This blog explored many meaningful topics this year, including cloud, digital transformation, the Internet of Things, big data, network programmability, and changes to CCNA Routing and Switching, but no topic in 2016 occupied more of our attention blog for blog than did cybersecurity. Close to two dozen times, we focused on security or cybersecurity, with the highlight of the year being the announcement of our Cisco Global Cybersecurity Scholarship, whereby we dedicated ourselves to adding many thousands of cybersecurity operations professionals to the talent pool.
The coverage that we did of security and cybersecurity represents a nice body of work that can give you a systematic overview of the issues and developments in this arena, so I thought I'd gather it all together for you here. Take a fresh walk through the year's blog posts on the subject, reading them all for a comprehensive sense of the field or just revisiting those that pique your interest again or fill a gap in your knowledge. Click on each date for the accompanying story.
January 8: We greeted 2016 with a TEKsystems annual industry forecast of IT leaders, revealing that security had moved into the #1 slot as the area projected to have the biggest impact in the year ahead.
January 22: We shared the Cisco Annual Security Report, highlighting ransomware as a mounting theatre of attack.
February 5: As part of a post on IoT, we revealed that security is a pressing concern for IT leaders as they embrace the Internet of Things.
February 11: Looking at a plethora of stats, we sized up the whopping size of the cybersecurity market, the threat, and the talent shortage.
March 2: We presented Cisco DNA (Cisco Digital Network Architecture), and, in so doing, we revealed how security has been built in.
March 18: We explored the concept of shadow IT and the danger of compromised security that it can create.
April 19: We provided a Salesforce report on the topic of digital business transformation and as part of that, stressed the importance of security and cybersecurity to IT decision makers leading the charge.
May 23: We offered a roundup of cybersecurity reports from eight giants in IT, disclosing concerns ranging from malware and phishing to insider threats and “integrity attacks.”
June 16: We announced the Cisco Global Cybersecurity Scholarship program, which has generated many thousands of enthusiastic applicants ready to commit to a career in cybersecurity with our CCNA Cyber Ops curriculum and certification.
June 22: In our runaway most successful blog post of the year, we shared with you 10 unsettling yet intriguing and inspiring TED Talk videos—see what’s had so many in the community talking in the Comments section.
August 12: We gave you a look at Cisco’s 2016 Midyear Cybersecurity Report, providing some food for thought about how sophisticated cyberattackers have become in terms of “malvertising as a service” and using encryption to deliver malware—and stressed where defenders are proving themselves weak.
August 26: I provided you with an in-depth and disturbing look at how cybercrime has emerged from the dark recesses of hackers' basements to become an organized profession, often mimicking how legitimate businesses function.
September 10: I wrote about how today’s cybersecurity requires not just a smart perimeter of defense but smart guards that can roam the entire network infrastructure and detect, monitor, and respond to threats in real time.
September 19: We shared Global Knowledge’s annual salary report, based on 10,000 IT and business professionals in North America, and posted the good news that security ranks in the top 3 IT job categories for compensation.
October 9: To kick off Cybersecurity Month for 2016, I participated along with Cognizant Technology Solutions’ Manny Gelaga in a special cybersecurity Twitter chat—check it out to see what the hot questions, and hot answers, were.
October 17-31: At a blistering pace of seven different articles over the course of two action-packed weeks during Cybersecurity Month, I aimed to get you thinking about cybersecurity as a career: what specific skills are needed, the four basic cybersecurity job categories and how you might fit in, and the sorts of training you might need.
As you can see, we covered the security and cybersecurity field from quite a number of angles, and we are looking forward to keeping you in the know in 2017. If any of the topics discussed above had special resonance for you this year, and you would like to see more of it, let us know in the Comments below. And be sure to tell us as well if there is an overlooked area you would like to see addressed next year! I wish you a successful and satisfying year ahead with your learning and career development.
Tom Gilheany is Cisco’s Product Manager for Security Training and Certifications. He has a diverse background in startups through multinational Fortune 100 companies. Combining over 20 years of product management and technical marketing positions, and more than a dozen years in IT and Operations, he has conducted nearly 50 product launches in emerging technologies, cybersecurity, and telecommunications. Tom is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), holds an MBA, and is an active board member of the Silicon Valley Product Management Association and Product Camp Silicon Valley.