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Introducing Cisco Hypershield: the First Truly Distributed AI-native System

Introducing Cisco Hypershield: the First Truly Distributed AI-native System

Cisco to develop its AI-native system. Cisco has announced the launch of Cisco Hypershield. It puts security wherever required in every application software component running on a network, server, or public or private cloud deployments.With the transformative and evolving role of AI, it is driving increased productivity. It is predicted that data centers, called the engine of AI, will grow sustainably in the coming years. As the industry giants, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google expanded, the companies switched to big data from enterprise data center systems. Today, every enterprise needs to think about how to get an “AI-scale data center.”

What is Cisco Hypershield?

Cisco Hypershield, an AI-native system, is a holistic system that brings the security advantages of a hyperscale model to enterprises. It acts as a fabric of security that protects the whole environment.

The “hyper” in the name signifies its inspiration from the hyperscale model built by the big public cloud providers. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce transformed their applications into highly portable containers for easy and streamlined running anywhere for the virtual machines (VMs). They also revolutionized the underlying hardware by designing software-defined infrastructure that operated on companies’ servers, replacing traditional firewalls, load balancers, and networking hardware typically found at the network’s edge.

Additionally, the companies converted these products into pieces of software that include security software for any and every server. Spending billions on this helped them detect and respond to threats in an advanced way.

Benefits that Hypershield brings to the enterprises:
  • Embedded Security: Hypershield allows security to be incorporated within Virtual Machines (VMs) or Kubernetes clusters, even in a public cloud environment. This is made possible with eBPF, an open-source technology that the hyperscalers use to automate tasks such as patching and other time-consuming operations.
  • Future Expansion: Within Hypershield’s scope, there exists a potential future for security features to be integrated into specialized servers termed Data Processing Units (DPUs) and networking devices like switches. It will enable healthcare organizations to secure their medical devices and operational technology while allowing hospitals to secure their medical devices and operational technology. Similarly, manufacturers can utilize Hypershield for securing machinery and technology utilized in industrial settings.
  • AI-Powered: Hypershield is a software product featuring an AI engine built from scratch at its core. This AI integration allows such functionalities, which had previously been deemed unachievable, to be offered to users with extremely advanced capabilities without having to install a whole new set of infrastructure.
  • Simple Integration: Hypershield is integrated, meaning there are no changes needed to the existing infrastructure. Integrating with Hypershield is just that—a straightforward deployment into your existing setup with zero disruptive replacement. Additionally, being an AI-native solution means that Hypershield was born for the purpose of AI management and not some conventional product with an AI layer loaded on top.

The Power of Cisco Hypershield

Autonomous Segmentation

Network segmentation has been a primary tool used by companies in the past, but it has been a slow and cumbersome process. In the past, reports by their customers indicated that the process could take over 40 days to define the segmentation rules. However, the AI-native Hypershield developed by Cisco has enabled segmentation to go past traditional network flow analysis. It perceives all of the enveloped environments with granularity, synthesizing all of the observed behaviors and is informed by Cisco Talos threat intelligence. This involves both the view of prohibited behaviors and the most modern attack vectors and vulnerabilities. Real-time data and adaptive modeling provide Hypershield with data-backed recommendations that are tailored to present risks.

Distributed Exploit Protection

With the increase in the frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, conventional security measures tend to lag behind. Cisco Talos discovered that over 80 new common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) are reported every day. Hypershield focuses on proactive vulnerability management by looking beyond commercial scanning tools for potential threats in memory, in addition to the risk of detecting and stopping ongoing exploitation attempts. The way this helps is by estimating asset value and prioritization of risks, which empowers the security teams to fix the most critical vulnerabilities immediately. This prioritization ensures resources are allocated efficiently, allowing organizations to deploy compensating controls even while investigating and mitigating threats.

Continuous Updates

Hypershield presents a revolutionized model for system maintenance with self-upgrading and updating capabilities. Its distributed architecture uses eBPF agents not only for telemetry but also as enforcement points, enabling continuous updates reminiscent of the cloud’s CI/CD model. This innovative design ensures that on-premises systems remain current and resilient, whether at the network, workload, file, or process level. In addition to that, Hypershield’s AI management makes it possible to adjust the autonomy of the system and gradually increase it based on trust and performance. This integration of AI into every part of Hypershield makes it such an AI-native solution, setting a new standard for cybersecurity management.

Revolutionizing Security: A New Era for Data Centers

Cisco’s Hypershield as a product is capable of transforming the security industry overall. Hypershield is designed and developed within the Cisco Security Cloud along with Splunk’s processing, protection and data capabilities to create an evolutionary data center that leads the AI revolution as well as keeps it safe and secured.

Also Read: Top IT, Cloud, Cybersecurity News Updates: Weekly Highlights


1. How does Hypershield enable embedded security?

Hypershield allows security to be integrated within Virtual Machines (VMs) or Kubernetes clusters, even in public cloud environments. It utilizes eBPF, an open-source technology, to automate tasks such as patching and other time-consuming operations.

2. What future expansions are envisioned with Hypershield?

Hypershield aims to extend its security features to specialized servers termed Data Processing Units (DPUs) and networking devices like switches. This expansion will enable organizations across various sectors, including healthcare and manufacturing, to secure their critical assets and technology.

3. How does Hypershield leverage AI technology?

Hypershield incorporates an AI engine at its core, allowing for previously deemed unachievable functionalities. This AI integration enables data-backed recommendations, autonomous segmentation, and continuous updates, enhancing the system’s security capabilities.

4. Is integration with Hypershield complex?

No, integrating with Hypershield is straightforward and does not require disruptive replacements to existing infrastructure. Its AI-native design ensures seamless integration and compatibility with diverse environments.

5. How does Hypershield ensure continuous updates and maintenance?

Hypershield features self-upgrading and updating capabilities within its distributed architecture. This ensures that on-premises systems remain current and resilient, with continuous updates delivered seamlessly across various levels of the environment.

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