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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 day by day know the fact: A mean firewall has hundreds of guidelines governing how site visitors needs to be dealt with, lots of which can be outdated, redundant, or contradictory.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 shoppers with extremely complicated environments the place their firewall guidelines quantity within the hundreds of thousands. Not solely is that this a complexity difficulty, 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 after we spoke to our prospects, there have been just a few challenges we heard again and again: (1) Checking configuration particulars is difficult, (2) Troubleshooting is difficult, (3) Optimizing the ruleset is difficult. So, after we set to work on our AI Assistant for Firewall, these had 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 Heart (cdFMC) and leveraging the newest giant language fashions (LLMs), we created a generative instrument 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 fairly 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 previously, could be resolved in a fraction of the time — we’re speaking minutes — due to the context-based AI.

Under 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 workforce reaches out to the firewall admin as a result of they’ve observed 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 begin, the firewall admin needs to know what insurance policies are already in place for SalesApp. With the AI Assistant, the admin doesn’t should type by means of hundreds of current guidelines manually, however as a substitute, they will 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 will ask the AI Assistant so as to add a rule blocking outbound site visitors. The AI Assistant recommends a rule, which could be authorized earlier than being applied.


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 purpose. The assistant can detect this difficulty 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 assist 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 recommend a plan of action to assist with coverage hygiene. On common, our prospects discovered that 29.7% of their guidelines want adjustment. For one buyer, that equaled over 17,000 guidelines. 

Assuming an admin might 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 offer the highest quality expertise for purchasers, we’re additionally targeted on optimizing the AI Assistant by means of user-provided suggestions — serving to the AI Assistant be taught 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 gained’t be the final. We’re injecting Generative AI and unifying telemetry throughout all Cisco Safety options to create a simpler expertise and safeguard our buyer’s enterprise.

The Cisco AI Assistant for Safety will probably be Typically Accessible (GA) for our Firewall prospects within the Spring of 2024 for free of charge by way of the cloud-delivered Firewall Administration Heart (FMC) and increasing to different administration instruments sooner or later. Study extra about how the AI Assistant for Safety works with our Firewall.

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