chief John Dix tracked Young down for his vision and plans.

You're the first senior vice president to head the Cisco security team and the company has integrated two existing security groups under you. Tell us about the shifts.

Before I came onboard there was a senior VP of networking and he owned a lot of our wireless networking, our routing business, and security was part of that grouping of products. And last fall Cisco decided to elevate security to a SVP role and brought me in. Cisco has many businesses today, we're not only routing and switching. We have a data center business, we have a large collaboration business, and security needs to be more pervasive across everything we're doing.

But there is also a vertical element as well, so the question is how much do we embed versus how much do we offer as a stand-alone product? We place a lot of value on integrated architectures as a way to bring value to customers as opposed to a laundry list of products, so my role is building the security value proposition in as integrated a fashion as possible. It doesn't mean that we won't sell stand-alone security products. We have to do that, but strategically we'll be focusing on delivering a better-integrated security capability.

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