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Cisco’s Jeetu Patel On The Dreaded ‘Second-Class’ Meeting Citizens, Playing Nice With The Competition, And Webex’s Future

Cisco’s collaboration and security leader talks about the 400 new Webex developments in the last six months, remote working challenges, “built-in, not bolted-on” security, and offered a sneak peak into Webex’s roadmap.

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How is Cisco making Webex more secure?

The difference is actually in the philosophy of the company. We fundamentally believe privacy is a basic human right. So, when we think about it that way, the way in which you build the products are with that in mind. You build the products from the ground up with that as a core operating principle in mind. Conversely, others may have started from a very different vantage point. They may have started from the consumer vantage point, and then privacy becomes an afterthought. It’s not actually about, “do I have this or that feature?” It’s what’s the core value of the organization. If the core value doesn’t have privacy in the fabric, it’s very hard to instill that after the fact.

Security and compliance are areas where we are going to be fanatically focused -- it’s an area that is built-in, not bolted on. An example is later this year, we’ll have this capability available called Ethical Walls. [An example] of this capability is let’s say I’m a consulting firm working with Coca Cola and Pepsi. I don’t want those teams talking to each other because there’s a competitive dynamic and you want to keep them apart. The system will be able to determine which teams are prohibited from communicating with each other because of ethical walls.

We’re investing very aggressively [in security] and I’m actually lucky enough that I run the collaboration and security businesses at Cisco. Those two businesses have a lot in common.

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