How to Thwart Sophisticated Cyber Attacks with Cisco

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Cyber threats have become far more sophisticated over the years, and will continue to rapidly advance in the age of AI. Thankfully, security solutions also leverage the latest technology to stay one step ahead of malicious activity. Despite the innovations, the greatest risks to IT infrastructure continues to be the human  that can compromise an environment.

 Technology companies like Cisco create tools that can help security professionals keep their networks safe while mitigating the risks that end users will compromise a network. As a company that’s been around for more than forty years, Cisco looks for ways to improve the quality of their firewalls to account for user interactions, but have also developed tools that can be layered on top of the firewall to create a coordinated, cohesive cyber security strategy.

Developing a robust cyber security posture is critical for success in the modern era. Here are a few of the ways that Cisco can help you create a safer network for your organization:

The Next- Generation Firewall

Every organizational leader knows the importance of a firewall, but Cisco has made it easier for IT professionals to ensure their organization remains secure by creating a dynamic firewall system managed by one of the largest cyber security firms in the world.

Cisco’s Firepower Firewall leverages intelligence from Cisco Talos, a leader in the threat intelligence space. Talos uses IP behavior information pulled from not just your firewall, but a collection of cloud-based intelligence analysed from every Cisco Firepower Firewall in use across the world to determine if network traffic may be malicious. With this intelligence, Talos is able to make proactive decisions about which traffic to allow into an organization’s network. This use of traffic and reputational data enables Talos to protect an entire network of computers from cyber threats and keep them from spreading should an attack succeed.

An AI-Powered Monitoring Tool

While managing IP behavior and blocking potentially malicious software from gaining access to an organization’s network, there’s a component of cyber security that’s more difficult to protect against –  human behavior. That’s why Cisco created its Identity Services Engine (ISE).

Cisco’s ISE is a tool that’s designed to recognize patterns in the behavior of employees. Using an AI model built on organizational policies and the behavior of end users, ISE looks at all aspects of a user’s connection (such as credentials, location, time, etc.), and communicates with the firewall to prevent access if it detects a threat to the network. Additionally, ISE can automatically set up a captive web portal for systems joining the network if, for example, there’s an employee laptop that’s out of date and needs to download the latest patches to serve the organization better. That way, your network remains secure while allowing you to restore a company asset to its full utility.

Lastly, ISE has the ability to connect with a wide range of integrations, enabling it to pull in even more information to evaluate a connection. Utilizing all available data points, it can come to the optimal decision when deciding to deny traffic to a user displaying abnormal behavior.

A Flexible Authentication Tool

While a smart firewall and user behavior monitoring engine are sophisticated tools that can keep your organization’s network safe, two-factor authentication (2FA) can help protect end users’ credentials by adding an extra layer of verification for user credentials.

Cisco’s Duo provides that layer of security and the flexibility to integrate into nearly any tech stack. With Duo, users can confirm their identity through phone call, text, PIN, pop-up, or another forms of verification. The tool can also integrate into other platforms, including those outside of the Cisco ecosystem.

Protecting Your Network on the Go

In an era of hybrid and remote work, an organization must account for threats from devices that may not have access to tools that businesses generally do. Enabling an employee to access the business’s network from their personal cell phone or laptop changes the way you have to approach cyber security, and one way to do that is to use Cisco’s Umbrella tool.

The Cisco Umbrella tool is specifically designed to protect end users from visiting sites that could be dangerous. Basically, it filters all your traffic through the network to Talos for review and if something’s identified as malicious, it blocks the end user from accessing the website.

This ensures your network remains secure even if an employee accidentally visits a malicious website or forgets to turn on their VPN.

The Benefits of Using the Cisco Platform

While cyber security has become far more complicated than it used to be, Cisco has created a variety of tools that can be used to streamline your organization’s security operations. Cisco products, when used together across your business’s IT environment, help protect your business by evaluating the entire picture of your organization’s network behavior and minimizing the traffic from potential bad actors.

However, there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all tool that works for every organization. Cisco provides a robust set of tools to keep networks secure, but there are benefits to creating a plan that’s tailored to your organization’s specific needs. This could mean diversifying the kinds of firewalls deployed or utilizing a handful of Cisco products to achieve the end goal of a secure network.

Understanding your needs is the first step to an effective cybersecurity plan. Hammer Tech has helped many organizations weigh their options so they can feel confident in their organization’s security. If you want to ensure you’re getting the best of the best, contact us.