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Cybersecurity in today’s IT environment is more critical than ever. Remote workforces with endpoint devices connecting into the network mean more attack surface to protect from bad actors. This is why this October during,  National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the EDGE360 team is focusing on the people behind Cisco’s security solutions that enable secure communications.

In a time when VARs are working to help customers create a more stable, secure environment for remote workers, it is critical to understand the Cisco security solutions that can help during and after COVID. In our post-pandemic world, security will be paramount. 

Kinney Yee, Solutions Architect, Cisco Systems

In the latest installment of the Meet the People Behind the Team Series, we are featuring Kinney Yee, Solutions Architect at Cisco Systems, who said “It takes everyone doing their part to keep things working smoothly, especially in the new remote environment.” With 25+ years in the IT industry and 20 years at Cisco Systems, Yee knows the importance of cybersecurity and delivering the right sources of information to partners to bolster their security strategy. He recently talked with the EDGE360 Editors to offer a bit of backstory and his ideas on how to provide for and maintain a meaningful cybersecurity strategy:

EDGE360 Editors: How did you get started in this field?

Kinney Yee: I started as a part-time employee during college doing nightly backup and maintenance routines for a data processing company. During that time, there was immense growth in IT and technology, and I volunteered to take on many different jobs which gave me a lot of experience with different technologies and parts of the business.

EDGE360 Editors: Tell us about your role at Cisco. 

Yee: My role at Cisco is fantastic; I get to work with great people! My customers, partners, and my team are all striving to achieve the same goals and I feel like we are all part of one team. While I get to focus on technology, a passion of mine, I get to see all parts of the business from sales and marketing to service and support, as well as finance and engineering, etc., and how it helps all our customers. I also get to work with different groups from different geographic areas and cultures. That, and learning the ins and out of new technologies, and how to adapt to partners’ needs are the parts of the job I love the most.

EDGE360 Editors: What do you find most exciting about what you do today?

Yee: The most exciting part of my day is being able to help people. I help people with different problems from process to technology and it’s very fulfilling to ensure that I can solve problems for them as well as help them build their own problem-solving capacity.

EDGE360 Editors: This month is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. What is important to note about cybersecurity education during a pandemic?

Yee: It’s important to note that everyone needs cybersecurity in today’s age, before, during, and after the pandemic. It’s important to educate yourself about the tools available to defend against the viruses, attacks, and malware out there. Many Cisco solutions very easy to use, and prevention will go a long way in defending against future problems. It doesn’t mean that you won’t get a virus, malware, or be cyberattacked, but it will make it more difficult for attackers.

EDGE360 Editors: What advice do you have for partners looking to help customers create a more secure remote environment?

Yee: Listen to your users and find out which are the most important resources they use and ensure that you are providing those resources to them in a secure manner. Not all applications are the same, but all need security. Some applications are hosted on-site, in the cloud, or locally on PCs, and having security and visibility in all those areas is important for security professionals. Educate users on the tools you are using for cybersecurity, and don’t have them ignore the error messages that pop-up on them. Error messages should never appear when the tools are behaving as they should be. Users should be proactive in reporting phishing attacks, malware, or other intrusion attempts to help keep a company secure. It takes everyone doing their part to keep things working smoothly, especially in the new remote environment.