Cisco’s Executive Vice President, Jeetu Patel, has announced a significant shift in cybersecurity strategy by incorporating AI and ending free AI security services.

At the Asia Pacific Cisco Live event, Cisco’s Executive Vice President for Security, Jeetu Patel, shared an enlightening vision for the future of cybersecurity. This vision revolves around integrating AI, or GenAI, in cybersecurity strategies, particularly in preempting and countering cyber threats. However, Patel warned that the era of cost-free AI security services might be closing, with users likely to incur the future costs of these advanced defenses.

Cisco’s approach focuses on shifting from a reactive defense model to a proactive prediction. Patel highlighted the imbalance in cybersecurity, where attackers need only one success, whereas defenders must constantly succeed. GenAI is anticipated to provide defenders with predictive tools, transitioning from mere reaction to proactive strategizing. By automating responses, Cisco envisions a more robust defense against imminent cyber threats.

Cisco’s initiative in AI-driven security starts with an AI Assistant for Firewall Policy. This tool, through natural language processing, aids administrators in optimizing firewall rules and identifying redundancies or inefficiencies. Moreover, Cisco’s Secure Firewall OS now features AI capabilities for detecting malware activity in encrypted traffic, reinforcing their commitment to advanced cybersecurity measures.

Lastly, Patel addressed the financial aspect of these AI services. While Cisco intends to include a basic level of AI in their suite, the operational costs of GenAI necessitate monetization. However, Patel assures that the costs will remain accessible, aiming for widespread adoption.