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Monday, March 4, 2024

Assist Firewall Admins With Cisco AI Assistant for Safety

At its core, a firewall is a protect that protects your community from malicious site visitors. Sounds easy, however those that work with firewalls on daily basis know the fact: A median firewall has hundreds of guidelines governing how site visitors needs to be dealt with, a lot of which can be outdated, redundant, or contradictory. In actual fact, a Cybersecurity Insiders report revealed that 58% of organizations have greater than 1,000 firewall guidelines, however we all know of consumers with extremely complicated environments the place their firewall guidelines quantity within the thousands and thousands. Not solely is that this a complexity challenge, however a safety danger. Gartner asserted that misconfigurations would trigger 99% of all firewall breaches by means of 2023. 

It’s no shock, then, that once we spoke to our clients, there have been just a few challenges we heard time and again: (1) Checking configuration particulars is tough, (2) Troubleshooting is tough, (3) Optimizing the ruleset is tough. So, once we set to work on our AI Assistant for Firewall, these have been the three use instances we targeted on: help (coverage identification and reporting), increase (troubleshooting) and automate (coverage lifecycle administration).

Constructed inside Cisco’s cloud-delivered Firewall Administration Middle (cdFMC) and leveraging the most recent massive language fashions (LLMs), we created a generative software designed to simplify firewall administration for each seasoned admins and novice customers. Using superior pure language processing (NLP) and machine studying (ML), it supplies solutions in seconds somewhat than forcing an administrator to spend their time sorting dependencies, community maps, and documentation. A change ticket which may have taken two hours to shut up to now, may be resolved in a fraction of the time — we’re speaking minutes — due to the context-based AI.

Beneath are just a few examples of the Cisco AI Assistant for Safety in motion.

Help coverage identification and reporting

Think about this state of affairs: Somebody from the SecOps staff reaches out to the firewall admin as a result of they’ve seen suspicious exercise. It seems some knowledge is being exfiltrated from SalesApp, representing a possible knowledge breach. Going ahead, SecOps needs all outbound site visitors to be blocked from this utility.

To start out, the firewall admin needs to know what insurance policies are already in place for SalesApp. With the AI Assistant, the admin doesn’t need to kind by means of hundreds of current guidelines manually, however as an alternative, they’ll ask the AI Assistant and get the reply in seconds.


Screenshot of the AI Assistant panel, providing a list of policies controlling an app so that the Security team can update the firewall policy


Now that they’ve seen the present insurance policies in place, they’ll ask the AI Assistant so as to add a rule blocking outbound site visitors. The AI Assistant recommends a rule, which may be accepted earlier than being carried out.


Screenshot of the AI Assistant, helping a Security Team add a rule to block outbound traffic from an app


Increase troubleshooting

Subsequent, let’s think about your firewall rule engine retains restarting for an unknown cause. The assistant can detect this challenge and suggest decision steps – on this case, updating the Vulnerability Database (VDB). Not solely does this eradicate the necessity to search by means of documentation or create a help ticket, however the Assistant is taking proactive actions.


Screenshot of the AI Assistant prompting Security teams about a known issue, recommending a course of action, and linking to a field notice for more information


Automate coverage lifecycle administration

Lastly, the coverage evaluation and optimization options constructed into the AI Assistant can discover duplicates and counsel a plan of action to assist with coverage hygiene. On common, our clients discovered that 29.7% of their guidelines want adjustment. For one buyer, that equaled over 17,000 guidelines. 

Assuming an admin may manually discover and resolve these points inside one hour at $56/hr, this group stands to save lots of $971,040 over guide optimization efforts and eight.3 years of time.


Screenshot of the AI Assistant policy analysis and optimization screen, which evaluates rules and highlights duplicate, fully shadowed, and fully redundant rules. The AI Assistant also makes recommendations for taking actions on the duplicate rules, easily prompting users to either disable or delete all


Optimize by means of suggestions

To supply the very best quality expertise for patrons, we’re additionally targeted on optimizing the AI Assistant by means of user-provided suggestions — serving to the AI Assistant study and enhance over time. 


Screenshot of the option to give feedback in the AI Assistant chat window


Extra AI improvements forward

The AI assistant is greater than only a comfort; it represents a paradigm shift in how we configure, handle, and guarantee efficacy for firewalls — the true spine of community safety.

Whereas that is the primary occasion of the AI Assistant for Safety, it received’t be the final. We’re injecting Generative AI and unifying telemetry throughout all Cisco Safety options to create a more practical expertise and safeguard our buyer’s enterprise.

The Cisco AI Assistant for Safety will probably be Typically Accessible (GA) for our Firewall clients within the Spring of 2024 for gratis through the cloud-delivered Firewall Administration Middle (FMC) and increasing to different administration instruments sooner or later. Be taught extra about how the AI Assistant for Safety works with our Firewall.

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