Dec 3, 2020

Cisco study: actionable insights for security operations

Cisco
Cybersecurity
Technology
study
Georgia Wilson
2 min
Array
Latest Cisco study reveals actionable insights for security practitioners to determine where efforts are best focused...

In a double-blind, independently analyzed survey of 4,800 security, IT and privacy professionals across 25 countries, Cisco has released its ‘2021 Security Outcomes Study’. In the study the company looks at what practices can foster greater security, as well as enabling business and operating efficiency. 

The survey identified that change is a core factor in cybersecurity success. On average, programs with a proactive, best of breed tech refresh strategy are 12.7% more likely to have overall security success.

However, many organisations lack the budget or expertise to adopt such a strategy, Cisco identifies that, “s strategy to migrate to cloud and SaaS security solutions can help close this gap. Subscription-based solutions are affordable, easy to deploy and integrate, while automatic updates ensure the technology is continually modernized without additional cost or effort.”

Other findings from the report:

  • The second most important factor for cybersecurity success is a well integrated technology stack, which is reported to increase the probability of success on average by 10.5%
  • Establishing a security culture for the entire organisation to adopt, was also reported by Cisco as a significant factor
  • Simply knowing potential cyber risks did not correlate with overall success

“Security practitioners need to make fast, informed decisions. Yet they are often armed with dozens of tools from multiple vendors, requiring a fair amount of duct tape to get them to work together. This creates complexity, cost, and overhead. Cisco’s 2021 Security Outcomes Study helps teams prioritize practices that not only secure the business, but also play a significant role in enabling its growth and success. Even in the face of an ever-changing threat landscape and shrinking budgets, successful security outcomes are possible,” commented Mike Hanley, Chief Information Security Officer at Cisco. 

To find out more, click here!

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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