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Interoperability is Key to Managing Government Cyber Security

Will Ash, Sr. Director of Security Sales, Cisco Systems

March 14, 2018  |  Cyber Security


While cyber attacks are getting more complex, with both rogue actors and nation states looking for ways to breach government security, federal agencies—similar to the private sector—are facing a shortage of cyber security talent.

Agencies are dealing with this reality every day, and that makes it incredibly difficult for them to fill in the talent gaps and make necessary and timely procurements to reduce incoming threats.

Now to the question of is your federal agency secure?

The answer, can change minute-to-minute. In fact, it’s likely the wrong question to be asking from the start. Since it’s impossible to stop all attacks, the focus needs to be on detection and response. And the best way to reduce the time it takes to root out a cyber attack and mitigate its damage is by establishing a holistic cyber security architecture with products that work together across every threat vector.

When Cisco was developing its one-stop security solution, we took into account several factors, not least of which is the fact that the market is flooded with individual security offerings that might cause people to patch together products that aren’t interoperable. Security tools should be designed to work together because that’s the only way to communicate what’s going on throughout an entire network.

We also considered that the threats our customers are facing are multi-vector and multi-stage. The attack surface is growing with cloud adoption and a drastically increasing number of internet-connected devices. These days, adversaries are relentless in their efforts; there’s big business on the dark side.

All of these points set the stage for Cisco’s approach to a comprehensive security solution. Every product we develop, every update we evolve to, we try to make architecture simple, open and automated. The tools are designed to talk to one another and share information about an attack. Once a breach is detected in one part of the network, word is spread throughout to shut down and block access to the assailant.

Part of the success of our security suite is the Talos Security Intelligence & Research Group.

It’s not something you can buy, but rather intelligence baked into our technology. Talos is made up of about 300 leading threat researchers across the world who are continually monitoring and analyzing both known and emerging threats.

At Cisco, also understand that some of our customers are committed to other vendors for part of their security architecture. We’ve planned for that by building all our solutions on open API so customers can stitch them together, even if they’re using another brand of technology.

Cyber attacks are the new frontier of government security. Anyone across the world with the knowledge and access to tools can launch an attack on U.S. systems.

That means the few cyber security experts agencies have employed need to be focusing on high-value activities, not triaging the network every time there is an attempted breach. An automated, fully interoperable security solution is the best way to make that happen.

For more information about Cisco’s security solutions, check out the new Iron Bow website.


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