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Cisco CEO Robbins: Connected devices will be growing much faster than you think

Cisco CEO on security

The growth of connected devices — smart cars and refrigerators, for example — take place much faster than people think over the next few years, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said Thursday.

"There's still a lack of belief about the number of things and devices that are going to be connected and the value that our customers and country leaders around the world are going to see from these connections," Robbins told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street. "

"I believe that's going to happen much more quickly than anyone believes and the value from those connections is going to be greater than anybody believes," he said.

Companies like Google have been working on self-driving car technology, while Tesla CEO Elon Musk expected Apple to release a car by 2020.

Robbins said that, as more devices become connected, customers will be demanding more security and more ways to deal with threats.

"The key thing to understand relative to how customer environments are changing over the next three-to-five years is that everything is becoming hyper-distributed. We're connecting things that have never been connected before, so the whole notion of a premise-based enterprise is disappearing," he said.

"The consistent technology across that entire infrastructure is the network, so the importance of the network as it relates to security is only going up, which is why last quarter our business grew 17 percent; it's also one that lends itself to subscriptions and software, which is an important move in our business, but as we look to the future, what customers really want is to be able to dynamically defend themselves against threats."