CYBERSECURITY | Security must be simple, intelligent, everywhere

It is time to rethink security.

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The world has shifted towards a more distributed workforce, and with recent global events, hybrid work is here to stay. Users now expect to connect from anywhere and on any device, while security teams have the same complex, piecemeal and time-consuming solutions. It is time to rethink security.

“Security has to be at the heart of everything in the new world we live in. We believe it needs to be done with a platform approach that is simple, comprehensive and based on intelligence,” said Chuck Robbins, Cisco chairman and chief executive, addressing the virtual RSA Conference 2021 audience earlier this week, who had gathered to discuss the most pressing issues around security. “There is really no perimeter in the enterprise to defend anymore. We need visibility across endpoints, users and applications as well as securing critical control points with continuous passwordless authentication.”

Inevitably, organizations will transition to become cloud-first and digital-first, and cybersecurity will be increasingly complex as the organization’s real estate of networks, devices and endpoints expand.

“The attack surface has grown exponentially with the expansion of remote workers, home networks & unsecured devices, and applications or workloads have become the new attack vector,” said Karrie Ilagan, managing director for Cisco Philippines. “Businesses must create a flexible, safe, and secure hybrid work environment with employees moving on and off the network with similar levels of protection.”

Addressing the rapid evolution of critical security infrastructure, Cisco unveiled innovations to further its journey to radically simplify and deliver end-to-end security, across users, devices, networks, applications and data. These new solutions improve Extended Detection and Response (XDR) with greater visibility across network, endpoint and cloud. New innovations expand Cisco’s vision for Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) with enhanced threat detection in the cloud and redefine and simplify network security.

In delivering simplified security solutions, Cisco focuses on three key areas.

Extended detection, response

The erosion of the network perimeter and transition to work-from-anywhere have conspired to expose endpoint devices, users and applications to threats more so than ever before.

Organizations continue to struggle with extending visibility and protection to endpoints, with more than 40 percent globally reporting a major security incident in the last two years, according to the new Cisco Security Outcomes Study: Endpoint Edition. Organizations that do not prioritize integrated solutions were almost twice as likely to have suffered a major security event. In response, Cisco continues to expand its XDR capabilities, integrating multiple security control points and applying analytics and automation to reduce customers’ time to detection and response

Enhanced cloud security

Today’s distributed and hybrid workforce necessitates delivering protection and performance wherever employees access the internet or cloud applications. Cisco’s SASE architecture integrates multiple security and networking functions into a single, secure connectivity offer. This significantly simplifies security and reduces the cost, time, and resources previously required for deployment, configuration, and integration.

Redefining, simplifying network security

Constantly changing application environments make network security more complex. Modern continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) applications necessitate tighter coordination among developers, security, and network teams to ensure application environments and workloads are secure, firewalls are appropriately configured, and policies are integrated. Otherwise, vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in these constantly changing environments leave doors open for potential threat actors.

There is no doubt that the future of work is dynamic: cybersecurity must meet the need of a distributed workforce. This is why at Cisco, security is not a product or a service – it is built into each and every product, solution, and innovation.

“Today, our Security portfolio is integrated across all critical control points for the network, users and endpoints, cloud edge, and applications,” said Ilagan. “It is now cloud-managed with the best-in-class SecureX platform for Cisco and third party solutions.”

End-to-end security is one of Cisco’s key strategic pillars in helping customers connect, secure, and automate in a cloud-first world to strengthen their digital resilience and accelerate their digital agility.

“When it comes to security, it’s the technology that has to work harder, not the people who use it,” Ilagan said
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