3 December

3 Cyber Resilience Factors

Featuring: Lothar Renner, Director Cyber Security Sales, Cisco

“It’s a simple truth: the more online presence you have, the more likely you’ll be hacked,” says Lothar Renner, Cisco’s Director of Cyber Security Sales Northern and Eastern Europe, Russia & Switzerland. “And companies are on massive digitising-mode,” he warns.

Cisco blocks 20 billion threats a day across various networks at the moment. But technology, immensely helpful as it is, can’t be seen as a silver bullet. It is a component of a robust cyber resiliency plan, which should include at least two additional ones: personal reliability and international cross-sector collaboration.

I- Technology

Pressured by competition, businesses hurry to embrace digitisation (turning analogue information into digital) and digitalisation (using digital technologies to change business models and capitalise on them) [Forbes]. But in this hurry to innovate, digital risks are often undermined– which can, paradoxically, severely damage productivity, finances, and reputation. Sounds like a catch 22.

The only way out is “integrating cyber security into business operations,” says Lothar. “That’s why many critical infrastructure facilities are now starting to build their own Security Operation Centers (SOC) to take better provisions in addressing attacks. SOC is becoming an element of digitisation for companies now,” he explains.

This represents a shift in the cyber security approach, and Lothar has noticed many others over time: “5 to 6 years ago, many companies offered specific products to fix specific problems. Organisations could have 60 security vendors at once in their infrastructure. Now, with more sophisticated attacks, we need different protection mechanisms to merge seamlessly. Customers have decreased the amount of vendors in their infrastructure, but increased the level of protection through multi-solutions. They want to see more integrated, automated, and conglomerated technologies.”

II- Personal reliability

Cisco’s Umbrella security product widely adopted in Northern Europe uses the internet’s infrastructure to block malicious websites or attachments when a user tries to open them. It then informs the user of what just happened, to raise awareness. “Although we focus on companies and businesses, the technology is the same for private users,” Lothar explains.

“Receiving malicious attachments or links via email is a classic threat. Most people know better than to open any attachments from an unknown sender…But it still happens a lot. And when it does, this technology protects the user. This product is used by the Nordic public sector, enterprises, small businesses, schools that have public Wi-Fi… from households to multibillion dollar companies,” he explains.

Since 2016, organisations such as the Norwegian Centre for Information Security (NorSIS) have been urging citizens – in this case, Norwegians, over 99% of which are online- to boost their cyber security posture.

“Citizens aren’t aware of how their cyber security neglect affects the resiliency of the entire national digital infrastructure,” states NorSIS, advocating for a shared effort among individuals. Personal reliability is needed now that we are literally all connected.

III- Cross-sector and international collaboration

Aside from adopting integrated technologies and motivating individuals to comply with security measures, companies and governments have begun developing close partnerships to enhance infrastructure security.

NordX, the inaugural Nordic region’s Cyber Security Summit provided by Qatalyst Global, partnering with Cisco as a presenting sponsor, bridges the gap between government, IT and OT security leaders to support such collaboration. The initiative enables the exchange of vital information, resources and expertise needed to ensure readiness against potential threats.

Lothar believes cross-country collaboration to be an extra advantage: “our customers in Norway, Sweden and Denmark are facing pretty much the same problems –it makes a lot of sense to share experiences and learn from each other,” he says.

Find more about NordX at www.cyberseries.io/nordx/, where you can request a brochure for a detailed agenda and full line-up of speakers. Sign up for Qatalyst Global’s newsletters for more content like this and follow them on LinkedIn to be the first to know about upcoming discounts on conference passes.

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