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CTO Dinner Security Findings

For the past 22 years we have built up deep expertise in networks, data and most importantly security of both for businesses in Ireland.  We deeply understand the network needs and security concerns of our customers.  Last night Viatel & eSentire had the pleasure of hosting in the Canadian Ambassador’s residence an evening for leading Irish CTOs and CIOs in the retail, financial services, dairy, gambling & technology industries. It was an evening of thought-provoking discussion between peers whose businesses are becoming more and more dependent on the power of digital (connectivity, cloud and cyber security) . It was a very enjoyable and interesting night for all.

For us at Viatel we took away some key points on some of the challenges facing CTOs and CIOs across every industry when it comes to cyber security:

1.Build versus Buy – many companies are outgrowing their current providers & technologies, and reaching this critical crossroads of the classic fast moving market decision to build yourself versus buying a full detect and response solution.  Its very clear that no one size fits all – it can suit some companies to build, but the reality is its incredible expensive and slow to do so for mid size companies in particular.  As one CTO said “I wouldn’t build my own fiber network – why would I build my own end to end Security Operation Center”?

On top of this Security Talent is rare!  It is extremely difficult to find and retain good cyber security engineers. Hiring and training security personnel is no longer considered the best use of time and resources. A lot of CTOs are now looking to outsource the technical function of the SOC but retain good security policy and compliance personnel internally.

2. Attack surfaces have increased exponentially – as businesses operate cross borders and people use multiple devices.  The highest level of security you could enforce would be to disconnect everything! But at the end of the day business needs to be done. While security is critical, a balance needs to be struck between protecting the business and ensuring operations remain steady. Businesses can’t go down for any length of time for whatever reason. Having a stable network is critical to support this.

3.A move to the cloud has really complicated securing your network. The boundaries have disappeared. One of the biggest challenges with the move of applications to the cloud is that remote access is typically enabled by default – so more and more employees are accessing corporate applications on their mobile phones from anywhere and at any time – making it incredibly difficult to protect the perimeters, as they vanish.  

4.A lot of people also make the false assumption that moving to the cloud automatically secures your applications and data running there. Cloud providers will secure their infrastructure but it is down to the company to ensure the security of their assets in the cloud. It is also thought that the ease of use and convenience of the cloud can be a threat in itself – it is too easy to make changes that may have a detrimental effect on your security posture.

5.Speed and scale of threats are growing faster than existing security services / technologies: One comment we picked up was “having a service that tells you the problems but doesn’t respond and take action in these days of increasing threats just doesn’t fit my business”. We also heard that “You get what you pay for!” from a number of CTOs who had contracted the services of an MSSP and on multiple occasions had to find a number of breaches in their network themselves – the MSSP had not only failed to detect the breach, but also lacked the capacity to respond. While a service like MDR may cost a little more than a managed SIEM solution from an MSSP, the peace of mind that it gives to business leaders is priceless.

Our biggest learning was that we are all facing the same type of issues and challenges . The good news is that between eSentire and Viatel we are bringing a new approach to the Irish market with MDR – managed detection and response. We have a fully stacked Security Operations Center  24/7/365, at weekends, holidays, any time when you as a CTO/CIO should be able to relax and enjoy yourself – our security analysts will be keeping a watchful eye over your network and endpoints.

Our curated technology stack is constantly evolving to include things like AI and machine learning that will enable our threat hunters to not only detect but respond rapidly and shut down the attack. The average time for us to detect an incident is 35 seconds, with attacks resolved in 20 minutes. That’s not giving the bad guys much time to play around with!

The key difference between what we do over traditional security systems and MSSPs is that we always make the presumption that there will be a breach, so our focus is as much on Threat Detection as Prevention.  We know from our deep experience that single system will block 100% of attacks. We execute focussed threat detection for attacks that have bypassed existing security controls and our mix of human and artificial intelligence will address the challenges we are hearing from CTOs and CIOs.   

If you would like to learn more about our MDR security services please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team, our experts are ready and at your disposal for valuable advise on the right moves for your business. Contact the team on


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