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Cisco Live: Firms Failing to Protect Identity, Networks, Applications from Cyberattacks

Cisco’s first Cybersecurity Readiness Index focuses on five core pillars of security protection.

Christine Horton

February 7, 2023

2 Min Read
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CISCO LIVE AMSTERDAM — While technology to secure devices is widely adopted, more progress is needed to protect identity, networks and applications. That’s according to the initial findings from the first-ever Cybersecurity Readiness Index, revealed at Cisco Live Amsterdam.

The new report questioned 6,700 respondents in 27 countries representing more than 18 industries. It focuses on five core pillars of security protection: identity, devices, network, applications, and data.

Zero Trust

Respondents ranked identity and device management as two of the three top cybersecurity threats. Alongside the widespread adoption of technology like multifactor authentication (MFA), criminals are increasingly targeting the solutions protecting users and devices.

There are impressive levels of adoption when it comes to device protection. However, said Cisco, there is still much work to be done when it comes to identity. The highest level of readiness that companies have across the globe is in securing devices, with nearly half of companies placed in either the “mature” (31%) or “progressive” (13%) stages of adoption. But significant progress is needed to meet the challenge of identity verification. Only 20% of organizations in the ‘mature’ category, and more than half falling into the “beginner” (20%) or “formative” (38%) stages.

Application Security

According to the Index, companies urgently need to act on the security posture of their applications and related workloads. Only 12% are in a state of mature application-security readiness, while 65% are in the early or formative stages. Cisco said its application strategy aims to ensure greater resilience against the growing attack surface of the experience economy. This is where applications are no longer an adjunct, but rather they are the business itself.

Secure Connectivity

Finally, IT complexity, and the complexity of managing a highly distributed workforce, has introduced risk to the organization and increased operational costs. Most enterprise networks can’t support the change in traffic patterns driven by SaaS and hybrid work. Only 19% of companies are placed in the mature stage of protecting the network, while more than half are in the formative or beginner stages.

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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