Cisco's Chambers says security can no longer be an after-thought

Security can no longer be an after-thought or a stand-alone mission. There are too many forces at work - and that's just not bad guys lurking for valuable data on the Web.

Security can no longer be an after-thought or a stand-alone mission. There are too many forces at work - and that's just not bad guys lurking for valuable data on the Web.

Instead, what Cisco CEO John Chambers was talking about during his keynote speech at the RSA conference today was the need to incorporate security into the infrastructure - the platform, the device and, of course, the network. And, more importantly, security needs to be integrated into every aspect of a company's operation, regardless of whether it's conducting a WebEx session, accessing a document via a Blackberry or even conducting a telepresence business meeting where company secrets will be discussed,

How does a company do that? Via the network, of course, Chambers said. After all, that's the heart of the Cisco's business. But just because Chambers says it's so, does that mean he's right? Of course not. And he's quick to invite others to challenge him.

In his brief appearance on the RSA stage, he said he hoped his words were enough to scare some folks into taking action - some sort of action. Chances are, he said to the folks in the audience, is that they've been hacked already or otherwise had their security systems compromised at some point.

It's a dangerous world out there. You don't necessarily have to follow Chambers' advice, but no one really should be dismissing what he has to say, either. Too often, security becomes a concern after a breach or attack. By then, it's too late.

Also see: Cisco rolls out security upgrades at RSA