Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses mobile security and partnerships at Cisco event

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, took to the stage at Cisco’s Live Las Vegas event to discuss the companies’ partnership, a couple of new products, and the increasing importance of security in a mobile workforce.

The companies announced Cisco Security Connector, which aims to ‘deliver the deepest visibility, control, and privacy for iOS devices’, as a Cisco blog put it, while also revealing an initiative which aims to reduce the cost of cyber attack insurance for companies.

“While iOS devices are incredibly secure, organisations still need an increased level of visibility and control across all enterprise devices,” David Ulevitch, Cisco VP and GM security wrote in a company blog post. “The Cisco Security Connector offers organisations the most granular view of what is happening on enterprise-owned mobile devices and provides the best protection for users, anywhere they travel.

“With the Cisco Security Connector, businesses will now have the ability to meet risk and compliance requirements from auditors and ultimately expand iOS adoption in new ways.”

Joining Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins on stage, Cook emphasised Apple’s enterprise strategy and the rising cybersecurity threats, while also taking a dig at their primary rival in the mobile OS arena.

“For those of you that have known Apple for a long time, the whole premise behind the company is to make the best products that change the world, and improve things,” Cook told attendees. “We saw a confluence of things coming together in the enterprise.

“For one, many forward-thinking CIOs were giving their employees the ability to decide what devices they wanted to use. Second, we thought looking at the enterprise people were spending tons of money, but when you looked at the user experience it wasn’t very good. We thought we could bring Apple’s legendary ease of use and simplicity to the enterprise and really change the way people work.”

Turning to security threats and insurance, Cook explained: “If you think about it, cybersecurity threats are really exponential – and it’s not the guy in the basement any longer. These are sophisticated enterprises.

“We know that there’s a lot of people buying cybersecurity insurance. This market itself is getting heated up, and as you can guess it’s difficult to conclude how to price this, because firms have to assess the vulnerabilities and the risk and so forth.

“The thinking that we share here is that if your enterprise, your company is using Cisco and Apple, the combination of these should make that insurance cost significantly less for you than it would if you were using some other person on the network side, [or] the other operating system in the mobile area.” This was evidently a veiled dig at Android – and as the laughter subsided, with the audience immediately spotting the reference, Cook added: “Just saying!”

“This is something that we’re going to spend some energy on,” he added, “because you should reap that benefit. Your companies should reap that benefit because you are safer.”

You can read the full Cisco blog post here.

Picture credit: Cisco

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