A10, Cisco Partner in War on Encrypted Threats

Paul Nicholson
August 30, 2016

You Need Dedicated Decryption

Threat actors are always on the lookout for new attack vectors and creative ways to undermine and hide from security solutions.

Meanwhile the industry strives to stay one step ahead – looking for ways to keep data and traffic away from prying eyes. One way to do this is by keeping information locked down through SSL encryption.

When traffic isn’t encrypted, it’s relatively easy to sniff out and identify certain characteristics and patterns in data that are linked to malware. Encrypted traffic, however, keeps those patterns concealed.

With encrypted traffic expected to represent two-thirds of all internet traffic by the end of this year, organizations need a way to see what’s being obfuscated via encryption. They require insight into SSL traffic so they can get a better grasp of what’s happening on their networks and identify any threats that may be cloaked behind encryption. Organizations can no longer think that because traffic is encrypted everything is safe.

To help in the fight against encrypted threats, A10 Networks has joined the Cisco Solution Partner Program as a Solution Provider to deliver solutions that detect and stop malicious attacks hidden in encrypted traffic.

You and your end users can now enjoy a safe and secure experience with A10 Networks SSL Insight (SSLi) and Cisco’s FirePOWER and ASA Platforms. The way it works is the A10 Thunder SSLi decrypts the traffic and passes it to the Cisco FirePOWER firewall for inspection. From there, the traffic is re-encrypted and continues to its destination.

According to the A10 Networks-commissioned Ponemon Institute study, “Hidden Threats in Encrypted Traffic: A Study of North America & EMEA,” more than 60 percent of organizations haven’t implemented proper SSL decryption due to concerns over performance. Typically, SSL decryption and inspection can be processor-intensive and result in performance degradation. Off-loading the decryption of SSL traffic to an A10 appliance allows a  device like the Cisco FirePOWER next-generation firewall to focus on inspection, detection and response without the performance impact of SSL.

Learn more about the A10 and Cisco partnership and how the solution works in this video:


This partnership extends the existing integration between A10’s Thunder Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) and Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric.

This solution arms you with complete visibility into your network activity, including encrypted traffic, to uncover attacks and infiltrations. And you’re able to preserve network and application performance, set flexible policies on what to decrypt, and scale out to add additional devices. A10 and Cisco are working together to ensure you no longer have to sacrifice performance for security, or vice versa.

For a more in-depth look at SSL Insight for Cisco FirePOWER and Cisco ASA, download this solution brief.


Paul Nicholson
August 30, 2016

About Paul Nicholson

Paul Nicholson brings 24 years of experience working with Internet and security companies in the U.S. and U.K. In his current position, Nicholson is responsible for global product marketing and strategy at San Jose, Calif.-based application networking and security leader A10 Networks. Prior to A10 Networks, Nicholson held various technical and management positions at Intel, Pandesic (the Internet company from Intel and SAP), Secure Computing, and various security start-ups. READ MORE

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