Co-authored by Ron Temske
Up to now, only the largest of companies could truly deploy a highly sophisticated security defense. Not any more. Two industry powerhouses, Cisco and Logicalis, have partnered to streamline enterprise security, making state-of-the-art protection available to large and mid-size companies. To explore this partnership in more depth, I caught up with Ron Temske, VP of Security at Logicalis, to hear his insights.
Ron, let’s start by asking what challenges companies face today in protecting themselves from cyber threats?
At a high level, I’d say the industry is faced with three primary challenges. Cyber attacks continue to increase both in magnitude and in their level of sophistication. This implies businesses need to become even more diligent in standing up strong security defenses. There is also a severe shortage of skilled security talent to stand up these needed security defenses. The ramification here is companies have to rely more and more on software and automation to help identify and remediate security threats.
Unfortunately, that last challenge is exacerbated by the fact that many of the fundamental security tools and services in the market, for instance Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services tools, have become bloated and quite complicated to deploy.
Bloated? Interesting choice of words when discussing enterprise security! What do you mean by bloated and therefore complicated?
As an example, there are plenty of MDR solutions in the market, but over time many have become overly extended with features most customers simply do not need. One consequence is that these offers have become tremendously complex and expensive to implement. This is challenging for most companies, as they simply do not have the skilled resources to take on such projects. In addition, this complexity means an implementation can take a long time. I’ve seen implementations take six to nine months or more. That’s just too long for companies to remain vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Are there specific types or size of companies that need to worry about putting an MDR solution in place?
I believe all companies, large to small, are at risk.
As an example, I play in an Elton John tribute band that’s relatively small and presumably not on anyone’s radar. Recently, we hosted a live virtual concert stream and were the intended victims of a highly targeted, direct cyber attack. The perpetrators spent significant effort, including creating bogus sites with similar URLs that asked for a credit card to view the live stream, while our real site didn’t. They also launched a pretty massive denial of service attack against our actual live stream, encouraging people to try to use one of the bogus links as the real one wasn’t working.
The point of this story is cyber criminals target companies of all sizes, not just those in the Fortune 100. In other words, being small is no defense, which leads me back to my earlier point that waiting six to nine months, or more to implement a security defense is just too long to wait.
I think you have the answer to help companies implement a sophisticated threat defense more quickly, in addition to a quick plug for your band.
As much as I’d like to promote my band, what I really want to share is that Cisco has an MDR offering that provides a core part of the answer. I like to say the Cisco® MDR is not your grandfather’s MDR. So what do I mean by that?
Cisco MDR covers the fundamentals, taking out the bloat and providing a streamlined MDR offering. This enables companies to deploy the solution more quickly, and at a lower cost than grandfather solutions because customers don’t pay for functionality they don’t need. In fact, one medical device manufacturer reduced costs 40% by deploying Cisco MDR when compared to other MDR services. In addition, they now have in place a more sophisticated and agile security defense than they had before.
I’m all for customers saving money. But what if a customer needs some of those extra capabilities found in inflated MDR solutions, such as compliance reporting or support for additional data sources beyond Cisco that you don’t get with Cisco MDR?
That’s a nice segue into the many ways Logicalis provides value on top of Cisco MDR. To begin, Logicalis can provide implementation and tuning services to deploy Cisco MDR for our customers. This helps the many companies that have limited in-house security expertise.
Second, Logicalis can manage the entire Cisco MDR environment for the customer. This includes ongoing management of the technology itself and interpreting the data that it provides.
Third, and to your more specific question, Logicalis can add any specific capabilities the customer might want on top of the core Cisco MDR service, such as compliance reporting and support for additional data sources. But an important difference is that we can customize the solution so the customer only pays for the features they need.
I should add that Logicalis is a leader in delivering security solutions. For instance, we were recognized as a CRN Elite 150 for security, and we provide managed security solutions to over 400 customers worldwide. Logicalis was Cisco’s security partner of the year in 2019. The Cisco MDR offer has become a key component to our strategy, helping us continue our leadership role in helping customers detect and remediate security threats.
Great info, is there anything more you’d like to add, for instance around our joint development?
Certainly. I just talked about services that we offer today, which you could say are bolted onto the Cisco MDR offer. I’m excited to share that we’re actually taking this offer a step further and co-developing with Cisco to bring to market a truly integrated, co-branded solution.
For instance, there is common ticketing, where our joint customers gain visibility from one portal into what is being provided by both Cisco and Logicalis, as if the two companies were acting as one. Also, we can integrate additional sources of threat intelligence to provide a holistic view of the customer’s environment to accelerate the speed of detection and response.
Clearly, Logicalis is making a significant investment in the Cisco partnership. What do you think of the Cisco approach to security in general?
Here at Logicalis, we’re clearly big fans of what Cisco is doing in security, as no one else has such breadth and depth across its security portfolio. One area where I’m especially impressed is how Cisco is bringing sophisticated security defense, previously only available to the largest companies, to mid-market size companies as well with the launch of the Cisco SecureX™ platform.
What are your thoughts on Cisco SecureX?
I’m quite impressed by Cisco SecureX, which you could think of as a “SIEM lite plus threat hunting.” Just as Cisco MDR cuts out the fat in threat detection, Cisco SecureX does something similar in security monitoring, delivering a package that is incredibly powerful for rapid threat detection, along with hunting and isolation of security threats.
Cisco SecureX enables Logicalis to provide additional threat hunting and remediation with insights and automation.
To close, in the world we live in today, companies large to small are all potential targets for cyber attacks, but many think putting in place a sophisticated security defense is out of their reach due to complexity, lack of resources, and budget. Cisco solutions such as MDR and SecureX are real game changers, helping us to streamline putting in place threat defense from detection through remediation for our mutual customers of all sizes.
To learn more, please visit:
Logicalis and Cisco Solutions Partnership Page
Logicalis Security Services
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