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Cisco Chief: Cybersecurity Needs To Tighten Up

April 23, 2009

Recently, John Chambers, Cisco chief executive, stated that computer defenders are just steps ahead of cyber crooks and that security must be built into all aspects of networks.

“We are just staying ahead of the bad guys; one step at a time,” Chambers said during a rapid-fire presentation at a major computer security conference in San Francisco.

“There aren’t many companies or governments that haven’t been hacked in the past year.”

The lines between home and work lives are blurring, causing more people to use smart phones, laptop computers and other portable devices outside the control and protection of business settings, Chambers said.

A growing trend towards “cloud computing,” in which programs that are online as services instead of installed on business networks, means that more sensitive data could be exposed by the Internet.

According to Chambers, since businesses are now resorting to holding virtual meetings online to save time and money, they are running the risks of competitors snooping.

“I think you can have innovation and security co-exist, but you have to do it architecturally,” he said.

“How do you stay ahead of crime figures, crime syndicates and pernicious states? The answer is you don’t without a secure infrastructure.”

Cisco is a company that specializes in switches and routers for computer networks.

“Technology to protect from attacks has to be automated,” Chambers said. “If it requires human intervention, it is too late. It’s the architectural play that is the future.”

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