David Bombal talked with Jonathan Davidson and Jeetu Patel at Cisco Live about the tremendous changes in the cybersecurity and networking landscape. Here are the highlights from the discussion:
What is the State of Computer Networking?
Jonathan Davison, EVP and General Manager of Cisco Networking, and Jeetu Patel, EVP and General Manager of Security & Collaboration, talked with one of my favorite cybersecurity YouTubers, David Bombal, about the exciting new deployment of Cisco Networking Cloud and Cisco Security Cloud. A new platform for managing On-prem and Cloud infrastructure in Cisco. "Our customers lives are getting so much more complicated," Jonathan Davidson stated, "If you go into the Wayback machine when we had applications running on a server and then to virtual, but then you're not sure which server they were on. Finally going to public cloud, and now they're in containerization. That's not including now that people can work from home or the office." Since Covid-19, networking has become an even bigger problem due to the likely hood of the organization's employees and customers everywhere. The explicit goal Cisco is trying to capture is bringing everyone and anything connected to their respective network through all Cisco products. With this, you have a flurry of problems that could stem from the ISP to the local network through wireless or wired connections causing connectivity issues. This introduces Cisco Networking Cloud to the field. Cisco hopes to achieve excellent on-premises management while giving you access to your cloud-based equipment to manage better and protect your business. "We're always going to have on-premises management for regulatory reasons. There are obviously government agencies that need to have on-premises networks, but we want to have a consistency of the user experience across each of those various aspects.” This is why they are trying to integrate on-prem and in-cloud infrastructure, so one doesn't have to use multiple different dashboards or systems to manage the policies and devices across your network.
“I just want the outcome of the connectivity to be there to happen. And if something bad happens, tell me where, what, and how I fix it.” – Jonathan Davidson EVP and General Manager of Cisco Networking
If it's Connected, it needs to be Protected.
Jeetu Patel discussed there is no single company that controls a large amount of the market share for cyber security products. "It's over fifteen-thousand vendors, and no one has dominant market share. On average, people have fifty to seventy products in every company. " Because of companies' usage of different products from different vendors, there are multiple contentions, policies, and cracks in an organization that no one wants to fill. Companies need one platform to manage their security while also looking at the networking side of things to understand better how to protect their business from threats. With a platform, defenses can become coordinated to provide a better view of the management and state of your networks and devices. With Cisco Networking Cloud, another platform is being released called "Cisco Security Cloud." Hand-hand-hand, these systems will be widely mirrored to help businesses quickly switch between a networking view of their organization and a security point of view. To have a great experience, you can't have a fragmented system. No longer will new technologies be built with the mindset of individuality, but possibly integration into another system or platform.
“What’s happening now is our defense for security have gotten very isolated, and the attacks have gotten very coordinated, and it should be the other way around. “ Jeetu Patel, EVP and General Manager of Security & Collaboration
How AI is changing cyber security and networking
Jeetu and Jonathan went on to summarize what is happening in the cyber security and networking field with the impact of AI. Generative AI seems to be where companies and individuals are focusing their efforts. Jonathan mentioned a system that can predict or assist in building new infrastructure by analyzing what the user is doing. For instance, when setting up new access points for wireless connectivity, the system might suggest the same name and settings and offer to fill in what you previously configured on another AP automatically. But what Cisco hopes to achieve in the future is complete conversational policy and security management of your platform with the help of AI instead of setting strings, Ips, file locations, and processes to look for when going into security. One can converse with a system that understands and quickly creates policies or rules based on your conversations. Imagine simply saying, "Search for anything Log4J related," Cisco goes out and manages your network to look for types of requests or queries related to Log4J.
Massive work is still needed with the rise of AI technology.
David Bombal is famous for helping younger people (like me) learn cybersecurity and networking to improve their profession and raise awareness of the need for cybersecurity professionals. David asked how the next generation of cyber security and networking professionals will train and adapt in this AI world. Jonathan Davidson highlighted one industry that is massively moving to be interconnected with the world: The Automotive Industry. Cars, such as the Tesla and Ford Lightning, are completely interconnected to the Internet with software updates to manage the electric engine in the car. But other traditional gas-powered vehicles also receive updates through technologies like touchscreens that provide phone connectivity for playing music or taking a phone call. According to Jonathan, less than 10% of all motor vehicles are connected, meaning many more innovations and infrastructure must be built and created to maintain the rest of the motor vehicles. That leaves out everything else to Buses, Scooters, and electric bikes, not including many other IoT devices, such as Environmental controls like thermostats, cameras, automated parking lots, etc. AI is just starting and is in no shape to completely take over all the different industries on the list to be connected to the Internet. So fields like networking and security may seem they are being automated, but in retrospect, it is very little for now.
Cisco is adding to the influx of AI technologies that are the new normal for many individuals’ whichever industry they work in. With Cisco Networking Cloud and Cisco Security Cloud, companies can utilize their Cisco products like never before, whether in the cloud or on-prem. With the combination of AI and ML, the next generation is now part of a “Gold Rush” of learning and helping maintain infrastructure with AI bots that can quickly react and launch individuals faster at achieving their goals. This is an exciting time for any technological field, with AI sweeping everyone off their feet to quickly integrate this technology into their platform. Let's see what else AI will be added to next. Maybe AI for NPCs in video games?