Cisco is launching a new type of network to help stop cyberattacks

Key Points
  • New Cisco "intent-based" networking solution can detect malware even when it is hidden in encrypted traffic.
  • Cisco says it's using machine learning and artificial intelligence to help detect these threats.
Cisco CEO: We're ushering in a new era of network using AI and machine learning

On Tuesday, Cisco announced the launch of a completely new "intent-based" network that will be able to detect malware when it's hidden in encrypted traffic, something it claims no other company can do.

The new technology could make it harder for cyberattackers to carry out attacks against organizations using Cisco gear.

"We're ushering in a new era of networking that's powered by intent, informed by context and over time continues to adapt and learn," Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told CNBC's David Faber on Tuesday. "This is a seminal moment in networking."

Cisco claims this new intent-based software, Encrypted Traffic Analytics, is the most advanced way to target anomalies across billions of devices and data. ETA is able to detect pattern abnormalities within encrypted traffic without compromising privacy, Cisco says.

The software, which will be offered as a subscription service, is currently in field trials with 75 customers, and according to Robbins, is 99 percent effective.

"With our investors we've been talking about this continued shift to higher software content in our business," said Robbins. "We believe that this launch today is the beginning of a journey to help us launch that software and subscription model in our core which is what our investors have been asking us about."

Shares of Cisco came under pressure last month when the company gave fourth-quarter revenue guidance that was below expectations. Year to date, shares have risen about 7 percent.