We’re living in an age of digital transformation where everything is connected. Digital disruption is happening at a massive scale, with the rapid emergence of the cloud, mobility and IoT transforming processes and business models worldwide. But the question of security is just as crucial as it is the number one concern for businesses across all industries as the threats continue to evolve in tandem with technology. For that reason, global tech companies like Cisco are making a serious push towards security. Cisco Security Summit was held on Wednesday in Bangsar South, KL, to raise awareness on cybersecurity and how organisations can keep their data secure whilst increasing productivity.
“Cybersecurity is becoming a driver for business growth,” said Henry Ong, System Engineers Manager, GSSO of Cisco ASEAN. He then stressed that these days security is no longer just about reducing risks, but serves as a business enabler as having a secure environment allows companies to focus on accelerating growth and innovation. Cisco is certainly committed towards enabling digital innovation and the billions invested by Cisco to acquire security-related businesses such as Sourcefire, ThreatGRID, Lancope, Cognitive, CloudLock and OpenDNS only cements the fact that security is their number one priority.
But data transformation involves many moving parts. Over the years the security boundaries have blurred and the attack surface is also getting bigger. It’s predicted that there will be 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020 and this digital disruption is driving the hacker economy. Cybercrime is a lucrative industry in and of itself. Ransomware, for example, is one of the fastest growing malware in the world which took in $1 billion in 2016.
Data is where the money is and we generate an enormous amount of data every day. Insider threats, threats that originate inside the network, are also becoming more prevalent with IT trends such as cloud, mobile and increasing network complexity. Rajvinder Singh, CTO of Cisco Malaysia is of the opinion that for businesses operating in the digital economy it is not a matter of if, but when a breach will happen.
Organisations need to understand that a multi-layered approach to security is critical. Point-in-time detection alone is no longer sufficient. Cisco’s Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) provides retrospective security and point-in-time detection that covers the entire attack continuum—before, during and after an attack, with continuous analysis and advanced analytics that enable Cisco’s Retrospective Security capabilities. Other tools in Cisco’s security arsenal include Cisco Umbrella, a security product specifically designed to protect organisations from DNS and web based threats as well as the industry leading threat intelligence organisation, Talos, to detect and correlate threats in real time using the largest threat detection network in the world to protect against known and emerging cybersecurity threats. Since everything goes through the network, Cisco’s solutions leverage the network as both a sensor and enforcer to provide businesses with more control as well as visibility over their environment.
One message that was iterated during the summit is the fact that there’s no such thing as a 100% secure network. Henry shared this quote from Peter Sondergaard, Senior VP of Gartner to further drive this point home, “65% of CEOs say their risk management approach is falling behind. In a new reality where security breaches come at a daily rate, we must move away from trying to achieve the impossible perfect protection and instead invest in detection and response. Organisations should move their investments from 90% prevention and 10% detection and response to a 60/40 split.”
Like the proverbial chain, IT security is only as strong as its weakest link. Whilst there’s no silver bullet to address advanced threats, what businesses can do is to have the right foundation as well as a strong strategy in place that covers all the security gaps, from datacentre and the cloud to edge and every connected device.