Security foundational for successful hybrid work models

Johannesburg, 21 Jun 2022
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Conrad Steyn, CTO & Leader Systems Engineering at Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa.
Conrad Steyn, CTO & Leader Systems Engineering at Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa.

The world has gone hybrid. Most, if not all, of a business’s success depends on secure, connected experiences. With today’s IT operating across multiple environments, ensuring only trusted users and devices gain access to trusted network resources is now more important than ever to protect the integrity of the business amid expanding attack surfaces and unprecedented levels of global uncertainty.

This is according to Conrad Steyn, CTO of Cisco South Africa. “Preventing cyber attacks has never been more important, and the financial and human risks have never been higher. Security is a board-level conversation. Cyber attacks can cripple a company’s operations, create massive financial losses and shut down essential services like hospitals, transportation, utilities and payment systems. So, this is a critically important problem to solve.”

Underlining this, a recent Cisco study found that South Africa’s hybrid workers consider cyber security protocols either complicated, painful, time-consuming or unimportant, and a significant portion avoid them altogether. Even though 53% of employees believe securing their work devices is important and simple to do, fewer than 29% of employees trust their companies to keep their data secure in a hybrid work environment and more than 33% of South Africa’s distributed workforce said they needed to find ways of circumventing security measures to remain productive. One in four employees (24%) choose to use the same password for multiple accounts and applications, putting their business’s network and devices at risk.

Steyn says businesses should work with employees to find security protocols that work for all, helping to make the corporate network the most resilient it can be.

He notes that while organisations are focused on improving hybrid work security, they cannot afford to take a piecemeal approach to security. “For over three decades, Cisco has connected the world to the internet. We believe we are in a unique position to make the internet more secure and resilient. An estimated 80% of worldwide internet traffic travels on Cisco infrastructure, giving us more visibility and advanced intelligence than anyone.”

Cisco Zero Trust architecture addresses user and device security, all network security and application security, with a security operations layer for visibility. With Cisco Secure Hybrid Work, you have a simple, unifying solution to enable security everywhere and empower work anywhere.

The Cisco Secure portfolio of proven products includes SecureX – a cloud-native platform with XDR capabilities, which integrates the Cisco Secure portfolio with the organisation’s whole security infrastructure to speed detection, response and recovery, and Talos – the world’s largest commercial threat intelligence network.

The Cisco Secure Hybrid Work solution is designed to provide all the products organisations need to secure hybrid work environments, including Duo to verify user identity, Secure Firewall for superior visibility and control of encrypted traffic across multicloud environments, AnyConnect to provide highly secure access to enterprise networks for any user, from any device, at any time, in any location, Umbrella for first-line defence against cyber threats with cloud-delivered security for branch offices and remote users, Secure Endpoint for rapid incident detection, response and remediation of advanced threats, and Secure Email to rapidly detect, quarantine, investigate and remediate cyber attacks that target e-mail.

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