Skip to content
​Flickr photo byAmericanVirus

Cisco Executive Discusses Evolving Perspectives on Cybersecurity

Companies need to shift their focus in cybersecurity and vendors need to cooperate more, according to Bret Hartman, chief technology officer for Cisco’s Security Technology Group. He spoke via teleconference about this and other challenges facing corporate information security professionals. He also discussed Cisco's latest security strategies.

“The whole process of security has really shifted,” said Hartman. “It used to just be, put security in place [i.e., a firewall]–and now it’s a continual process. It’s an ongoing battle: the attackers push their way in, the defenders push them out. That’s a significant shift in the way we think about cyber security and information security.” Part of fighting that ongoing battle successfully, Hartman pointed out, is building a system of advanced analytics that look at user behavior to see if a device has been compromised, something the Cisco Security Technology Group is currently working to develop and expand on.

“The challenge in this world was to get into the behavior analytics. There’s such a rich set of data sources to be able to look at user behavior or device behavior, and that’s why I think that’s going to continue to grow,” he said. “User behavior helps to drive the level of threat. If somebody’s moving around a lot versus [normally] relatively static…that might be someone I watch more carefully.”

Hartman said that while Cisco's Security Technology Group is continuing to make investments around big data and analytics, no one vendor will be able to tackle network security issues by working alone.

"Another important component is the ability to cooperate and share information with other vendors, sometimes with the government,” he said. “There are standards we are working on to enable the sharing of that type of intelligence across many different organizations. Without that component, it’s going to be impossible for any one vendor to solve the problem.”