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Cisco security chief touts network as first line of defence against cyber weapons

28 Sep 2012
Tunnel of numbered data

As the V3 Security Summit brought to the fore, businesses of all shapes and sizes are facing manifold security risks, from state-developed malware tools to DDoS attacks and device loss.

Many have called on governments to ensure they to educate and inform firms over the risks they face and how to protect themselves.

Governments themselves, though, must be aware of their own issues, as attacks grow in complexity.

Chris Young senior vice president of Cisco Security and Government Group For Chris Young, senior vice president of Cisco's Security and Government Group (pictured) this is an issue he grapples with daily.

"There's not a conversation we don't have where security doesn't come up," he said.

"We are helping government agencies around the world and there are a lot of people [from Cisco] working in classified formats to help them run very sensitive networks."

Young was speaking in London at a select event for UK press attended by V3.

Having previously worked at RSA, VMware and AOL in security-related roles Young has seen numerous issues at companies and organisations. He says the rapid evolution of threats facing governments is driving Cisco's work in this area.

"When we work with governments, it's very much a partnership to help them implement security controls, to think about the evolution of what future threats may look like," he explained.

"This involves helping governments to design their networks to get visibility, so they can gain access to more information to spot threats and respond to attack to patterns."

Attacks are certainly on the rise, with the firm's Scan Safe tool blocking twice as many attacks as it was 18 months ago, Young noted.

However, it's not as if governments are innocent bystanders in this cyber arms-race.

The US and Israel are thought to be behind some of the most sophisticated malware out there, such as Flame and Stuxnet, developed to stifle nuclear programmes in rogue states, notably Iran.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

View Dan's Google+ profile

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