Cisco Live Orlando: Our Key Takeaways

Cybersecurity was on everybody’s mind at one of this year’s most anticipated tech conferences, Cisco Live. In between rounds of our Spot the Threat…

Last updated on April 29, 2021.

Cybersecurity was on everybody’s mind at one of this year’s most anticipated tech conferences, Cisco Live.

In between rounds of our Spot the Threat game, we talked to over 1,500 attendees at our booth last week and noticed some common themes that are worth sharing.

A group of event attendees playing our Spot the Threats game

Our BlueCats were kept very busy!

Security & networking professionals opening up about vulnerabilities

Right off the bat, a lot of the attendees that have visited us were eager to express their questions and concerns about where their organization should go next with their cybersecurity plans. One particularly recurrent topic of conversation was strengthening security structures, and in our case, plugging a security hole that’s gone unmonitored for far too long – DNS.

There were a lot of questions regarding DNS security and how to use the data for cybersecurity, which sparked a lot of curiosity in how DNS Edge stands amongst its peers. According to Anthony Walker, one of BlueCat’s Sales Demand Reps,

“They were usually taken back when they learned Edge could be deployed with an unlimited number of service points at no additional cost, and very little impact on their environment.”

With many companies relying on network firewalls, secure web gateways and solutions like Cisco Umbrella, it’s safe to say they were pleased to hear the ways Edge adds capabilities beyond what these tools can do – particularly reducing the attack surface with internal DNS visibility and control.

DNS isn’t just for network teams, it’s a foundational element of cybersecurity

Another key subject that arose from a lot of network professionals at Cisco Live was the growing awareness that there are IoT devices that just aren’t being secured, along with the risks involved with that. The changing attitude seems to be that if a device is connected to the network, then it can pose as a potential entry-point for malicious activity. A lot of our visitors were also quite interested to hear about the role of DNS in keeping the network safe from breaches on these devices.

Unfortunately, DNS is still being overlooked, unmonitored and underleveraged despite it being the gatekeeper to a network’s most sensitive devices and data. When using Edge, for example, DNS is leveraged to allow policies to be implemented quickly and automatically, which not only provides an additional layer of security, but saves teams valuable time as well.

No universal stance on Cloud

An interesting point to note is the great Cloud divide. Many people mentioned they were looking into migrating IT infrastructure to the Cloud, and according to Ozzie Nelson, BlueCat’s VP of Government Sales,

“Customers were all over the map on this one… some were aggressively headed in that direction while others were being ‘forced’ and didn’t know where they were going to begin.”

We had plenty of guidance to provide in this area as well, as DNS is a crucial component for any organization heading towards a cloud-based infrastructure.                                                                           

There’s no such thing as a silver umbrella

As mentioned above, when organizations are looking into obtaining a well-rounded security infrastructure, they’re appreciating that there isn’t one perfect all-encompassing solution. This is why a complementary approach is so appealing – a company happily using Umbrella’s North-South (external) protection can benefit from leveraging that visibility with a lateral, East-West (internal) view of DNS queries and data movement provided by DNS Edge. Also, given the interest in getting more out of DNS, Edge provides the additional benefit of reducing the attack surface via policy control and reduces the time to remediation with complete DNS visibility, both internal and external.

Overall, we had a great experience at Cisco Live Orlando. We were excited to have so many engaging conversations and meet so many people, both from network and security, to talk about how DNS can be used for so much more than it is today. Here’s to another great year – we’ll see you in 2019, Cisco!

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