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Why Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Matters for Girls

I am writing this blog as the 2014 recipient of the IEEE Women in Engineering Region 8 Clementina Saduwa Award named after an amazing woman whose life was cut short in 2007. On a personal level, I am extremely passionate about the possibilities that technology presents for young girls and aspiring women. As a CTO for Cisco Services, my own role is concentrated on the use of technologies to develop architectures that will delight our customers. Why is technology interesting to me?  It’s what one can do with the technology as an enabler to solving problems and to creating opportunities.

I became interested in technology because of my curiosity and encouragement from wonderful individuals who helped pave the way for me. My personal career highlights are numerous where risk taking and passion for making a difference in this world are common attributes. Our world needs young girls to create their own career path in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). A career in technology can be fun!

My mother was role model and encouraged me to be the person I want to be. Coming together to solve a problem and to create opportunities – we can rise above gender discrimination -- but it’s about being bold in the process and having the courage to do so -make no doubt about this fact.  I dream of a society where such a topic is no longer an issue but so engrained in our DNA !

What is Cisco doing?

Cisco has been very active in the ITU’s Girls in ICT initiative, where girls from secondary schools or universities are invited to spend the day at the office of ICT companies and government agencies so they better understand the opportunities the ICT sector holds for their future see.

ITU will have a live webcast on April 15 2014 at 12:30 CET.

Cisco wants to encourage girls to consider ICT as a valuable career option. We understand the value of diversity in the workforce and it is our aspiration to build a gender -balanced workforce. At Cisco, two of the top technology positions are held by women: both the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the CIO (Chief Information Officer) of Cisco are female. “If you cannot see it, you cannot be it!”

At Cisco, we take our commitment to making ICT career opportunities open to all seriously. We understand the value of a diverse workforce and believe that many more girls would pursue careers in ICT if they were better informed about the many different types of jobs available within the sector. By 2020 there will be approximately 50 billion things connected to the Internet. At its essence, the Internet of Everything is the networked connection of people, process, data and things…and is set to create an unprecedented level of disruption across industries, globally.

In fact,  Cisco offices around the world are getting ready to host #GirlsInICT Day 2014! Girls to create ICT jobs of tomorrow #STEM #GirlsInIC

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Building in Security from the Ground Up with The Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle

At Cisco, security runs through everything that we do. It is our commitment to deliver verifiable, trustworthy network architectures built on secure software and secure hardware, backed by prudent supply chain security practices.

That’s why Cisco created the Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle (Cisco SDL) to ensure that security is central through the entire product development process. CSDL is a repeatable and measurable process we’ve designed to fortify the resiliency and trustworthiness of our offerings, allowing our customers to deploy high-quality products that they can trust.

Cisco SDL utilizes many industry standards and best practices, including ISO certification as part of our development processes. ISO certification provides customers validation and confidence that our processes, such as common technology requirements, secure coding procedures, code reviews, testing, and verification are consistently executed within our product development.

In 2013, we made internal compliance with the Cisco SDL process a stop-ship-grade requirement for all new Cisco products and development projects. As we make our way through 2014, we are building on this commitment, holding our teams accountable and training stakeholders to understand the importance of Cisco SDL process, adoption, and compliance.

From our Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) to our Aggregation Services Routers (ASRs), more products are being introduced across the Cisco portfolio that are Cisco SDL compliant. We look forward to keeping you up to date on progress with the CSDL initiative over the coming months.

Check out the video below where I explain Cisco SDL in more detail:

Learn more about Cisco SDL here: http://www.cisco.com/web/about/security/cspo/csdl/index.html

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3 Top Technology Trends in the Mighty Middle – How to Keep Your Midsize Business Agile

3 top tech trends for mighty middle“The Mighty Middle.” That’s what we call the world’s midmarket companies.  According to National Center for Middle Market, if the U.S. middle market were an independent economy, it would be the fifth largest in the world. The middle market produced 2.2 million new jobs between 2007 and 2010. Midmarket companies create one in three jobs.

But emerging trends could impede that growth for midmarket organizations with their limited resources, shrinking budgets and aggressive timelines, unless the challenges they pose—Mobility, Security, Cloud, Social and Big Data—can be addressed. Today, we look at three midmarket technology trends, the hurdles they pose, and what midmarket companies can do. These trends are also presented in greater detail in our new Webinar with Gartner called “Midmarket Trends and Opportunities -- Positioning Your Company for Success”

Mobility: Don’t Let BYOD Become an SOS

According to a recent IDC report, smartphones and tablets will dominate IT growth in 2014. And they’ll account for over 60% of IT spending. In fact, analysts predict that 2015 will be the first year in which more consumers access the Internet with mobile devices than with PCs. BYOD has evolved from a trend, to a reality, and now to a necessity. Read More »

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Interop Redux: Focus on Virtual L4-7 Services with Embrane

April 14, 2014 at 5:30 am PST

Our recap of Interop 2014 continues with a focus on Cisco technology partner Embrane, who focuses on integration of layer 4-7 virtual services into cloud and data center networks, including its own virtual load balancer, firewall and VPN. Embrane describes its heleos platform and heleos Elastic Services Manager (ESM) solution as a virtual services lifecycle manager and orchestration engine, based on the ability to provision virtual security instances in minutes, automatically insert them in the network, assign rules and policies to a specific application, enable self-healing high availability (HA), and automate the licensing and usage monitoring for each virtual appliance.

Embrane was part of Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) ecosystem at our initial launch last November, and at this most recent Interop also came out and endorsed ACI’s OpFlex protocol, which handles communication between network devices and the APIC controller. Embrane also recently announced the ability to provide its lifecycle management services to Cisco’s virtual security platforms, both the ASAv and Sourcefire. I had the chance to catch up with Embrane Founder, Dante Malagrino, in the Cisco booth at Interop and get a little deeper understanding of how Cisco is working with Embrane in these areas.

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How A School District Prepares for PARCC and More

CreepyKidIndian Prairie School district, the third largest school district in Illinois, conducted an in-depth investigation to develop an execution plan to adopt Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium guidelines and meet the Common Core State Standards head-on. Their execution plan took them beyond the basic requirements of online testing to providing a secure, borderless learning environment for a variety of devices, over wired and wireless.

Not only was this a great opportunity for them to upgrade their network to meet the state and national testing standards, but also to lay the foundation for any future requirements as technological advances are rapidly changing the education landscape.

Requirements: 

  1. Meet the computer-based testing requirements under PARCC
  2. Provide a borderless learning environment through mobile and online learning
  3. A stable infrastructure that can meet the dynamic network demand
  4. Prepare for the growing importance of technology in classrooms, wired and wireless, with trends such as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) as well as an increased use of district-owned devices.

 

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