Taking a Multi-Discipline Approach to Cyber Security

Recently I have been training for a couple of upcoming triathlons as a way to challenge and strengthen my body and mind. During a recent cycling workout, my mind wandered into “work”, and I began to think a little bit about the similarities between preparing for and completing a triathlon and the world of cybersecurity in the year 2020.

An aspiring triathlete trains for the individual disciplines in advance of the event so their mind and body are prepared for the hardships they will face in each segment of the race. At the same time, the triathlete must have a strategic approach to the race as a whole – managing the transition periods, managing the right pace on each leg, understanding their own strengths and weaknesses and how to translate them into a better overall finish.

And as much as you prepare, you will also likely face some challenges that may not have been on your radar:

Getting inadvertently kicked or hit by other participants in the sea of humanity that is the swim leg of the race.
Unintentionally swallowing water occasionally that obstructs your breathing.
The unique weather conditions – extreme heat or cold, wind, or rain.
And so it goes in our customers’ worlds too, as they look to establish a secure environment for their businesses that can handle the threats we all face today. They, too, are putting in the hard work to prepare and at the same time will, no doubt, be hit with unforeseen and sometimes negative circumstances.

Like the triathlete, we believe that the best approach to delivering a secure environment that can withstand unanticipated challenges is through a multi-discipline set of security tools deployed within a single, holistic strategy.

As cybersecurity expert Paul Kurtz shared in a recent interview, “Advocating for more tools to counter specific threats is a folly in the absence of integration.”

Today – Cisco can deliver both the leading tools across the range of disciplines within the world of cybersecurity, as well as that critical integration that allows companies to provide defense in breadth and depth. From Advanced Malware Protection, to our Next Generation Firewall. From Stealthwatch, to Umbrella, to Duo. From Advanced Malware Protection to Email Security to our Identity Services Engine to Cloud Security… Cisco has the right tools that work together to allow customers an opportunity to efficiently and effectively manage their security environment.

Unfortunately, this is an ongoing battle that needs to be waged – especially when you consider the current realities (source) :

In the U.S., 1 in 3 users open phishing emails
It typically takes a company over 6 months to recognize they’ve had a data breach
71% of customers would leave a company after a data hack
By 2021 it is estimated that it could cost nearly $6 TRILLION to combat cyber crime
Think about that – $6 trillion is likely to be the cost of business in dealing with cyber threats. A staggering dollar amount, but one that represents enormous opportunity for us to provide solutions that are to everyone’s benefit.

As we all compete in the race against bad actors in the cyber sphere, take the triathlete’s approach. Strengthen yourself within each discipline, and more importantly, put together an integrated and strategic plan to stay out in front.

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