Today, Business Resiliency is the favourite buzzword for CIOs across the globe. The pandemic has made businesses realize the value of staying resilient and adopting the right technologies to survive and disrupt in the new normal. While resiliency simply means the ability to withstand sudden and unexpected interruptions to business, Business Resiliency takes a slightly different form with IT operations at the center of it. With Work from home (WFH) becoming a non-negotiable component of the new normal, organizations are suddenly finding that their IT needs to be more distributed and seamless. The biggest hurdle to such a sudden transformation is security. Today, CIOs have to ensure resistant security of endpoints, of the network, of the data, and of the cloud.
Challenge of cybersecurity fatigue
Additionally, CIOs are also dealing with a unique phenomenon, that is called cybersecurity fatigue. A few months back, Cisco released a security benchmarking study where almost half of the 3000 security leaders across 18 countries were diagnosed with cybersecurity fatigue, this essentially means giving up on proactively defending against the threats. Most CIOs preferred to deploy damage control strategies after an attack occurs or a vulnerability is found. In some other cases, they created a 'possibility and probability' matrix and ended up securing what they believed was the most critical components of their IT infrastructure. To say the least, this is suicidal in today's distributed world. All it takes is one tiny vulnerability to bring the business down
In order to mitigate the security challenges in a resilient business, what does the CIO need to think about? Firstly, the technology is becoming excessively complex, and in order to simplify business, the backend technology powering it is becoming complex. We are living in an age of hybrid clouds. Today, we are talking of virtual servers, cloud apps, virtual email clients, collaboration suites, compliance tools – in addition to a multitude of endpoint devices, different connectivity protocols, all to deliver a consistent quality of service. Each one of these technologies, might be managed by different vendors with different protocols and licences. While vendor consolidation is a humble beginning, the security mandate of a business can never be fulfilled unless it is able to prevent, respond, and in the worst case, patch a security vulnerability.
Need for all-round security
Secondly, remote working as a culture has been suddenly thrust down on businesses by the pandemic. CIOs have to ensure that all the employees, irrespective of where they are located, receive a consistent compute experience, on the device of their choice. The moment corporate data is exposed to a personal device, the need for endpoint security multiplies in manifold. Today, the CIOs require actionable insights, meaningful investigations and not just alerts, and a red blip on a monitor, but they also need infrastructure-wide integrations of tools and processes.
The sheer challenge of managing a multitude of security products, their patches, their vendors and licences and their own little dashboards, is what is making security leaders live on the edge. But in a world where customer satisfaction and client delight is at the core for every business, every minute part of the IT infrastructure needs to be watertight.
Security-centric solutions for Business Resiliency
With decades of experience in IT, Cisco has consistently provided solutions with the aim of simplifying security and helping businesses embark on a journey towards resilience. With the rapidly changing and evolving IT landscape, the CIOs need a consistent, yet flexible security, across the organization's IT topology, and most importantly, a unified, integrated approach to monitor security and respond to threats in real-time. Cisco's biggest cybersecurity offering of 2020, SecureX, does this efficiently.
Cisco SecureX is a unified cybersecurity platform, that safeguards an IT network on an integrated, open platform with an unparalleled threat intelligence and an industry-first zero trust policy.
Cisco SecureX consists of a comprehensive portfolio of solutions across four categories of IT security:
- Malware protection
- Cloud security
- Email security
- Endpoint security
Within them, each of these solutions comes with a multitude of innovations and features such as secure VPNs, threat response algorithms, cloud-based management systems, webpage security modules, etc. In short, SecureX is an innovative mix of hardware and software solutions to cover the whole nine yards of enterprise security. Additionally, Cisco has adopted an application-first security ideology, to ensure that a corporate app is secured without any performance changes, in the most unintrusive, device-agnostic, and location-agnostic manner. Cisco also provides security as an integral component of its solutions across hybrid cloud and SD-WAN, two of the most popular choices for a modern-day CIO who wishes to make their business resilient in the new normal.
In 2021 so far, Bangladesh has been one of the fastest markets to recover from the slowdown imposed by the pandemic. In just the first seven months of 2020, Bangladesh saw its internet base grow from 99 million to 108 million, in addition to an impressive mobile internet penetration of 166 million. The region has witnessed an 80% growth in E-Commerce compared to last year, with a projected growth of over USD 3 billion over the next two years. These numbers are highly impressive and the time is ripe for Bangladeshi businesses to start their Business Resiliency journey for an all-round security.
The writer is Country General Manager - Cisco Bangladesh