shailaja shankar

Interaction – Shailaja Shankar, SVP-Engineering, Security Business, Cisco

Shailaja Shankar, SVP-Engineering, Security Business Group, Cisco talks about her work.

What strategies are evolving to simplify the security architecture in Cloud, Datacentre and other environments?

Shailaja Shankar – According to Gartner, more than 95% of workloads will be deployed to the cloud by 2025, and as a result, cyberattacks on cloud services, infrastructure, and applications will be at their peak. The only way businesses can operate in a hyperconnected world is by taking bold steps to increase visibility, awareness, and integration across their systems, with a single goal of bracing the evolving threats. And against an increasingly complex cybersecurity environment, technology integration, simplicity, and ease of operation hold the key to a robust security architecture. A Cisco study stated that companies with well-integrated security technologies were seven times more likely to achieve high levels of automation that enable effective monitoring of cybersecurity threats.

Therefore, as we go deeper into the cloud-first world, with security teams overwhelmed with the ever-evolving threat landscape, having a well-integrated security tech stack is a critical step for increasing efficiency and productivity. To help our customers do this quickly and effectively, we have recently set up multiple data centers to help customers and businesses in India prevent and respond to breaches. The data centres will augment Cisco’s security capabilities to support the rising multitude of hybrid businesses across the country.

How cost-intensive are these security solutions in a country like India with unstable markets?

Shailaja Shankar – Today, businesses across sectors, in order to become more resilient and agile, are focusing on accelerating their digital transformation by rapidly transitioning to the cloud, investing in digital infrastructure, and embracing automation. The good news is that businesses in India realize the criticality of security resilience. Organizations are looking at a well-integrated cybersecurity solution as an investment so that their digitization efforts are not delayed or derailed. A PWC study reported that over 80% of business executives in India anticipate an increase in the cybersecurity budget in 2023.

Therefore, we envision a significant market opportunity in the country, and we see demand originating not only from large organizations but also from small businesses and traditional sectors like BFSI, agriculture, logistics, etc. Vendor consolidation and evolution of consumption-based billing models are a couple of trends we are seeing to address cost factor, besides the simplification, and operational visibility and efficiency that customers are seeking.

What are the challenges involved in developing the innovations of new-age security solutions? How do you resolve these challenges?

Shailaja Shankar – Today the world is digitising at an unprecedented scale and with hybrid work and the adoption of cloud becoming a norm, the two trends combined present an interesting challenge – as cybercriminals are also mirroring these changes and becoming more sophisticated. To emerge successful in such a complex and highly digitized landscape, the focus must be on the trustworthiness and reliability of the technology and processes, ensuring we entrench resilience into the core of the business infrastructure. This also holds for the innovation of security solutions, as the challenge here is to stay at par with the rapidly changing technology and business environment.

Well-integrated security technologies with high levels of automation for event monitoring, incident analysis, and incident response processes are imperative. This has to be coupled with modern security approaches like SASE and Zero Trust that breaks down the walls between siloed security technologies. At Cisco, we truly believe every major transition in technology and business generates opportunity and challenge. We continue strengthening our cybersecurity leadership through SASE, XDR and zero trust integration into our networking and security unified platforms. Most importantly, we provide the choice of how our customers want to consume our solutions as we catalyse our transition to delivering a majority of our portfolio as a service.

What innovation strategies are you adopting to outsmart the ever-growing security compromises?

Shailaja Shankar – At Cisco, we see tremendous possibilities and growth in cybersecurity, and we are committed to empowering our customers with security resilience. We integrate the industry’s broadest portfolio with an open platform approach that strengthens network, cloud, endpoint, and applications security. Our vision for enabling a more resilient organization is the Cisco Security Cloud, an open, integrated security platform that will defend an organization’s entire IT ecosystem across public clouds and private data centers without public cloud lock-in. We have announced new solutions and technologies across our portfolio in Secure Connectivity, Network Security, and Zero Trust, and we continue to fortify and innovate on our portfolio. Additionally, all Cisco cloud security solutions are reinforced through our Talos security intelligence experts – consisting of leading analysts who research vulnerabilities to provide rapid detection, actionable insights, and protection from new and emerging threats across the internet.

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