Everybody knows that modernizing legacy systems brings better security along with all of the other improvements in power and efficiency. It seems, however, that despite what everybody knows, a large number of federal IT leaders don’t believe it.

A recent survey showed that 59 percent of respondents think that their modernization efforts have left them less secure than before. Another 38 percent, however, listed enhanced security as the number one advantage of modernization.

Analysts quoted here suggest that the level of mistrust — and the opposite view taken by a large minority — shows that modernization is a double-edged sword, bringing increased complexity and staffing challenges along with its advantages.

The fear isn’t entirely unjustified. Modernization usually includes connecting more systems to networks than ever before, including objects that are part of the Internet of Things. As a result, the attack surface available to malefactors increases.

Another potential cause: Modernization is complex and agencies often have to work with two sets of systems — the old and the new — during the transition, said Tony Sager, senior vice president at the Center for Internet Security, quoted in FCW.

However, cyber defense measures are up to the challenge. Cisco offers tools that detect malware in encrypted traffic, that turn the entire network into a security sensor and that provide powerful forensics tools for analysis of vulnerabilities.

With the advent of Cisco’s new intent-based network, the cybersecurity tools provide a formidable defense against anything attackers might throw against an agency.

With the new network, Cisco switches, routers, and wireless solutions powered by Cisco Digital Network Architecture are always learning and adapting. This brings a new layer of sophistication to Cisco’s already powerful array of cybersecurity tools. From access control to next-generation firewall to email encryption, Cisco can provide all the protection you need to safely embark on IT modernization.

Here are a few ways Cisco cybersecurity solutions can ease an agency IT leader’s mind:

Woman in front of computer monitors.
Modernize IT in confidence with Cisco cybersecurity solutions.

Stealthwatch with NetFlow and Encrypted Traffic Analytics: Gain Cisco visibility across the network, including the data center, the cloud and branch offices to uncover sealthy attacks. Stealthwatch turns your whole network into a security sensor and policy enforcer. The newly available Encrypted Traffic Analytics can spot malware in encrypted traffic with no decryption needed.

Advanced Malware Protection: Real-time malware blocking, global threat intelligence, advanced sandboxing and continuous monitoring of the extended network keep malicious code out.

Identity Services Engine: ISE is a robust access control solution that controls who can access your network, what features they can use and show you at glance which people and devices are logged in. ISE can even prevent ransomware from taking effect in your network.

These are just a few of the capabilities that modernization can enable you to use in strengthening your protection against threats. There’s a lot more. See all of our cybersecurity solutions here.


Michael Hardy

US Federal SME

Cisco Americas Public Sector