Cisco stops selling in Russia, boosts security efforts in Ukraine

Cisco boss Chuck Robbins this week announced that the tech giant will be stopping all business operations, including sales and services, in Russia and Belarus for the foreseeable future.

“Our deepest hope is that this war will end soon. In the meantime, we are committed to using all the resources we can to help our employees, the institutions and people of Ukraine, and our customers and partners during this challenging time, and we will do all within our power to support those who need it,” Robbins said in a statement.

Cisco joins some of the largest IT leaders in the country that have also said they are joining in historic sanctions against Russia, including Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Intel, AMD, HP Inc., HPE, Dell, and others.

Kent MacDonald, senior vice president of strategic alliances for Calgary, Alberta-based Long View Systems, said that Robbins’ stance on the war makes him proud to be a Cisco partner.

“I applaud [Robbins’] leadership to make a strong statement to Russia,” MacDonald told CRN US.

Cisco is enabling auto-renewals on any software or services for our Ukrainian customers at no charge, as well as offering one free year of Webex meetings. The company is also providing free calls to Ukraine in support of customers and partners in the country.

At the same time, Cisco is stepping up security to help protect organizations in Ukraine from cyberattacks, safeguard the privacy of institutions in Ukraine and the region, and to help the Ukrainian government secure its infrastructure. That work, said Robbins, is being done by Cisco’s Talos threat intelligence team, one of the largest commercial threat intelligence teams in the world. The Talos team is monitoring, hunting malicious actors and deploying defenses, while openly sharing its findings to customers globally.

Cisco Talos is working 24/7 for critical organizations in Ukraine monitoring Secure Endpoint configurations and modifying them based on Telos’ intelligence and “aggressively” hunting for threats at no cost, said Matt Olney, Cisco’s director of threat intelligence and interdiction for Talos.

“For each organization that accepted this offer, we assigned a set of engineers to manage the protections and configurations and two hunters from Talos to work with that specific data set,” Olney said in a blog post. “Cisco will continue to stand beside our customers as they build resilient networks to face the many possible futures in front of us.”ADVERTISING

Cisco has established a Ukraine Humanitarian Assistance Fund that is now open to employee contributions. The company said it’s working with non-profit partners to leverage Cisco equipment and support those who have fled the country and relocated.

“We strongly believe this is the right decision, and we are working with customers and partners in the extended region to ensure business continuity,” Robbins said, noting that the company will be in touch with its customers and partners in Russia and Belarus with additional details.

“These are incredibly challenging times for Ukraine, and frankly, the world. We know that many Russian people including employees, customers and partners are impacted by this war,” Robbins said.

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