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Leveraging end-to-end threat protection to prepare for what’s new and what’s next  

It’s no secret that the world has changed significantly in the past year, probably forever. Even before 2020, companies were under immense pressure to go digital to keep up with increasing demands for ubiquitous connectivity. Recent events have further accelerated that need, with a dramatic increase in people working from anywhere and using a wide range of devices to access corporate resources, on-prem and in the cloud.

And yet, while we know this trend will continue, we don’t currently know to what degree or how exactly it will look moving forward. This has bred a lot of uncertainty as security and IT teams try to recover from the chaos of last year while also planning for a somewhat nebulous future. But, as always, we will get there. We will leverage the cloud to provide seamless, 24/7 access to applications. We will accommodate the enormous increase in new devices and connections to our networks. And we will do it all securely.

 

An evolving security strategy for a new world

In my last blog post, I talked about how you – as security teams – can continue to protect your assets while dealing with unfamiliar challenges. In this post, I will focus on what Cisco is doing to help you with that formidable effort.

Our overarching security vision has not changed – we are still here to empower the world to reach its full potential, securely. But some of the ways in which we are doing that have shifted as a result of what transpired last year.

When the need for remote work at scale became a reality, our customers turned to us for help. We quickly took action to help them provide for unprecedented numbers of remote workers while not dropping the ball on security. Every industry had to fast-forward plans for digital transformation, and that need is not going away.

Seventy-five percent of Fortune 500 CEOs said their organizations would be accelerating technology transformation as a result of the pandemic. And 66% of organizations globally said the pandemic will result in an increase in cybersecurity investments. We realize that our customers need us now more than ever.

“At the start of the pandemic, as people were moving from the workplace to the home, and cyberattacks on our infrastructure were increasing, it was important for us to have greater visibility into what was going on,” said Lachlan McGill, Executive Manager for Cybersecurity at The Salvation Army Australia. “With Cisco’s cloud-based security technology, it didn’t matter where our staff was located. We were still able to collect valuable threat intelligence and analytics.”

 

Connect, secure, and automate for the future

As a company, Cisco is dedicated to helping customers connect, secure, and automate their technology to accelerate digital agility in a cloud-first world. From a security standpoint, our breadth of innovations and partnerships enables us to deliver comprehensive, end-to-end visibility and protection across all critical security control points – including the network, cloud, applications, users, data, and devices. Cisco can uniquely secure any user, on any device, on any application, anywhere to accommodate a more distributed workforce.

The need for secure remote work has validated our strategy of delivering:

  • Continuous trusted access to any user.
  • Extended detection and response to any device.
  • Visibility and protection no matter the application architecture.
  • Consistent policies and security wherever it’s needed.

Security is not something that lives in one place or that happens at a single point in time. It is pervasive. It follows users, devices, and workloads wherever they go. It is the lifeblood of Cisco’s entire portfolio.

 

 

If it’s not simple, it’s not secure

While all-encompassing security is a necessary endeavor, the attack surface has expanded so much over the years that security technology has become too complex. There are too many point products on the market, and they don’t inherently work well together.

Through our integrated, cloud-native Cisco SecureX platform, various technologies from both Cisco and third parties can share insights and work together for a more cohesive response to security threats, and a better experience for end-users. SecureX brings greater simplicity, visibility, and efficiency to security so that potential issues can be found and fixed faster. It helps organizations set the stage for protecting more devices and connection points than ever before through unified detection and response.

 

 

Connection and automation = better security

Just as Cisco leverages security to improve its entire business, our security group has adopted many of Cisco’s core technology focus areas to deliver better security. Cisco sees connection and automation as key pieces to a successful digital future, and in turn, SecureX embraces those capabilities to strengthen threat defense.

Cisco SecureX fosters deeper connections between various security and IT teams by enhancing their ability to collaborate on investigation and response, and by adding IT operations outcomes to the platform. By bringing multiple tools and intelligence sources together in one location, all parties can see and take action on the same data, eliminating security gaps and reducing threat dwell time.

Just as importantly, automating common security tasks with SecureX brings greater agility and resilience. Through SecureX orchestration, security teams can automate workflows and playbooks for specific threats, such as the recent supply chain attack. Streamlined processes lead to stronger protection while freeing up security teams to focus on more high-level initiatives such as furthering cloud-first and digital strategies.

 

Securely transitioning to the digital realm 

One of the best things about Cisco SecureX is that you can benefit from the integrated platform whether you have one or many Cisco security technologies. It is delivered via the cloud and included as part of every security product, so you can take advantage of it right from the start and easily add on new technologies and capabilities as the need arises.

The most important thing is that you set yourself up to succeed with digital transformation. A successful digital future relies on highly secure connections around the globe, and we must all work together to make that happen.

 

This blog was originally written by Gene Hall for Cisco Blogs.

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