In 2017, Bell was the only communications provider recognized by IDC as a category leader in security in Canada. Vice President of Product Management, Giovanni Sansalone, shares his expert insights on Bell’s commitment to securing business and consumer data every day.

Mediaplanet: What kind of changes have you seen in Canadian organizations and their outlook on data security in the past year?

Giovanni Sansalone: With increased media coverage of high visibility breaches and vulnerabilities, security has become a boardroom discussion for all organizations. Compliance with regulations such as GDPR, PIPEDA, and the Canadian mandatory breach notification continue to be top of mind, but companies are still in search of new ways to protect their data. It’s no longer about preventing the breach, but about detecting it and responding quickly.

MP: Why do you think human error consistently ranks as the leading cause of a cyber intrusion?

GS: Since employees are continuously handling systems, this is the most likely area for errors and therefore cyber risk. Business are transforming the way they operate at a much faster pace than ever before in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market. They are connecting to more and more partners and adopting cloud technologies to deliver services faster — while still dealing with legacy systems in-house and the manual process needed to support them. Due to these growing complexities, the skill set required to effectively secure these environments is continually evolving and it takes time to develop the  level of expertise that is needed.

MP: How can enterprises leverage cyber threat intelligence to reduce human error?

GS: We believe that effective defense against emerging threats must go beyond adding layers to an organization’s defense-in-depth strategy — it has to be rooted in an improved understanding of the threat landscape, and the potential impacts to an organization. Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) can provide a level of insight into potential threats to an organization, allowing the organization to proactively address vulnerabilities and risks potentially caused by human error. 

MP: How have threat intelligence technologies advanced to keep up with the maturity of today’s cyber hacker?

GS: Adversaries have become more sophisticated and better organized, with the attack methods constantly evolving to better evade defenses. Intelligence technologies have kept pace by developing machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities that can identify potential threats sooner and reduce the number of false positives. The output from these improved models can provide tailored and actionable insight for customers that can be orchestrated directly into their defense mechanisms without human intervention. 

MP: What is DDoS? How can DDoS provide real-time threat mitigation to reduce wide-scale breach?

GS: A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is one that attempts to prevent your customer from reaching your Internet-facing business websites and applications, resulting in a loss of reputation, brand equity, and profit for your business. DDoS attacks can also be used by attackers as a diversionary attack to take the response focus off the real intent of the attack which is to access other systems and data. By being configured with your internet connection, network DDoS protection can stop a wide variety of attacks before they ever reach your website — meaning business operations are never interrupted by malicious traffic and allowing your security personnel to more effectively manage the risk posture of the organization.

MP: What does it mean for Bell Canada to be recognized as a leader in security?

GS: Bell, like many other Canadian organizations, is impacted by the expanding threat landscape in Canada  and around the world.  Being recognized as a leader in security reinforces our commitment to constantly protect our customers, our customer’s customers, and our partners. Moreover, it supports our goal to build a more secure Canada through leveraging our unique CTI capability built with the enormous amount of data traversing our network and helping to lead innovative initiatives such as the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange (CCTX).