Events , Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development , RSA Conference

John Chambers: Navigating Through Cybersecurity Volatility

Architecture Will Trump Products, Predicts Cisco CEO Turned Venture Capitalist
John Chambers, founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures

The cybersecurity industry is undergoing profound and rapid change, said John Chambers, the visionary former CEO of Cisco Systems who in 2018 turned to the high-risk, high-reward world of venture capitalism.

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While the cybersecurity market has historically featured "similar players, a little bit of evolution," the furious pace of recent changes and surging importance of cybersecurity to business leaders is upending the established order, said Chambers, who's an expert at "navigating through volatility" - to borrow from the title of a book that chronicles his rise from salesman to CEO of Cisco Systems.

"What is different today is you're at a major inflection point where it's not going to the next generation of cybersecurity players," he said. "It's going to go to an architectural play - probably a consolidation within the industry, whether that's one or two of the startups really growing and expanding dramatically or the traditional players expanding their reach."

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group at RSA Conference 2023, Chambers discusses:

  • His focus on "logical investments" that address discrete deficiencies he has identified in the market and the trends and technologies he's watching closely;
  • The impact of the economic downturn on the industry - and the magic of unicorns.
  • The economic, security and defense imperatives for the United States to "take control of our destiny" by leading on the cybersecurity and AI fronts.

Via his firm JC2 Ventures, Chambers focuses on helping disruptive startups build and scale. He also invests in companies across sectors and geographies that are leading market transitions. Previously, he served as CEO, chairman and executive chairman at Cisco Systems during his 25-year-long stint at the company.


About the Author

Mathew J. Schwartz

Mathew J. Schwartz

Executive Editor, DataBreachToday & Europe, ISMG

Schwartz is an award-winning journalist with two decades of experience in magazines, newspapers and electronic media. He has covered the information security and privacy sector throughout his career. Before joining Information Security Media Group in 2014, where he now serves as the executive editor, DataBreachToday and for European news coverage, Schwartz was the information security beat reporter for InformationWeek and a frequent contributor to DarkReading, among other publications. He lives in Scotland.




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