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DNS Knows. So Why Not Ask?

DNS is like the town gossip of the network infrastructure. Computers and apps ask DNS questions and you can ask DNS who has been asking to resolve malware domains. When internal trusted systems are using DNS to resolve the names of known malware sites, this can be an Indicator of Compromise and a warning to clean the potentially infected systems and block traffic to the domain.

Blacklisting the known malware domains using local RPZs, firewalls, Cisco IronPort Web Security Appliance (WSA), or Cloud Web Security (CWS) is a great way to add an extra level of security in organizations. But what if you are just getting started in the process of cleaning systems and just need some situational awareness? Or, how can you manually check to see if these devices are working as expected? How can you determine independently of security devices, and at any point in time, that client systems are not reaching out to malicious domains? You can use dig but this post focuses on a Python example. Let’s first take a look at some DNS mechanics.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013 at 5:35 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

In the latest Partner Voices blog post, Scott Alexander of Alexander Open Systems (AOS) offered insights on leveraging the SMB market with managed service offerings.

Alexander offers some background on the move by AOS, in 2011, to expand managed service offerings as a means to grow business and expand technology portfolios with current customers. By sharing that information with other Cisco partners he hopes to start a dialogue on your experiences in this space.

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NEC Australia and Cisco Collaborate to deliver Hybrid Cloud Unified Communications

NEC Australia has announced this week that it has launched NEC Cloud Collaboration, a cloud application portfolio which includes solutions for telephony/voice, video and web conferencing, mobile devices, chat and IM all hosted in a hybrid on-premise and cloud deployment model.

We are pleased to be partnering with NEC for this portfolio which will be built on the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) which was planned, designed and efficiently implemented by Cisco Advanced Services.

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Check Ins – Why location needs to be part of Authentication and Identity

October 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm PST

Dude, where’s my IP?

I love to check in on social networks like Foursquare and Google+. Most of the time, there’s no point to it, but it’s fun to see what friends and colleagues are up to or discover new local haunts. Despite the fun and games, location is much more important to the network than it appears. My physical location may have little or everything to do with my network location and there’s no reason for them to match exactly, but there are significant reasons to be more accurate.

You Are Here

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Get on the Fast Track to Data Warehouse Nirvana

October 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm PST

Guest post by Dennis Clark, Senior Solutions Marketing Manager -- Microsoft Applications, NetApp

We are here in Charlotte this week with our Cisco friends, with the opportunity to talk with all sorts of like-minded Microsoft SQL Server individuals at the 2013 SQL PASS Summit. The conversations vary in range from things like database performance, developer issues, to private cloud and data management concerns. We’ve also had some good chats with a few data warehouse folks, which prompted me to share some thoughts on this topic.

BI Blues

We know that the data warehouse (DW) is central to a comprehensive business intelligence (BI) solution. So clearly, if our DW isn’t up to snuff, as they say, then we can forget about delivering critical analytics to a growing number of LOB managers and execs. This, in turn, negatively affects the bottom line of the business, which isn’t good for anyone. And it isn’t getting any easier. Data is growing exponentially and the problem of integrating data from multiple sources isn’t going away any time soon. These issues, along with the complex interaction of the different components of a BI solution, continue to make the design, deployment and management of data warehouses a challenge. Now you can continue to throw money at it by over-provisioning and burning up valuable data center space and power to try to keep up, or you can strive to achieve a higher level of DW nirvana with Cisco and NetApp.

Data Warehouse Nirvana

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