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Cisco Security Heroes: The power of partnerships, employee education, and zero trust policies

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Today’s cybersecurity universe shares many similarities with the Marvel Universe. There’s bad guys (those pesky cyber-attackers) and there’s good guys, like cybersecurity thought leader Mark Lynd, and Enric Cuixeres Saez, Head of IT at Leng-d’Or.

In a recent video, Mark and Enric sat down to discuss the latest dangers and developments in the ever-evolving world of cybersecurity – and it’s an absolute must-watch! But to expand on the conversation and share more of his experiences and expertise, Enric has kindly returned to the hotseat for our latest blog. 

The following is a guest blog authored by Enric Cuixeres Saez, Head of IT at Leng-d’Or.

During our 55-year history, Leng-d’Or – like our world – has been subject to a lot of change. But we’ve arguably seen more business evolution and revolution in the past two years than we have in the past twenty.

This has accelerated our own transformation and required constant innovation to uphold our company’s core values, to make sure our processes and products meet the highest standards of quality and safety. But equally as important has been the nurturing and preserving of trust from our customers and employees.

Today’s organisations therefore need a security model that easily and effectively adapts to the complexity of a digital-first world, embraces the hybrid workplace, and protects people, data, and devices, wherever they’re located. And this too requires innovation and investment to keep up with threats that grow more sophisticated by the day.

So, to help you on your own cybersecurity journey, I’ll explore some of the ways Leng-d’Or has advanced our own approach to security – with a deeper dive into the critical role of zero trust, the non-negotiable need for employee training, and how the power of partnerships can protect your business and drive productivity in a hybrid world of work.

Bad actors don’t discriminate – every business needs cybersecurity

Perhaps the most important aspect of cybersecurity is knowing that every business, regardless of size, is vulnerable. Being a smaller business, we were once of the belief that only big companies are exposed to attacks. But bad actors don’t discriminate, and if anything, SMEs are more vulnerable to threats due to this common security misconception.

Unfortunately, this also means all businesses are susceptible to the eye-watering fines often dished out by regulatory bodies when a data breach takes hold. Not forgetting the ridiculous ransomware extortion attempts, which 32% of businesses paid for in 2021, only for 92% to not receive their data back, according to Forbes.

Despite all of this, however, it’s a loss of trust – and subsequent business – that can have the biggest impact on brands. In the case of Leng-d’Or, we’ve spent 55 years building our reputation, but something as commonplace as a phishing email and a wrong click by an employee has the potential to undo all of our hard work.

So, why take a chance? Bad actors know employees are the biggest risk to any organisation’s security armour – and their efforts to exploit this are unrelenting. This is why security should be sat atop every business agenda, with training baked into a strategy that covers all digital bases and equips workforces with the necessary tools and processes to be productive and secure.

Empowering employees with the right training and tools

In today’s business landscape, it’s essential that employees are not only aware of the risks, but also comfortable dealing with and reporting attacks and data breaches. By educating staff via regular training and giving them the confidence to identify threats, this can improve your human firewall and greatly reduce the employee error often attributed to data breaches.

However, where this may once have only applied to IT teams, security is now something that must extend across the whole business. After all, bad actors know accounting or marketing is where the money and data is – so this is where a majority of their attacks are directed. In response, every employee must be able to identify and tackle threats when they occur.

But beyond training, all teams must also be equipped with the necessary tools and processes, which don’t only support security, but also strike a balance with usability to enable employees to be at their most productive – regardless of where they’re working. And this is where it pays to partner with a cybersecurity provider such as Cisco.

Seamless integration across security technologies

From Cisco Umbrella to Secure Email, Cisco’s full suite of security products provides Leng-d’Or with the support we need to protect our business against all threats. And this in turn gives us peace of mind that we can produce 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to keep up with customer demands, drive compliance with industry standards, and make sure our reputation is always protected.

For me, however, it’s the removal of complexity that sets Cisco apart. Everything works seamlessly together, with Cisco SecureX providing access to real-time information in one location for visibility across all our security touchpoints, maximising efficiency with automated workflows, while reducing threat dwell time and the need for human-powered tasks.

In addition to this, Cisco also supports another of our core values: innovation. By freeing up time previously spent on security, this enables us to focus our efforts and resources on improving our business. But security too requires innovation, and in Cisco, we have a partner that is always pushing the boundaries and striving to keep us two steps ahead of bad actors.

Our recent implementation of  Cisco Zero Trust is one such example of this, with its ability to permit our employees to securely connect to our network anywhere, on any device, while restricting access from non-compliant devices. But it’s also been fundamental to our operations, with automated network segmentation that lets us set micro-perimeters for external parties  without requiring network redesign.

The power of partnerships

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the world works better together. Business is no different – especially when it comes to security – and our partnership with Cisco and consultation partners like DotGainen Consulting has been essential to help us navigate risk and seize opportunities in a turbulent business landscape.

The Cisco Gateway is another embodiment of the power of partnerships, with its community of likeminded peers and security professionals that are always on hand to provide expert advice. If we’re ever deploying new tools or facing any challenges, this community is always just a call or click away to give us the support we need.

Of course, we’re always there to reciprocate this, with my role as a Gateway Ambassador. This year, I’m particularly proud to have been on the shortlist for Cybersecurity Defender of the Year in the Cisco Global Advocate Awards, alongside some of my esteemed peers. I hope this is a reflection of how Leng-d’Or tries to give back to this community which has helped us so much in the past.

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to catch Enric’s must-watch conversation with Mark Lynd.


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