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CYBERSECURITY: Hybrid work gets a new layer of security

Cisco’s new assessment tool is designed to help SMBs gauge better their cybersecurity preparedness.

SMBs must ensure end-to-end protection across their workforce, workloads, and the workplace and adopt a zero-trust strategy to manage and strengthen their cybersecurity posture in a cloud-first world, says Patil.

Cybersecurity has become a key focus area for organisations as they embrace hybrid work, which has expanded the attack surface and increased cyber risks. Cisco has come up with a solution to address the issue, introducing an assessment tool to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) gauge their cybersecurity preparedness, or “better understand their overall security posture.”

“With small businesses digitising at speed and scale and the threat landscape becoming far more sophisticated than ever before, securing their business becomes a top priority,” says Anand Patil, senior director, Systems Engineering, Cisco India & Saarc. The new online assessment tool assesses cybersecurity readiness through the lens of “Zero Trust” or the concept that attempts to access an organisation’s network architecture should not be granted until trust can be verified. When a user accesses an app using a device, both the user and the device are verified, with that trust being continuously monitored.

The tool assesses the organisation’s level of maturity in six areas of Zero Trust: user and identity, device, networks, workload (applications), data, and security operations. It generates a bespoke report for the organisation that indicates their standing in each of the six areas of Zero Trust. Wherever applicable, it offers tailored recommendations on the technologies and solutions that can help strengthen the organisation’s overall security posture in a hybrid work environment.

Going forward, SMBs must ensure end-to-end protection across their workforce, workloads, and the workplace and adopt a zero-trust strategy to manage and strengthen their cybersecurity posture in a cloud-first world, says Patil.

LOOMING THREAT

*According to Cisco’s Cybersecurity for SMBs study, more than half (62%) of SMBs in India suffered cyber incidents in 2021

* Cyberattacks cost their business more than Rs 3.5 crore

*Three in four (74%) SMBs suffered cyber incidents that led to 85% customer information loss

Top reason for incidents was security solutions not being able to detect or prevent them

Phishing,unsecured laptops, targeted attacks by malicious actors, and the use of personal devices are among the top threats to SMBs’ overall security

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