Customer interview: Leonardo talks cyber security at VMworld!

October 18, 2016
Customer interview: Leonardo talks cyber security at VMworld!

At VMworld this week, we will be hosting a panel session on Cyber Security – ‘Tackling a New Cyber Security Frontier: What’s the Plan?’ Ahead of the event, we spoke to one of our customers taking part on the panel, Alessandro Menna, Head of Sales Technical Support at Leonardo. We asked him about the session, the issues he wants to see discussed, how they are using VMware’s network virtualization platform NSX, and what advice he’d give to organisations to protect themselves against cyber attacks – read our conversation below.

Please give us a bit of background about Leonardo

Leonardo-Finmeccanica is an Italian multi-national aerospace, defence and security company headquartered in Rome, with operations worldwide. We’re a leading player in the field of cyber security for governments and national infrastructures. Our security and information team is focused on building secure-by-design solutions and services, including incident response services and enterprise fraud management. We also offer integrated digital platforms, which support top critical programs in e-Government and Defence. The company is helping to address Italy’s country-wide digital transformation.

We’re supporting our customers throughout their journey towards digitisation by securing their infrastructures with a combination of information technology, secure communication networks and physical security.‎

Can you tell us a little bit about how VMware NSX has helped your organisation?

In early 2014, the Security and Information Division of Leonardo launched a strategic programme to re-design of all our digital services. We selected VMware NSX to help us create a software-defined data centre and provide a foundation for our digital transformation journey. We also wanted more than a focus on cyber security – especially due to the rise of hyper-connectivity and there being more entry points than ever before for cyber attacks.

The new architecture we’ve created with VMware lets us automate processes, enabling operational cost savings and helping us be more innovative. As a result, we’ve also been able to provide new services and develop new products in a timelier fashion. We can now respond much faster to market changes and events.

On top of that, when it comes to migrate customer applications, the flexibility of the virtual network simplifies planning, reduces costs and makes the process faster. We recently signed a number of major contracts with top customers across both the private and public sectors, and the new, dynamic and flexible infrastructure will enable us to be aligned with the rapidly changing requirements of their business. The added security is also critical in this sector, where data protection is paramount – there shouldn’t be any risk of a breach.

What are you going to be discussing in the session? / What issues do you hope will be discussed in the session?

With the explosion of hyper-connectivity and the Internet of Things, cyber security and physical security will be increasingly connected to each other.‎

During the panel session at VMworld, I want to discuss those aspects that are most important in guaranteeing a secure and safe digital transformation journey. This includes having security experts, set processes and adopting a different mind-set. It also means creating business models where security is offered as a service, as well as working with the right partners to ensure that customers remain secure – it’s a challenging task!

What advice would you give to businesses who are having issues with their cyber security?

‎My first piece of advice would be to create a cyber community. This involves instilling a real understanding of security and appointing security stakeholders.

I would also recommend to implement a defined security process. Organisations must follow and lead customers in measuring their exposure and building their security processes and capabilities.

Businesses must also create a security service – that means a shift in organisations buying their own security technologies and instead of working with experts to deploy security as a service (a new SaaS!) – if they want to truly keep pace with the evolution.

Finally, I’d also suggest to join forces with cyber technology partners. By managing a liquid ecosystem of technologies and vendors, your organisation can then concentrate on the development of core technologies and future innovations.

You will hear more about Leonardo’s security transformation journey and VMware NSX solution at the panel session on Wednesday, 19th October at 12.30pm. Please register your interest online here. Hurry – spaces are filling up fast!

We look forward to seeing you there.

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