Frost & Sullivan Applauds Cisco for Leading NAC Market through Technology Innovation and Strategic Acquisitions

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- Based on its recent analysis of the network access control (NAC) market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Cisco Systems with the 2014 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Market Leadership for excellence in capturing the highest market share within the NAC market. Globally, the Cisco Identity Service Engine (ISE) platform is used by more than 7,000 customers and manages approximately 32 million licensed endpoints. The company counts half of the Fortune 500 companies and 20 of the Fortune 25 among its customers and leads the global market with 39.6 percent of the shares. In terms of global sales, Cisco ISE is the leading NAC security policy management platform.

At the end of 2014, the market capitalization of Cisco Systems was $142.4 billion. While it has been able to create technology organically, it has acquired intellectual property and companies to complement existing products and technologies. In June 2013, Cisco announced the development of the Cisco Platform Exchange Grid (pxGrid), which offers a framework for integration with third-party security platforms. In October 2013, it acquired Sourcefire for its intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS) and anti-malware security products.

"Cisco has a generational advantage in terms of network design and architecture, and builds many of the access points, switches, routers, and servers that move traffic on the Internet," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Christopher Kissel. "It also has strong market positions in blade servers, cable modems, IP phones, set-top boxes and telepresence, and is building an impressive portfolio in security."

In the security space, Cisco was a first-mover in the NAC market, starting with Cisco ACS in 1992. In 2004, it purchased Perfigo, further accelerating its NAC business. The Cisco ISE started shipping in May 2011 and by September 30, 2014, Cisco ISE 1.3 became the most recent Cisco NAC version. Cisco has given serious consideration to the ways in which the Cisco ISE 1.3 platform can be expanded to add new endpoints in a secure architecture.

A key aspect of the Cisco ISE 1.3 product introduction is the inclusion of AnyConnect 4.0 as an optional integration. AnyConnect 4.0 is a unified agent solution that provides persistent posture agent capabilities to wired devices, virtual private network (VPN), and mobile clients.

Recognizing that the first part of NAC is endpoint awareness (discovery, visibility, posture assessment), Cisco developed Device Sensor for Cisco Infrastructure to collect endpoint profiling data at the network edge. The Device Sensor minimizes the need for multiple appliances located on switch monitor ports. The device profiling, enhanced by its device profile feed service, reduces the instances of unknown devices on the network by 74 percent.

Remarkably, almost all of the companies with Internet presence have used a Cisco product in one form or another. In the NAC market, Cisco has a long legacy of contributions in collaboration with international engineering standards consortia.

"While Cisco supports open networking standards, the company clearly has a unique, institutional knowledge about the devices that interface with NAC," said Frost & Sullivan's Global President and Managing Partner Krishna Srinivasan. "If there is a chance that NAC can become more secure or efficient through a change in hardware architecture, Frost & Sullivan feels that Cisco would be the one to discover it and thereby strengthen its market leadership."

Frost & Sullivan is therefore proud to bestow the 2014 Global Market Leadership Award upon Cisco Systems.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.

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