The Intuitive Network: Breaking Down Cisco’s Biggest Innovation In the Past Decade

David Goeckeler, Cisco, Jun 27, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This week Cisco is announcing the launch of network technologies that promise to be interesting. The hook that grabs our attention is this: technology that can identify malware in encrypted traffic, without decrypting the content. This was developed into an approach based on three major principles:

  • Intent: automating intent, making it possible to manage millions of devices in minutes
  • Context: Interpreting data in context is what enables the network to provide new insights
  • Intuition: machine-learning at scale to provide actionable, predictive insights.

Now a lot of this is just marketing, but in outline it makes sense: malware looks like a fish swimming backwards. You don't have to know anything about the fish to know that it's odd. This is an advanced recognition task, and while it's being used in some esoteric contexts today, it will be mainstream in relatively short order. More here and here.


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