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Evening-up the fight in the war against organised cybercriminals

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Every day Cisco blocks over 20 billion threats. That’s almost three for every man, woman and child on the planet! This may give some sense of the scale of cybercrime that targets legitimate businesses. What it doesn’t do is to provide an accurate picture of the levels of sophistication that are being applied to the task by the cybercriminals concerned. Every day they are finding new and more innovative ways to achieve their objectives. The bad guys are very good at trying to get what they want. That’s because they are hard-nosed business people. They have a very clear sense of purpose that drives everything they do.

Cybercriminals could write ‘the’ book on purpose. The bad guys are driven by very clear motives. From entrepreneurial hackers, to organised crime or nation states – there is always a very clear sense of purpose. And they back it up with a zeal that would be admired in an entrepreneur. In fact, the leaders of legitimate businesses need to see cybercriminals as peers. Cybercriminals plan. They innovate. They automate. They continuously refine their processes to make them more efficient and effective. They will do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

Because most CEOs are focused on achieving their legitimate business objectives, their ‘purpose’ hasn’t always included being driven to keep the bad guys out of their business. This has created an uneven fight. It leaves security professionals playing catch-up.

The scale of cyber threats has grown past the point that can be handled by human beings. It is now essential to automate the detection and handling of threats. An example is a technology called Cisco Cognitive Threat Analytics (CTA). CTA, which is part of the wider Cisco AMP Everywhere ecosystem, analyses and automatically investigates suspicious web traffic. It quickly detects and responds to attempts to establish a harmful presence on the network and to attacks that are already under way. It pinpoints attacks before they can begin to steal sensitive data. One of the key benefits of CTA is that the artificial intelligence engine is continuously learning from the massive amounts of data that it analyses. As a result, it self-learns what normal behaviour looks like for the organisation concerned.  This makes it possible to identify what malicious looks like and then learn to defend against malicious behaviour in a new and more effective way.

The CTA dashboard gives CEOs visibility of the ever-present threats to their business. It provides the kind of quick look data in real time that enables leaders to understand both the scale and severity of the risks they imgface.  It also provides benchmark comparisons of the threat profile of organisations of a similar type. Click on the image to find out more.

This quality of information – and the comparison with peers – also helps to even-up the fight against cybercrime. It makes clear the strength of purpose cybercriminals have to do harm. It provides the motivation needed for leaders to match this sense of purpose with their own commitment to not let the criminals win.


Cisco Southern Africa is launching the first Cybersecurity Customer Experience Centre and Academy in the region to educate and train customers and other stakeholders on cybersecurity innovation, prevention and remediation.

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