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Cisco SAFE Blueprint

SAFE is a flexible, dynamic security blueprint for networks that is based on Cisco AVVID. SAFE lets businesses securely and successfully take advantage of e-business economies and compete in the Internet economy.

As the leader in networking for the Internet, Cisco is ideally positioned to help companies secure their networks. The SAFE blueprint, in conjunction with an ecosystem of best-of-breed, complementary products, partners, and services, ensures that businesses can deploy robust, secure networks in the Internet age.

Implementing the SAFE blueprint for secure e-business has several major benefits:

  • It provides the foundation for migrating to secure, affordable, converged networks.

  • It lets companies cost-effectively deploy a modular, scalable security framework in stages.

  • It delivers integrated network protection via high-level security products and services.

The SAFE blueprint provides a robust security blueprint that builds on Cisco AVVID. SAFE layers are incorporated throughout the Cisco AVVID infrastructure:

  • Infrastructure layer—Intelligent, scalable security services in Cisco platforms, such as routers, switches, firewalls, IDSs, and other devices

  • Appliances layer—Incorporates key security functionality in mobile handheld devices and remote PC clients

  • Service control layer—Critical security protocols and APIs that let security solutions work together cohesively

  • Applications layer—Host and application-based security elements that ensure the integrity of critical e-business applications

To facilitate rapidly deployable, consistent security throughout the enterprise, SAFE consists of modules that address the distinct requirements of each network area. By adopting a SAFE blueprint, security managers do not need to redesign the entire security architecture each time a new service is added to the network. With modular templates, it is easier and more cost-effective to secure each new service as it is needed and to integrate it with the overall security architecture. Figure 1-3 shows an example of the module approach.

Figure 3Figure 1-3 Cisco SAFE Modular Blueprint


One of the unique characteristics of the SAFE blueprint is that it is the first industry blueprint that recommends exactly which security solutions should be included in which sections of the network, and why they should be deployed. Each module in the SAFE blueprint is designed specifically to provide maximum performance for e-business while allowing enterprises to maintain security and integrity.

Cisco has opened its Cisco AVVID architecture and SAFE blueprint to key third-party vendors to create a security solutions ecosystem to spur development of best-in-class multiservice applications and products. The Cisco AVVID architecture and SAFE blueprint provide interoperability for third-party hardware and software using standards-based media interfaces, APIs, and protocols. This ecosystem is offered through the Security and Virtual Private Network Associate Program, an interoperability solutions program that provides Cisco customers with complimentary tested and certified products for securing their businesses. The ecosystem lets businesses design and roll out secure networks that best fit their business model and enable maximum agility.

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