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Industrial Grade SDN

September 9, 2013 at 6:55 am PST

The software defined network has become all the rage lately for reasons that seem to vary and are caught up in interesting perceptions.  One view was that it allowed a single network to be controlled centrally and divided up logically to prevent different groups from interfering with one another, well that’s true.  Another view is that it provides a central place of management that configures and monitors the network for performance and faults, well that is true.

The basis is really the separation of the control plane (configuration and management) onto a server that centrally controls many network nodes.  From the data plane which are the switches and routers that pass the data for the application from one end device to another, or many.  The SDN controller communicates over a secure communications path using an API supported by the network device.

Yet what may be the most significant possibility of SDN is the ability to use programmatic control from the very applications that use the network for transport to stipulate any number of services that application needs from the network.  We are seeing this in data centers that will allow end user departments to define a complete network for say ERP from within the ERP application and no help from IT.  Why not for controls?  And since SDN is based on open source initiatives the ability for anyone to create and market applications for say a controls system is very real. Read More »

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The Phishing Grounds

On August 15, 2013, Brian Krebs featured a screen shot of a fake Outlook webmail login page used by the Syrian Electronic Army in a phishing attack against the Washington Post. If you look carefully at the location bar, you will note that the domain used in the phishing attack is ‘webmail.washpost.site88.net’.

Washington Post Phishing Attack Page

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ONE + ONE = 6: The New Enterprise Programmability Math

In my last blog I discussed how Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture fits with the Cisco ONE. Let’s now look at how the new Cisco ONE Enterprise Architecture provides at least 6 significant benefits to Enterprises. ONE + ONE = 6!

Problems that Enterprises are facing:

As enterprises are consolidating their IT infrastructure into private cloud (enterprise data-centers) or public/hybrid clouds they’re realizing massive economies of scale in application deployments. Further, they’re taking advantage of XaaS (Software/Infrastructure as a Service) offerings from Cloud Service Providers with Pay As You Go models that increase the speed of deployment and the agility of their business critical applications. This is a major shift in how applications are now being delivered over the WAN to their end-users in branch offices and on mobile/BYOD devices. IT consolidation and virtualization in the data-center are placing a lot of requirements on the enterprise WAN. Business agility and end-user and customer application experience are imposing critical requirements on the WAN. The major challenges that enterprises are facing with cloud migration are: Read More »

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My Experience at the Commemoration of MLK’s I Have a Dream Speech

Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama

Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama

It is with much excitement that I write this blog post – a first for me – on the Cisco Inclusion and Diversity blog.  On August 27th I traveled from San Jose, CA to Washington D.C. to attend the 50th anniversary and commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic I Have a Dream speech held at the Lincoln Memorial.  Hopefully, many of you were able to watch the event, as it was truly a wonderful celebration of Dr. King’s legacy.  What I want to share with you is what I experienced being there on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 – standing in line at 7:00 am, through the event’s conclusion that afternoon.

DC22

Standing in line all morning really paid off! We got great seats!

I arrived at the gate to the entrance of the event for individuals with tickets right around 7:00 am.  There were only a few of us there – myself, a group of what appeared to be three friends, a woman who was alone, and volunteers that were beginning to file in in white shirts and khaki pants. I immediately asked security if I was at the correct location and showed him my ticket.  He replied that I was in the right place, and that I should stand in line until they started letting people into the event at 9:00 am.

During the two hour wait I learned that one of the women in line was named Mo.  Mo was beaming with joy. It was Mo’s birthday, and she said there was no place she would rather be than at this event.  Two of the others in line were Andrea and Donna.  Andrea is a PhD student, and Donna is her friend – they sing in the church choir together.

In time we all began to talk – about from where we’d traveled, why we’d come, about trying to stay dry in the rain… It did start to rain, but we barely noticed.  Soon the press began to arrive.  There was a small group of female reporters standing close to us. They were from a radio station in Nassau, Bahamas, GEMS 105.9. The stations website promotes “Strengthening our WOMEN, and uplifting our MEN”.  One of the station’s DJ’s – Ghandi- asked if she could interview us, and asked each of us why we were there.  My response – “ I am a woman, I am black, I am a mother, and I work in Inclusion and Diversity.  Equal rights are always top of mind for me.  I am here to celebrate the work and sacrifices made by Dr. King and countless others involved in the civil rights movement.  I am here to reflect on the progress that has been made over the past 50 years.  I am here because Read More »

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ICCC 2013: Improving Common Criteria Standards for New Technologies

In order for government and enterprise organizations to keep their data secure from increasingly advanced cyber threats, security solutions and protocols are critical. However, these organizations must ensure that their chosen security solutions meet key security criteria, are standards based, perform as expected and interoperate reliably with existing technology.

The challenges above are why Common Criteria was created. Common Criteria is an international standard for IT product security and reliability. In fact, many governments will not use security products that don’t meet Common Criteria standards.

This year, the International Common Criteria Conference is being held in Orlando, Florida from September 10-12. The conference is a place for Certification Bodies, Evaluation Laboratories, Researchers, Evaluators, Product Makers and Buyers and Sellers to come together and exchange ideas in order to improve Common Criteria.

Cisco will lead multiple sessions covering topics like Cryptography, Network Device Protection Profiles, Improving Common Criteria and Marketing Common Criteria.

Details on the speaking sessions presented by and in collaboration with Cisco are below:

  • Keynote Speaker: CCUF Perspective

September 11 from 9-9:30AM ET

Alicia Squires, Cisco, CCUF Chair

  • Marketing the New CC

September 11 from 9:30-11AM ET

Moderator: Mark Loepker, NIAP, CCES Chair

Panelists: Joshua Brickman, Oracle; Jen Gilbert, Cisco; Matt Keller, Corsec; Eric Winterton, Booz Allen Hamilton.

  • Entropy Sources -- Industry Realities and Evaluation Challenges

September 11 from 10-10:30AM ET

Alicia Squires: CISSP, Product Certification Engineer, Cisco Chair, CCUF Management Group

  • Cryptography and Common Criteria

September 11 from 11:30-12PM ET

Ashit Vora, Manager, Common Criteria Certification, Cisco and Chris Brych, Manager, Security Certifications, SafeNet, Inc.

  • Lessons and Recommendations from Evaluating Against NDPP in Three Different Schemes

September 11 from 5-5:30PM ET

Terrie Diaz, Product Certification Engineer, Cisco and Ashit Vora, Manager, Common Criteria Certification, Cisco

  • Widening the Use of CC for End Users Worldwide

September 12 from 9:30-11AM ET

Moderator: Michele Mullen, Director, ATA, CSEC

Adam Golodner, Director, Global Security & Technology Policy, Cisco; Steve Lipner, Microsoft; Blackberry (INVITED); Ericsson (INVITED)

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