UPDATED 13:00 EDT / JANUARY 31 2020

SECURITY

How Cisco handles security threats in an increasingly complex digital world

As the technology industry grapples with issues such as multicloud, edge computing, the “internet of things” and artificial intelligence, the questions around network security are becoming more and more important. So just how can an enterprise keep everything secure? And what are some trends with security?

“I think the most significant changes that have happened recently have to deal with not essentially [attackers’] objectives, but how they go about their objectives,” said TK Keanini (pictured), distinguished engineer and product line chief technology officer for analytics at Cisco Systems Inc. “They get a little clever, and they find weaknesses. And round and round we go.”

Keanini spoke with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman, co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Cisco Live event in Barcelona. They discussed security in an increasingly complex digital world(* Disclosure below.)

Attackers aren’t breaking in; they’re logging in

Many things have not changed when it comes to security, according to Keanini. Bad guys are always bad guys. However, the way they try to go about their attacking has changed. Tactics are different.

“It’s not that the attacker is breaking into your network anymore. They’re logging in,” Keanini described. “Alice’s account is not going to set off the triggers. So you have to say, ‘When did Alice start to behave differently?’ If she’s working in accounting, why is she playing around with the source code repository? That’s a different thing, right?”

While automation is a beneficial tool, it needs to be used carefully because automation can backfire when it comes to security breaches within a network, according to Keanini. So tools such as Cisco Stealthwatch become increasingly important to help enterprises find and be alerted to suspicious activity on their network through machine learning and behavioral modeling.

“Machines can help us,” Keanini said. “You and I, we have only so many sense organs, and the cognitive brain can only store … so much state. Machines really help us extend that. You know, looking at not three dimensions of change, but 7,000 dimensions of change.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Cisco Live. (* Disclosure: Cisco sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Cisco nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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