Cisco thinks it's solved an "unsolvable" encryption security challenge

Becky PetersonCisco CEO Chuck Robbins kicks off the company’s event in San Francisco Tuesday.

Cisco has come up with a whole new way to fight malware.

On Tuesday, the company unveiled a new smart network system. Using machine learning, the network’s Encrypted Traffic Analytics software can sort through internet data to look for telltale signs of malicious software.

The service is specifically designed to detect malware in encrypted traffic, and Cisco says it has a 99 per cent accuracy rate doing so.

“Cisco’s Encrypted Traffic Analytics solves a network security challenge previously thought to be unsolvable,” David Goeckeler, SVP and GM of networking and security, told the crowd today at a media event in San Francisco.

Malware sent through encrypted files is a major source of security breaches. Technologists have struggled to detect such malware without decrypting files, meaning they have faced a trade off between security and privacy.

Becky PetersonOne of Cisco’s new Catalyst 9000 series switches.

The anti-malware technology is part of Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (DNA), its new portfolio of networking hardware and software. In addition to Encrypted Traffic Analytics, Cisco also unveiled DNA Center, a software dashboard that allows IT teams to manage thousands of disparate networked devices through one interface.

Additionally, Cisco showed off its new Catalyst 9000 series of switches. The company is offering the anti-malware service and DNA Center as part of add-on subscriptions for those new switches. The 9000 series is now programmable and can host third-party applications.

Cisco piloted its new networking hardware and software with 75 organisations, including NASA and Royal Caribbean Cruises, the company said.

Overall, the new products could help reposition Cisco as a player in a market that is increasingly dependent on adaptive, automated technology.

“As humans we become more intuitive based on our experiences,” CEO Chuck Robbins told the crowd. “And that’s what we believe we can bring to the network.”

Get the latest Cisco stock price here.

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