We have entered a world where uncertainty has become the normal operating mode for everyone. Within this new frontier, cybersecurity has become even more challenging. However, some cybersecurity professionals have stood out, using their unique skills and resourcefulness to protect the integrity of their businesses, and to withstand unpredictable and dynamically changing threats. In the end, they, and their businesses have emerged even stronger.
These accomplishments have lead them to be selected from over more than 700 Cisco Cybersecurity Advocates – who are also members of Cisco Insider Advocates – to join the League of Cybersecurity Heroes.
Cisco Insider Advocates is a peer networking community developed several years ago for Cisco customers around the globe. Currently, over 14,000 customers are using it to share technology insights, feedback, and best practices, and also to make meaningful connections with others in the industry. We at Cisco believe that when we connect, anything is possible, and the Insider Advocacy program is a great example of the great things that can happen when people come together.
Let’s meet our League of Cybersecurity Heroes
As the global CISO of Mediapro, Roberto has deployed Cisco SecureX together with Umbrella, Secure Endpoint, Secure Firewall, ISE, NGIP, Threat Response, AnyConnect, and Web security. With this partnership, Mediapro has reduced its threat detection time by 90%. In addition, they have seen no false positives in their threat detection alerts. It is rare to boast of a 100% success rate, but they can boldly make that pronouncement. All of this has also benefitted Mediapro financially by incurring zero fines for any compliance issues
What do music, cybersecurity, and teaching all have in common? They all culminate in a readiness to perform. Equally, they all require collaboration, comfort with the unexpected, and a passion for the job. Blair exemplifies the best of these traits, and in doing so, he provides inspiration and excellence to all with whom he interacts. Watching Blair at work makes one wonder if there are more hours granted to him during a day than the average person. He is a time-maximizer, spending most of that time in the service of others.
Too often, cybersecurity certifications are treated derisively by some of the very professionals who need them most. This is not the case with Kevin, who can list the many benefits of attaining certifications. Kevin’s desire to improve his knowledge doesn’t stop with technology and cybersecurity. He is an avid reader of anything that can raise him up to be better than he was the day before. With a career that started in the US Marine Corps, Kevin continues to learn and grow, all the while remaining as masterful at a computer keyboard as he is his with his traditional 55-gallon-barrel BBQ smoker and grill.
Steve is a Senior Cybersecurity and Network Architect at Lake Trust Credit Union. Like most organizations, Lake Trust has had to transition to a completely remote workforce quickly, and thanks to Secure Network Analytics, they were able to transition the employees to work remotely while maintaining the same high level of visibility and protection in place. Steve was the subject of a case study about the benefits that Cisco products have brought to Lake Trust Credit Unions’ customers. He is currently collaborating to update that information to share more of his knowledge.
Being the Head of Information Technology is never an easy job. However, when food manufacturer, Leng-d’Or, was faced with a challenge during the pandemic that could have interrupted its production line, quick thinking, skilled leadership, and a close partnership with Cisco all lead to positive outcomes, and helped them to pull through stronger than before. Part of this success comes from Enric’s distinct understanding of the threats, solutions, and processes needed to bring security to a higher level for the Leng-d’Or organization. Enric also shares his success story very freely, adding immeasurable benefits to the security community.
Cybersecurity is truly a global discipline. Tony Dous proves this by practicing his craft as a Senior Network Security Engineer in Cairo, Egypt. Tony’s involvement with the Cisco community shows how no distance is too far for a motivated cybersecurity professional.
When John Patrick is on the job, there is no longer any feeling that the criminals are one-step ahead of the good guys. He adopted Umbrella together with Meraki to develop a proactive security approach inside his organization. John Patrick created a more unified network from a patchwork of disparate entities. In doing so, he reduced the complexity within the environment. Complexity is so often responsible for security gaps, and John Patrick’s work not only corrected those gaps, but he brought people together in the process. He and his team received great feedback from the employees, who enjoyed a consistent network experience.
We often hear stories about teenagers who become enamored with technology, leading to the fulfillment of a dream. Amit Gumber became interested in cybersecurity at an early age, pursued his passion and has worked in the field ever since. His sense of advocacy is best described in his own words: “I’m quite passionate about sharing knowledge and ideas with peers and participating in collaborative activities.” Amit’s use of Cisco technologies has helped HCL Technologies to stabilize and secure their environment.
One of the most important factors for success is insatiable curiosity. Mark Healy is a continuous learner, and he is an example of someone who enthusiastically shares his knowledge. Whether it is on a personal level, or through his high engagement as part of the Cisco Insider Advocates community, or as an active member of the Internet Society, Mark is an evangelist and a positive voice for cybersecurity.
Wouter holds a special designation, not only as a member of the League of Cybersecurity Heroes, but also as the recipient of the “Cybersecurity Defender of the Year” award. Wouter is an active participant in the cybersecurity community, working with an almost evangelical zeal towards sharing the importance of holistic cybersecurity. His contributions stand out towards making the cyber realm a safer place.
It is often said that the job of a cybersecurity professional in an educational facility is especially challenging. When that facility happens to be the largest in an entire country, with over 4,000 schools and universities, the job of protecting it can seem insurmountable. At AzEduNet, in Azerbaijan, Bahruz and his team is tasked with securing the network for its 1.5 Million students. With Cisco Secure, the security team reduced security incidents by 80%. This not only ensures access for the students, but also keeps the data safe.
Walther Noel Meraz Olivarria
Many people want to enter the cybersecurity profession, but few have the dedication and perseverance to fully embrace the skillset required to meet that goal. Walther Noel not only had the desire to refocus his career, but he proved it by earning the CyberOps Associate Certification. His accomplishment is a prime example of how one can step outside of their comfort zone to grow and thrive.
Pascual demonstrates how important it is to make the most of the learning opportunities in Cisco Insiders Advocates. While already a successful NOC engineer, he sought to advance his professional development by studying cybersecurity. He passed the CCNA CyberOps 200-201 exam, moving him closer to propelling his career to even higher achievements.
One of the noblest expressions of knowledge is the desire to freely share that information. Inderdeep lives up to this ideal, offering his expertise to all with no expectations of reciprocity. His charitable spirit has not gone unnoticed, as he has been a previous award winner for Cisco IT Blogs, as well as a designation on the Feedspot top 100 Networking Blog.
Being the first to try a new technology can be a risky proposition. However, as a COO, risk calculations are in one’s blood. Luigi, along with the Sara Assicurazioni organization, hails as the first company in Italy to embrace cloud technology. As a company with more than one million customers, this was a bold initiative that required careful planning, keen insight, and above all, collaboration. In the end, this has resulted not only in a digital transformation, but a business transformation.
Whether it is a technical achievement, a personal triumph, or a spirit of helping others, each member of our League of Cybersecurity Heroes proves how technology and humanity can work together to accomplish the impossible. Congratulations to all of them!
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