Let’s face it. There’s no getting around today’s interconnected, digital world. From online banking to social media, nearly every aspect of our life is in one way, shape, or form, connected to the internet. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. But I’m reminded just how dependent I am with each new device that I buy.

I never realized how many IoT devices were in my own home until a little incident prompted me to change the password for our ‘parental’ wireless network. At home I run Meraki wireless with separate networks for parents, kids and guests. My mistake was that I had gradually set up every new IoT device on the parental network. A few months ago I had to change the passcode after discovering that my son had somehow figured it out and was using it to bypass some of the controls I had set up. What I had failed to realize was how many different devices were dependent on the parental network connection. I chased those devices down for a week: two Amazon devices, three Apple TV’s, a Roku, one Harmony remote, my wife’s iPad, iPhone and MacBook, Hue bridge lighting, Sonos speakers, Schlage locks, and a Chamberlain garage door control… and I am still not sure if this list is complete. I now have all of these on their own SSID, which I should have done originally. This is a very small problem compared to what is happening on a much larger scale with Cisco’s customers. Far beyond my humble network vulnerabilities at home, organizations around the world are falling victim to detrimental hacks from the most skillful of threat adversaries.

According to Cisco’s 2017 Cybersecurity report, ransomware exploits took in $1 billion US dollars in 2016 alone. It’s estimated that the global financial damages of cybercrime will reach a staggering $6 trillion every year through 2021*. I don’t know about you, but those numbers are a little unsettling. Fortunately, I work on one of the most secure networks in the business and I am surrounded by an army of world class security intelligence experts working around the clock to detect and block network threats. They’re called Talos, and if you haven’t heard of them yet, they’re kind of a big deal.

Cisco’s Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group is team of highly-skilled researchers, data scientists and engineers that collect information about existing and developing vulnerabilities, and deliver protection against both known and emerging threats. These guys underpin the entire Cisco security ecosystem, which is no easy feat.

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Craig Williams, Senior Technical Leader and Security Outreach Manager for Talos, and Steve Martino, CISO and VP of Cisco’s InfoSec organization, for a special edition of our Unscripted webinar on the topic of, you guessed it, cybersecurity. I set out to understand the state of today’s global threat landscape, the impact of the latest cyber threats on organizations around the world and learn what companies should be doing better in order to avoid the incessant malware threats plaguing our digital world.

As Cisco’s VP of InfoSec, Steve brings the fundamental perspective of a practitioner who is constantly consuming the latest threat research analysis and implementing this intelligence to better protect Cisco’s business and customer’s investments. This crucial threat intelligence is produced by Craig’s Talos team, whose job is to research, detect and tackle these threats. The combined forces of these two powerhouse organizations enable Cisco to protect not only our company but our customer’s people, data and infrastructure.

According to Steve, “The world is getting more and more interconnected. As an enterprise, you have to have a set of processes in order to deal with all of the partners and vendors and customers connecting to your network. They’re all part of the ecosystem, and they all have different profiles and compliance regimes set with them. The key is a balance between defense and active response.”

On the latest episode of Unscripted, listen as Steve and Craig discuss the major security challenges that are plaguing companies around the world and how to ensure that your company doesn’t get its name into the headlines.

Topics Covered:

  • Who are today’s hackers
  • How to protect yourself
  • What is looming in the future

Watch the full webinar here!

Huge thank you to Steve Martino and Craig Williams for joining me on this special edition of Unscripted.

Let me know what you think about some of the latest Cybersecurity events in the comments below or send me a tweet, @robbboyd


Sources: Forbes  and Cybersecurity Ventures


Robb Boyd

Producer, Writer, Host