Accelerate your tech game This content is produced in association with the sponsor and is not part of ZDNET's editoral content. Learn more

ZDNET Multiplexer

mul-ti-plexer-er. noun. A device, in electronics, that synthesizes disparate data signals into a single, uniform output. ZDNET Multiplexer merges various perspectives, media types, and data sources and synthesizes them into one clear message, via a sponsored blog.

ZDNET Multiplexer allows marketers to connect directly with the ZDNET community by enabling them to blog on the ZDNET publishing platform. Content on ZDNET Multiplexer blogs is produced in association with the sponsor and is not part of ZDNET's editorial content.


Fighting the complexity of the modern security threat with simplicity

Today's business leaders face challenges on many fronts.
Man working from home protected by cyber security

Fast-changing market conditions demand organisations respond quickly to threats and opportunities through rapid adoption of digital technologies, while new competitors seem to emerge almost daily, lifting customers' expectations for exceptional digital service delivery.

With the prevalence of hybrid working, governments and regulators continue to raise the bar for compliance with legal, financial, and environmental requirements.

And lurking in the shadow, cyber criminals stand ready to exploit any sign of weakness in digital defences.

These challenges come at a time when organisations are generating and consuming more data than ever before – data can be highly sensitive nature, and worthy of the most stringent levels of protection.

And yet, as many leaders have come to realise, these challenges come at a time when the skills needed to ensure defence and resilience are in desperately short supply.

Modern security is a partnership

The simple truth is that few organisations today can properly expect to defend themselves from the myriad challenges and threats they face by acting on their own.

The complexity of the modern threat landscape and the speed at which attackers are exploiting weaknesses make it essential for any organisation to harden its defensive by working with trusted partnerships.

Not only can they provide specialist skills and insights that are gathered and honed across a large number of scenarios and engagements, partners are also helping to alleviate critical skills shortages.

Choosing the right partner is critical, the complexity of today's threat landscape is only matched by the multiplicity of service and technology suppliers, creating a somewhat bewildering set of choices.

However, making the right choice becomes much easier when the decision-making process is stripped back to starting with the most essential requirements, and assessing where the true exposure lies within the customers environment.

Such an assessment quickly leads to the conclusion that while an organisation's data is a cyber criminal's ultimate target, it is the network which will be the most common conduit or target for an attack.

This means then that any robust cyber defence posture must start with full consideration of protecting the network.

Fighting complexity with simplicity

Only through a tight coupling of network and security services can leaders be confident that they are providing the appropriate foundations upon which they can mount an effective cyber defence.

Modern networks are highly complex thanks to the increasing demands that are placed upon them, such as the need to connect to multiple on and off-premises data sources, as well as users' desire to access those resources from wherever they choose.

security accessible from mobile phone

This complexity can be quickly stripped away by first considering the network's primary use cases, and then matching these to modern cyber technology solutions, processes and procedures.

Partners are essential for network provision, be they as suppliers of hardware within and between locations, as the carriage services that ensure safe and secure transit between all locations. It makes sense therefore when considering your security requirements to first start by investigating the security capabilities of your network technology and service providers, as nowhere else are these abilities likely to be so tightly coupled.

Combining network and security partners also removes a layer of complexity, while ensuring that there is perfect alignment between the network and the knowledge of what it takes to secure it.

Strength through partnership

The partnership between Optus and Cisco delivers this combination of domain expertise in both wide-area and local-area networking and has a commitment to high levels of security that is baked in at the core. Tight integration between network and security design will minimise potential gaps that can be exploited and ensures that best practice extends to each end point in the network.

By bringing their two capabilities together, Cisco and Optus can deliver a fully managed secure network service that combines both the latest in network technology, policies and processes, combined with continuous oversight of all aspects of network activity.

This partnership also serves to reduce complexity and bring clarity to network security implementations and management – something that has been refined over the more than 20 years Cisco and Optus have been working together.

This history includes significant experience in implementing leading technologies, such as SD-WAN solutions that provide both high performance and security for wide area networks. The two organisations bring strong capability at the customer edge and in cloud-delivered perimeter security based on the principles of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), using Cisco's Umbrella cloud-native security architecture.

cisco umbrella being used in the workplace

This partnership not only delivers robust security, it also serves to ensure that a robust security posture can be maintained as an organisation's needs change. For example, should market strategies demand a significant increase in attached devices, such as through an Internet-of-Things implementation, the network architecture can quickly accommodate the addition of these new devices without compromising security posture.

This ensures that not only can an organisation ensure it retains the levels of security that it requires for today and tomorrow, but that its security posture will in no way limit options for future growth.


The cyber threat landscape is growing more complex and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Therefore, it is vital business leaders fight this growing complexity with simplicity – which can only be achieved by working with partners who have the depth of experience needed to see what is truly required, and the heritage and close working relationship necessary to implement a robust defensive posture.

The Optus and Cisco partnership represents two decades of domain expertise in networking and security. These two organisations understand the value that working hand-in-glove can deliver to cyber defence. 

To find out more about how you can build your future with Optus Enterprise visit FutureNow - Optus Enterprise and Business.

Editorial standards