Zero-Trust Security Can No Longer Wait
The rise of remote and hybrid workplaces underscores the urgency of the move away from perimeter-based security and toward zero trust, which emphasizes strict access control and requires repeated user authentication.
“We’ve come to the natural progression of what ‘shifting perimeter’ means, and it’s literally gone. There is no perimeter anymore,” said Jeff Fanelli, a Cisco security architect. “Not just because almost all of us are working from home but because of where applications live, the heavy use of internet services and Software as a Service for applications, and so on.”
Cisco is marketing a grouping of security solutions as part of a zero-trust package: multifactor authentication with Cisco Duo, workload protections with Cisco Secure Workload and Cisco SD-Access network segmentation.
“Just when you think security can’t become more important, we have more breaches, our environments have become more distributed and complicated, and because of how the traffic patterns are changing, you’re transforming your architecture,” Robbins said.
Businesses Are in a Better Place Post-Pandemic
The pandemic forced businesses to accelerate many of their digital transformation plans — and as difficult as it was, most are in a better position now as restrictions start to ease, according to IT leaders who spoke at Cisco Live.
For example, AutoNation, one of the largest dealership chains for preowned cars in the country with 360 retail locations, had been working steadily toward digitizing its entire sales process when the pandemic hit.
“COVID-19 turned that from a nice-to-have and something we were working on to the very highest thing on our list,” Adam Rasner, the company’s vice president of technology operations, said. “Customers didn’t want to go into dealerships, but they still wanted to buy cars, and we needed to transact as much of the deal digitally as possible. We moved into hyperspeed to make those things happen faster.”
The story was much the same around the world with businesses of all types. Now that those transformations are far along, businesses have gotten a taste of what’s possible with technology and are likely to keep pushing forward.
“You helped your organizations remain resilient, and technology was and will be at the heart of business strategy,” Robbins declared. “We definitely learned last year that the world is truly ours to shape. We’ve proved that tech can help us achieve virtually anything.”
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