cisco_atkearney_exec 2018

Cisco Prepares Malaysia for a Multi-Cloud World

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Propelling Malaysia’s digital economy agenda forward, PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak introduced the Cloud-First national agenda at the end of 2017 to facilitate greater cloud adoption in both public and private sectors even as organisations progressively move towards a multi-cloud environment where they seek to optimise capabilities offered by different cloud providers.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”18357″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][vc_column_text]These companies tread into an increasingly complex landscape where they face a host of challenges – from implementing an optimal cloud strategy to keeping themselves secure from threats.

At the Cisco Connect 2018 media briefing recently, the panel consisting of Albert Chai, Country Manager, Cisco Malaysia; Simon Cheong, Regional Director, ASEAN (Security), Cisco Pte Ltd and Gareth Pereira, Principal, Asia Pacific, A.T. Kearney sat down to confabulate on the following:

 Understanding the multi-cloud environment in Malaysia; and

  • Cisco’s strategies to assist organisations navigate the areas of networking, management and analytics in this multi-cloud universe, particularly in terms of cyber-security.

Cisco is known as a leader in network infrastructure in Malaysia. Network professionals specifically seek out Cisco for certification, so certainly, its discussion points, carry a lot of weight.

 Part 1: Understanding the Multi-Cloud environment

Cloud will present a significant growth catalyst for Malaysia as part of the nation’s collective move towards digital transformation.

  • However, there is no single platform that can entirely perform a diverse range of business functions for the organisation – applications span across on-premise as well as various private and public cloud infrastructures.
  • Organisations will embrace multi-cloud as a key technology investment strategy; where they adopt multiple cloud computing services from different cloud providers. This includes the distribution of cloud assets, software and applications across several cloud-hosting environments.
  • Many organisations pursue a multi-cloud strategy to better safeguard their data. Multi-cloud is a way to prevent data loss or downtime due to a localised component failure in the cloud. The ability to avoid vendor lock-in was also an early driver of multi-cloud adoption.
  • Based on an IDC finding, as much as 94% of existing cloud users want to work with different cloud providers, intending to transition some workloads and compute instances to reliable and secure externally managed public clouds.

As enterprises increasingly embrace the multi-cloud strategy, Cisco Global Cloud Index study forecasted that public cloud growth will outpace that of private cloud.

  • Public cloud workloads and compute instances will grow to 238 million in 2021 from 59 million in 2016 (representing a CAGR of 32%)
  • Private cloud workloads and compute instances will grow to 144 million in 2021 from 84 million in 2016 (representing a CAGR of 11%)

Unlike utilising one specific cloud provider that is only optimised for its own services, multi-cloud adoption requires organisations to adopt a vendor agnostic approach. This enables them access to the right solutions in an open and secure environment.

Cisco’s multi-cloud approach brings together networking, security, analytics and management across the multi-cloud environment for businesses to simplify, secure and optimise how they work.

 Part 2: Optimising Security for a Multi-Cloud world

While the multi-cloud environment brings many benefits for organisations, businesses also face increasing complexities – lack of data control and visibility, fragmented environment – which leave them vulnerable to greater threats.

  • Like a double-edged sword, technological evolution, particularly the rise of multi-cloud operations will render threat monitoring and response more complex. Each unique cloud environment introduces new vulnerabilities due to multiple access and authentication nodes. In fact, since 2016, more hackers have been targeting cloud systems with attacks ranging in sophistication as they work relentlessly to breach corporate cloud environments.

In addressing this, Cisco has built a broad set of security solutions for the multi-cloud world.

  • Securing the public cloud – Cisco Stealthwatch Cloud monitors public cloud infrastructure and detect threats without the need for software agents. It can be deployed on premise, in the cloud and for huge distributed environments.
  • Securing SaaS applications – With Cisco Cloudlock, a cloud access security broker (CASB) focused on securing identities, data and applications in the cloud, customers can have greater visibility into the cloud services their employees are using.
  • Securing access to the Cloud – Cisco Umbrella is a secure internet gateway that protects users when they are connecting from outside the network and off the VPN. Cisco Umbrella now processes more than 120 billion DNS requests per day with more than 85 million daily active users.

In an A.T. Kearney study touching on the state of cybersecurity in ASEAN countries, commissioned by Cisco, the following main points pop out:

The growing risk of cyberattacks across ASEAN companies could expose them to potentially US$750 billion (RM3 trillion) erosion in current market capitalisation.

  • However, the region currently spends only an average of 0.06% of its collective GDP on cybersecurity annually.
  • Malaysia spends just slightly above the regional average at 0.08% of its annual GDP. This is half of the average spend by mature markets, i.e the US, UK and Germany.
  • Malaysia is in severe shortage of cyber-security professionals. We have six thousand such professionals today but it is projected that we need ten thousand by 2020, a mere two years away.
  • Malaysia is used as a launchpad for cyberattacks due to the advanced infrastructure that is built since thirty years ago.

If the last point sounds surprising, Cheong puts that doubt to rest. After all, Cisco’s partnership with the government of Malaysia has long been established for twenty-three years now. Currently working together on the National Cybersecurity Platform, this puts Malaysia the leading ASEAN country (second only to Singapore) in terms of cyber-security readiness. Malaysia has a dedicated agency, CyberSecurity Malaysia, driving this process and looking into the country’s cyber-security legislation. Only Singapore and Malaysia have operational National strategies.

Now, the need to train up cyber-security professionals need to pace up and a commitment towards increasing cyber-security spend must follow suit.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”18356″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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