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Published on 06/01/2021
Last updated on 02/05/2024

What in the World of Applications?


Over the next couple of months, I will introduce you to a three-part series called What in the World of Applications. As applications, API and security take the world by storm, I’ll take you on a journey to better understand the evolution of applications in our everyday lives. My goal is to shed light on how businesses can remain competitive by understanding that better application connectivity and security in the microservices era can directly impact their bottom line, learning how applications can deliver more business value to both your business and customers. Let’s take a look at what we can learn from the evolution of web applications-related operations and security throughout the last 20 years.

Series Part 1: The Secret Sauce Behind Application Security

Cloud-Native is on the Rise

Historically, web applications started taking front stage with the emergence of e-commerce and web-based advertising nearly 20 years ago. These monolithic web applications had dependency on the hardware they operate, and in many cases required lot of inter-dependencies between different modules, OS, and hardware to scale or support different services. Today, the next evolution of cloud-native applications is here. Over the last few years, the concept of Cloud-Native, which refers to the approach of building applications in the cloud, based on a composable services irrespective of underlying infrastructure, has opened up endless possibilities for organizations and developers to build applications more securely in the cloud and even on premise. According to Priyanka Sharma, general manager of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF):

Cloud Native offers high levels of interoperability and compatibility through the use of open standards and serves as a launchpad for innovation based on the flexible nature of its container orchestration engine. It also enables remote devops teams to work faster and more efficiently.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation Annual Report, 2020
In Cisco’s 2020 Annual Report, Applications represented 11% of Cisco’s overall revenue. As cloud-native applications are becoming prevalent, security and operations follow. More companies will be looking for a strategic adviser to help them with their adoption of cloud-native technologies, develop faster go-to-market strategies, and scale securely and efficiently in a multicloud environment. This is why I am so passionate about exploring the world of applications with you because we are in the midst of a major technological evolution, and I would like to make the magic that happens behind closed doors of cloud-native applications and security feel more real.

Your Application Experience Made Simple, Secure, and Scalable

Have you ever stopped to think about how many applications we use on our phones daily without questioning who is keeping our most sensitive data safe and where it is stored? Our experience has become so seamless that we expect our data to be safe at all times, even while we sleep. I can’t remember the last time I stepped foot into a physical bank, although I can count the number of days I’ve used my mobile banking app. With several clicks and a snap of a photo, I can deposit a check without ever having to interact with a person. Of course, all of this being done effortlessly and securely. This is application security. Established banking institutions have gone through so many steps to deliver this customer experience that fights against fraudulent acts, protect sensitive customer data with Application Programming Interface (API) security, and benefit from the interoperability of different platforms. This is the reality of many consumer-facing applications that have numerous security controls under the hood.
Application Programming Interface (API) has become an integral part of how securely connected businesses are keeping up with the growing demands of security and expectations of our employees. The explosion of the remote work culture has influenced how companies are thinking about securing their applications that protect both their business and its employees. Providing cloud-native security offering is a key enabler for customers to safely move their applications to the cloud. Cloud Native Computing Foundation Survey, 2020
85% of all enterprise web traffic is moving toward cloud-based applications. Almost half of all enterprise data is stored in the cloud, and nearly a third of all confirmed data breaches in 2019 were caused by application security issues, according to Gartner (Gartner, 2021). This means that companies will need to make new technology investments to keep their companies safe and profitable for the future with the right first line of defense.

Cisco’s Emerging Technologies & Incubation Team Paves the Way

Cisco Emerging Technologies and Incubation (ET&I) team’s charter is to establish and advances new technologies and business models, or “Bold Bets”, that can create new markets, disrupt existing markets, or solve problems our customers face. On any given day, we are listening to our customer’s greatest pain points such as being exposed to application vulnerabilities and the need for more guidance on how to create standards for application developers. We recognize that hackers attack an average of 2,244 times a day, and we intend to stay ahead of the curve with Cisco Secure Application, which also combines the power of Cisco AppDynamics. (Cisco, A New Approach to Application Security, 2021). For more on ET&I’s contributions to the Cloud Native space, check out Liz Centoni’s, SVP of ET&I, blog post.

Application Networking is Up Next

Remember that check I deposited on my mobile app earlier, it has now made it safely and securely into my checking account. I’ve not only benefitted from application security, but I have also embraced the new way of doing business. Are you ready to make application security part of your everyday lives and business? In the next edition of the What in the World of Applications blog series launching in June, I’ll address the concept of Application Networking as it transforms the way we experience the network in our daily lives. This will build a stronger foundation into the world of applications we are beginning to explore.

Additional Relevant Content

  1. API-first, Cloud Native World Blog, by Liz Centoni, Senior Vice President of ET&I
  2. Application Security Blog by Liz Centoni, Senior Vice President of ET&I
  3. Cisco Secure Application Blog by Al Huger, Senior Vice President of Cisco Security Platform & Response

Sanjeev’s Background

Sanjeev has over 20 years of experience in Cloud, Software, and Networking. Sanjeev has held various prominent leadership roles within Cisco. Sanjeev holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, University of Pune, and currently resides in San Jose, California.
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