Securing Businesses in the Digital World

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Securing Businesses in the Digital World

Pravin Srinivasan, Lead, Security Sales, Cisco India & SAARC

The article was published in Economic Times

Today, digital has evolved to be the central theme across industries. Businesses can no longer afford to remain ignorant of the shifts happening around, especially because everyone - prospects, customers, and partners are strongly embracing digital technologies.

Due to the rapid adoption of mobile devices, ever-increasing thrust for collaboration, proliferation of cloud-based services and increasing competition, companies are pushing the threshold to drive efficiency through technology. Businesses today realize that digital is the platform to leverage in order to gain success in a rapidly changing economic scenario. By 2020, 75 percent of all enterprises are expected to become fully digital.

Like their other counterparts, SMBs have increased their IT spending and that number is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2016 according to Gartner. SMBs in India are ready to digitise and many of them have already begun to transform themselves by re-inventing and re-ordering their operating models.

Benefits and Challenges
While embracing digital technologies presents a number of advantages to the SMBs, it also poses significant challenges. Success in today’s dynamic environment means that SMBs have to be quick, agile and use processes that bring down the cost of operations. They need to blend and provide real-time interactions in ways that look effortless. Technologies such as cloud, mobility, and analytics are enablers for that.

In a world that is fast going digital, customers have begun to embrace new technologies like mobility and video, and are adopting online behaviours, such as social networking, at an astonishing rate. This means that SMBs stand exposed to a never-before-set of vulnerabilities and it is important for them to implementing IT safely and efficiently using solutions that are reliable and scalable.

According to the recent 2015 Cisco Annual Security Report (ASR), it becomes clear that attackers are using applications that users inherently trust or view as benign. The report says that no matter how many advances the security industry makes, criminals will continue to evolve their approaches to break through defences.

Security strategy
Given the above, it is important to pay attention to the way people inside SMB organizations strategize, implement, and most importantly - think - about security. To be effective, solutions must and work towards providing superior visibility, continuous control, and advanced threat protection across the extended network and the entire attack continuum. Threats may be lurking in places that are not very obvious. Therefore, organizations need to be more cautious than ever and invest in solutions that take a holistic approach to security.

Small business networks face constant threats from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, zero-day attacks, and more. Achieving effective network security for small business requires a solution that's designed to fit the organizations evolving needs.

SMBs need to invest in a comprehensive security solutions. Irrespective of size, it is critical that organizations protect their businesses against business interruption that may take place through theft of information. In order to have a secure network it is important that:

The security hardware and software is scalable and extensible - “Scalable” so that the organizations can easily add users and locations to their network at any given point. "Extensible" so that it is easy to add features and make adjustments to the network as SMBs security needs evolve. Scalable and flexible security technology can help keep the network up to date while protecting the original investment in security hardware and software.

It is critical that SMBs implement a security solution offered by a vendor who has the financial and technical wherewithal to continually develop, test, and improve their security solutions.

SMBs security needs will no doubt change over time, and therefore it's important that the organization selects a security partner or consultant that can provide them with ongoing assistance as needed. These partners will help SMBs install and monitor their security solutions which will therefore help them identify security challenges before they manifest themselves into problems.

It is essential that SMBs look for a partner that can help them create security solutions quickly. As if there is a delay in adopting these solutions, organizations may lose out on customers because they do not have adequate security solutions in place.

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