Cisco has launched an innovative service called Cisco Umbrella, which is a Secure Internet Gateway that leverages the OpenDNS internet infrastructure. Umbrella is the closest Cisco will get to becoming an Edge Security CDN, as we don’t see them acquiring a CDN anytime soon. Cisco Umbrella provides DNS security, URL filtering, file inspection, stops data exfiltration, and stops execution of ransomware encryption. Cisco threw in the towel on its cloud compute ambitions but they’re not doing the same for cloud security. We know that this is just the beginning for them, as they begin their journey to transform their legacy security portfolio to the cloud.
Akamai recently introduced Enterprise Application Access, which is a remote access solution that replaces VPN. And we agree with Akamai, it is a game changer in the grand scheme of things. Although the Cisco Umbrella product and Akamai Enterprise Application Access don’t compete directly, Cisco is the only company that can pose a threat to Akamai’s plans to dominate the cloud security market. The cloud security market has yet to produce an AWS like juggernaut, but Akamai is definitely making lots of progress in doing so. Today, they are ahead of everyone in making that dream come true including Cisco. In the long term, we see Cisco integrating its security portfolio into the Umbrella service just like Akamai has been doing the same with the products its acquired via acquisitions.