As National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) arrives, now is a good time to look at the rapid expansion of information growth. We believe that cyber security centers around an important question that all who serve, protect and educate should consider – if you knew you were going to be compromised, would you prepare security differently?

It’s no longer a matter of “if” an outside party will infiltrate a system, but “when.” We read about new threats in the news every day, and it’s important to consider innovation when it comes to protecting our most precious assets and information.

We look at preparedness from three angles: what it takes to manage security before an attack, how to react during a breach and what to do in the aftermath. Security professionals need to evolve their strategy from a point-in-time approach to a continuous model that addresses the full continuum.

The Cisco approach is visibility-driven, threat-focused and platform-based. By performing live policy and attack demonstrations, organizations can help to ensure that they are prepared for what may come across multiple platforms.

Here are strategies for protecting your infrastructure:

  • BEFORE an attack:
    • You can’t protect what you can’t see.
    • To defend against threats you need complete visibility of devices, operating systems, services, files, applications, users, vulnerabilities and more.
    • This information is used to create access control policies and identify users.
    • DURING an attack:
      • Advanced threats require advanced threat detection.
      • Point-in-time detection methodologies must be sophisticated and updated with automated threat detection feeds for effective blocking of known threats.
      • AFTER an attack:
        • When it comes to unknown threats, invariably some attacks will be successful.
        • The future of network security relies on the ability to look back at the decisions DURING the attack and ask if the right choices were made.

As new information becomes available, technologies need the ability to change course. For any cyber security strategy it’s important to use tools that work to secure an environment during every stage of action.

We have become a network-centered nation and now need to evolve our security to fit this new reality. The Internet of Everything (IoE) is happening today, and network-connected devices are integral to protecting public sector interests.

Learn more about #NCSAM activities to protect your business and family.


Erich Baumgartner

Senior Director