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Cyber-security threat landscape has grown exponentially: CISCO

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins has said that cyberattacks on Internet-connected devices have "exponentially" increased

By: PTI | London |
Updated: May 24, 2017 3:16:39 pm
WannaCry, Cisco, WannaCry ransomware, ransomware, Cisco cybersecurity, global cyber attack, hacking, cryptocurrency, bitcoin, cyber risk, Mirai attack, cybercriminals Cisco set up its fifth global cyber range lab in Gurugram to train Indian firms and government agencies on real-world cyberattacks. (Representational Image)

Cyber crooks are now casting a wider net, attacking not just PCs and mobile phones but also Internet-connected devices like security cameras or routers, which has “exponentially” increased the risk landscape, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said on Wednesday. The $49 billion firm has a $2 billion security business and is helping customers across the globe devise their security strategy both proactively and reactively.

“The threat landscape is getting so much bigger. The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks where 50,000-100,000 IoT devices were enslaved in a botnet (Mirai attack), Wannacry. The risk is going to increase exponentially and we have to have a robust end-to-end architecture to actually solve this,” Robbins said at the Internet of Things (IoT) World Forum here.

He added that 71 per cent of executives around the world say cyber security concerns are slowing down their digital progress. “We block 20 billion threats per day. We have a team of 250 threat researchers… Security is fundamental… You have to acknowledge that threats will get in, and you will have to build a similar strategy to make sure that you can identify, remediate and defending (against) them proactively,” Robbins said.

The US-based tech firm Cisco will launch its ‘IoT Threat Defense’ solution with features like network behaviour analytics and malware protection to provide visibility and analysis of traffic to and from IoT devices and detect anomalies, block threats, identify compromised hosts, and help mitigate user error.

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Earlier this month, ‘WannaCry’ ransomware took on the world by storm, infecting thousands of computers globally, including in India. The malware locked computers and the cybercriminals demanded $300 in cryptocurrencies to unlock the devices. While the government maintains that there were few stray incidents in India, various reports by security solutions companies said the Asian country was amongst the worst hit nations by WannaCry.

According to Cisco’S 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report, such cyberattacks can impact operations, reputation, and revenue of organisations. Also at stake is unauthorised access to the enterprise’s networks, data and IP loss, and even business shutdown, the report notes.

With industries like manufacturing, healthcare and utilities like power companies introducing more Internet-connected (IoT) devices, it becomes pertinent that they have robust security systems in place.

Over the last few months, Cisco has ramped up its security operations in India to cash in on the burgeoning opportunity. Last month, it set up its fifth global cyber range lab in Gurugram to train Indian firms and government agencies on real-world cyberattacks.

The company has also set up a Security Operations Centre (SOC) in Pune — its fourth after the US, Poland and Japan — to provide a broad range of services, including monitoring of threats and its end-to-end management for enterprise needs. It will be linked to other Cisco SOCs across the world. These centres are part of Cisco’s $100 million investment commitment to India.

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