Cisco Lights a Fire in Its Security Business

In 2013, Cisco acquired Martin Roesch's company Sourcefire for $2.7 billion, and since then Sourcefire's technology has become a foundation for Cisco's network security portfolio. Today, Roesch is still with Cisco, serving as vice president and chief architect of Cisco's Security Business Group.

In a video interview with eWEEK, Roesch explains why he believes in Cisco and how nearly three years after his company was acquired, he's more energized then ever. At the core of Sourcefire's original business is intrusion prevention system (IPS) technology, which is a class of network security that has now evolved into a next generation. Cisco's new Firepower next-generation firewall (NGFW) technology integrates multiple sets of capabilities including some that in the past only existed on IPS with Firewall capabilities.

While some in the security industry decry the utility of firewalls, Roesch still sees the technology as serving a critical function. In his view, the firewall still plays a role in helping to control a network and, when threats are detected, to help protect an enterprise. From a terminology perspective, IPS and firewall can sometimes be two separate technologies, though that's not quite how Roesch is positioning Cisco's Firepower approach.