What keeps you up at night? Latest Cisco research reveals why Canadian organizations need to shore up their network security strategy sooner than later

When it comes to network security, what keeps IT professionals up at night?

With new Cisco research revealing that 60%of Canadian organizations don’t have a security strategy or policy in place, or are unsure whether their current strategy prepares them for the future, there just may be a lot of sleep-deprived network managers out there.

It goes without saying that, without a comprehensive security approach, Canadian businesses are leaving themselves woefully underprepared when it comes to guarding against data loss, theft and persistent malware attacks. Our research bears this out, flagging that six out of 10 businesses either do not have a security strategy in place, and/or are unsure whether their security strategy accounts for an evolving data centre and IT consumption model, or do not have a strategy to prepare for these changes. The research also notes that “Canadian businesses with less than 100 employees are the most likely to not have a security strategy (26%), while mid-sized businesses are the least likely to have a strategy in place for changing IT consumption models (25%).

It is a new Internet-connected world out there; given the new reality and opportunities created by the Internet of Everything (IoE) —  driving data connections between mobility and cloud applications —  today’s always-on, always-connected world means that security preparedness should be the top of the chart when it comes to IT and network priorities. That said, there is one stat that particularly stood out: “One in three (31%) of Canada’s largest companies are unsure whether their IT security strategy accounts for evolving data centre and IT consumption models.” Think about the use of employee personal devices on your own network: the research also notes that over a third of Canadian employees are using personal devices without knowing if they are actually allowed or permitted within the organization.

Sleepless nights indeed.

Security should be top of mind, particularly as the IoE world begins to take shape. Cisco has adopted a threat-centric and operationalized approach to security that helps to reduce complexity and streamline IT operations, while offering unmatched visibility, consistent control, and advanced threat protection across the entire attack continuum – before, during, and after an attack. With that in mind, it’s important for both businesses and vendors to be prepared for new IT consumption models and to adopt a more proactive approach when it comes to creating and taking advantage of network technologies that form the basis of a safe and secure network infrastructure.

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This includes taking steps such as building out time to conduct regular reviews of the security infrastructure to identify potential gaps, regular scans of the network, ensuring the latest product updates have been installed, and working with a trusted vendor to determine the type of security solutions that represent the fit for the organization.

Once a methodology is built around these tips, network managers might be able to sleep a bit easier.

Is your security infrastructure up to snuff? Why or why not? Drop us a comment below and visit our website to read the full press release.

About Ahmed Etman

Ahmed Etman is the General Manager of Security and Enterprise Networking for Cisco Canada. In this role, he is responsible for Canadian growth within Cisco’s core technologies including enterprise routing, switching, and wireless networking. He is also responsible for managing Cisco’s cross-portfolio security solutions and leads a team of dedicated sales specialists across the country. Etman has over 12 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. He joined Cisco’s Europe, Middle East and Africa team in 2006 as a security business development manager, based in Dubai. He is a mechanical engineer by training and started his career as a security systems engineer. Before joining Cisco, he held various positions at Internet Security Systems (now part of IBM), including Director of Technical Solutions, and was responsible for opening the ISS operation in the Middle East and Africa region. Etman holds a bachelor of science degree from The American University in Cairo. Ahmed Etman est le directeur général de la sécurité et du réseautage d'entreprise de Cisco Canada. À ce titre, il est responsable de la croissance des affaires canadiennes en lien avec les technologies de base de Cisco, notamment les technologies de routage, de commutation et de réseautage sans fil d'entreprise. Il est aussi responsable de la gestion de l'ensemble de la gamme de solutions de sécurité de Cisco et dirige une équipe de spécialistes des ventes dévoués d'un océan à l'autre. M. Etman possède plus de 12 ans d'expérience dans l'industrie des télécommunications. Il est entré au service de l'équipe Cisco de l'Europe, du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique en 2006 en tant que directeur du développement des affaires de sécurité affecté à Dubaï. Il a une formation d'ingénieur mécanique et il a commencé sa carrière à titre d'ingénieur de systèmes de sécurité. Avant de grossir les rangs de Cisco, il a occupé divers postes au sein d'Internet Security Systems (qui fait maintenant partie d'IBM), y compris celui de directeur général des solutions techniques. Il a aussi été responsable de la mise sur pied de l'équipe ISS de la région du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique. M. Etman est titulaire d'un baccalauréat ès sciences de la American University du Caire.
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