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What Is Cisco Umbrella?

6 September 2019

Cisco Umbrella is a fast, easy way to protect users wherever they access the internet, whether they are connected to your internal network or not.

Cisco Umbrella is the world’s first cloud based Secure Internet Gateway. It provides protection from threats by routing potentially dangerous DNS requests through their intelligent proxy, without impacting internet speeds or device performance. The request is then checked against Cisco’s intelligence database and if it is known to be malicious the user will be blocked from accessing the website and be notified as to why.

How The Cisco Umbrella Differs From a Firewall?

A firewall is the gatekeeper of your network and monitors all incoming and outgoing traffic to decides whether to allow or block specific incoming or outgoing traffic. Whilst most firewalls do a fantastic job of securing your internal network, it does not protect devices that are not connected to it.

With a shift towards cloud platforms and applications, we no longer rely on VPNs to work remotely. Your users can get work done from any location on any device without being connected to your network. Whilst this obviously has some major benefits, it can leave blind spots in your businesses cyber security, potentially allowing threats to sneak past your firewall when the device is reconnected to your wireless network environment.

Cisco Umbrella protects devices both on and off your network, giving you peace of mind so that when workstations, mobiles and tablets are reconnected to your Wi-Fi, you have taken the necessary precautions to ensure they do not contain any threats.

So how is Cisco Umbrella deployed?

Cisco Umbrella can be delivered across your entire network from a range of Cisco solutions (SD-WAN, ISR 1K and 4K, Meraki MR and WLAN) without any user-side application required. Remote machines can be protected via a lightweight client or Cisco AnyConnect integration. This means you can protect any device, anywhere in the world within a matter of minutes.

Why would Cisco Umbrella work for me?

So, you know what Cisco Umbrella does, but you aren’t sure whether your existing network security measures already protect you in the same way. Here are some uses for Cisco Umbrella that you might not have considered.

Protect networked stations

Though ideally your business should have several layers of network security through the use of technologies such as anti-virus software and firewalls, Cisco Umbrella can bolster these defences by offering protection at the DNS level.

Protection at the DNS levels stops any threats at the earliest point possible and means your further security systems have more capacity to deal with the most malicious of threats. 73% of Cisco Umbrella users saw a reduction in security alerts from existing security solutions by 50% or more

Protect mobile stations

With a shift towards cloud platforms and an increase in the use of mobile workstations, your users are not guaranteed to be connected to your network when using their devices. If these devices are infected, it can cause unwanted issues when they are reconnected to your wireless network.

With Cisco Umbrella’s lightweight roaming client, you can provide mobile workstations with an additional layer of security.

Compliance with internal policies through web filtering

With Cisco Umbrella, you can effectively manage your user’s internet access through category-based content filtering, allow/block lists and SafeSearch browsing enforcements. This is possible for devices both on and off your network.

With 80+ content categories that cover millions of domains, you can configure Umbrella to block devices from accessing inappropriate web content in a few seconds.

Protecting guests on your network

You can’t be sure that a guest device on your network is protected from threats and this could be a threat to your network. Cisco Umbrella can protect guest users by pointing all DNS traffic through your wireless network to Cisco’s global network. Block malware, inappropriate content, malicious websites and ensure a better user experience for guests on your network.

Deployment across your Wi-Fi network is easy through seamless integration with Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers. It is even possible to deploy it across wireless networks from third party vendors. Whether you are managing ten access points or ten thousand, management is simple and instant through centralised management.

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