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7 Billion Reasons Why Your Company Needs Cisco ISE

Seven billion.  That’s the number of mobile-connected devices that will be trying to get on networks this year.  Now you’re probably not going to be hosting all 7 billion of them, so let’s try this number – 4.  As in, “the average number of devices that enterprise users have” is roughly 4 devices*.  Go ahead – do the math with your own employees.  For Cisco, that’s around 250,000+ devices or so attempting to connect to our network. As a company, you may have more, you may have less…but the one thing you definitely have are employees who are eager to access your network with more of their own personal devices than ever before.

Great for employees, right?  Absolutely.  However, this, generally, gives enterprises two major dilemmas:

1)      They lack any visibility into or context around who and what is getting on the network – Is it a smartphone?  Is it a smartphone with the latest OS?  Is it a smartphone supported by the enterprise?

2)      They’ve lost the stringent control they used to have over what’s getting onto the networks.  Sure – rules are defined for users, but maybe they’re not really being enforced. Or maybe “shadow IT” is just going around the rules to get someone’s new cracked Android tablet online.

This, generally, also gives network administrators heartburn…and for good reason.  They’re stuck walking that fine line between security and productivity.  How can they secure the enterprise and network access without making life miserable for their users…and themselves?

In our experiences here at Cisco, we’ve discovered that tackling these challenges requires a few things:

1)      Find a way to accurately identify who and what is getting on the network

2)      Centrally manage user access policy and use the identity to assign everyone the right network access

3)      Make it easy for users to actually get onto the network – however they connect

4)      Keep an eye on the network for threats and then quickly neutralize those threats.

If you can find a way to do each one of those things, you’ve taken a big first step in addressing these dilemmas.

Dynamic Control with Context

At Cisco, we’re helping organizations tackle these challenges every day with the Cisco Identity Services Engine (or “ISE”).  Cisco ISE is an access policy platform that unifies and automates secure access control to network resources.

1)      Accurate Identification – Cisco ISE grabs contextual data from a wide variety of sources (e.g., Active Directories, sensors, NetFlow) across the network to offer clear visibility into every connected device. It also offers advanced profiling technology as well as a curated profiling update service to ensure that all these connected devices are accurately identified and classified.

2)      Centralized Access Policy – Cisco ISE gives enterprises the power to centrally define and manage the right types of access for users and devices. ISE can take written, granular business policy and make it real secure access policy, enforced across the network.

3)      Easy Onboarding – New simplified onboarding experiences provide intuitive user access on branded portals, without sacrificing security, for a wide variety of enterprise deployments – from guest hotspot to “BYOD” projects.

4)      Rapid Mitigation and Remediation – Cisco ISE can take all that collected contextual data and share it with integrated partner solutions. By delivering a deeper level of context, ISE makes it easier and faster to identify, mitigate, and take action to remediate non-compliant mobile devices, compromised endpoints, or other network threats.

Cisco ISE provides enterprises with greater visibility into who and what is on the network. This leads to more accurate identification, which, in turn, allows enterprises to assign the right access control to an end-user and device…easily and securely.

So, when that day comes where some of those 7 billion devices end up on YOUR network, you know you’ll be ready to tackle those challenges with Cisco ISE.

Please join us on November 5, 2014, for a live, 60-minute webcast where we’re offering a sneak peek at the newest version of Cisco ISE.  Space is limited, so register today!


*Citrix, “Workplace of the Future: a global market research report”, September 2012 http://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/documents/products-solutions/workplace-of-the-future-a-global-market-research-report.pdf

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Three Deciding Factors To Reach A New Digital World

October 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm PST

In a Technology Vision 2014 report, consulting firm Accenture discussed major trends that drive a dramatic transformation for every business to enter a digital world. As they described, the excitement is to change from being “digitally disrupted” today to “digital disrupters” tomorrow. The huge opportunity is for businesses position themselves as leaders in this new world.

Many forces are at work in the journey of this remarkable transition. Among them, three dominant factors will play a vital role to determine whether this digital transformation will be successful: an intelligent information edge, IT simplicity and cybersecurity.

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At the edge of the new digital world, intelligent and real-time technologies allow people to act and react faster to achievebetter experience and outcome. While mobile device explosion serves as a clear indicator of this rapid transition, greater potential lies ahead to fully utilize the power of mobility, analytics, cloud computing and other new technologies. For a preview of what is possible, check out how Fernbank Natural History Museum integrates 3G/4G and Wi-Fi seamlessly. The outcome is an dynamic application that brings an immersive and interactive experience to the visitors, instead of forcing them to find the information.

Technical complexity arises, as more and more applications, systems and infrastructure are added together over time.  Cisco Global IT Impact Survey in 2013 found that nearly three out of four IT participants (71 percent) were deploying more applications than a year ago. Without IT simplicity, IT departments will be rapidly consumed by day-to-day fire drills. They will lose their ability to innovate and their relevance to the business.

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Cost Effective and Reliable Last Mile Connectivity in Developing Countries

Last mile connectivity remains a challenge in developing countries. Businesses need a smart last mile solution that is also secure, reliable, provides investment protection and at the same time, keeps costs low. Serial connections still offer a low cost connectivity option for businesses that generate basic network traffic minus video or voice. Cellular wireless technologies offer a reliable and cost effective way of connecting people and places where wired connectivity is not available. It is growing into a widely used connectivity option especially for small site connectivity such as ATMs, Retail, Gas Stations and the like. However, cellular wireless is often assumed to be a complicated means of providing connectivity due to ever evolving technology and diverse Service Provider configurations. What if your business could connect to the world through any Service Provider in your region from the same network device?

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Expanded IWAN Management with LiveAction 4.1

LiveAction 4.1, shipped in late August, provides additional Cisco IWAN management features available with PfRv3 release, announced in July for ISR and ASR platforms. As Cisco’s preferred management solution for IWAN, LiveAction makes troubleshooting of performance routing issues easier through at-a-glance visual dashboards and simple workflows.

LiveAction 4.1 leverages the scalability enhancements provided in version 4.0 and adds several important functions allowing enterprises to take advantage of improved intelligent path control for Cisco Intelligent WAN and large-scale configuration and change management functions.  LiveAction 4.1 features provide the following customer benefits:

  • More robust PfRv3 dashboard and workflows enabling faster troubleshooting
  • PfR configuration and provisioning via Net LineDancer (NetLD) integration
  • 5X faster report processing than LiveAction 3.0
  • Full NCCM functions through integration with NetLD
  • Device grouping allowing common operations across multiple devices with ease
  • Easier to deploy device configurations to multi-vendor platforms
  • No more restrictions on single admin login and flexibility in Active Directory login

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Purpose-built for the Intelligent WAN. The new ISR 4000 Series

Today, at Interop in New York, we are introducing to our customers and partners four new platforms that extend what we started with the award winning architecture of the Cisco ISR 4451 into a complete family of Cisco 4000 Series of Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) designed and priced for all branch offices sizes and needs. The full family represents the greatest advancement in branch routing technology in the past ten years and promises to help IT deliver an uncompromised application experience for any user over any connection, with reliability and security.

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With today’s announcement every branch of every size can benefit from the ISR 4000 Series architecture. We are excited to help IT deliver new services and improve application experience at the same time as streamlining branch infrastructure and reducing management and WAN costs. The five models that make up the family are the ISR 4451, 4431, 4351, 4331, and 4321. With this simplified portfolio (5 models vs 10 in ISR G2), we will cover WAN needs from 50Mbps all the way up to 2Gbps all with rich network services and a common management platform.

Over 1,200 customers have already adopted this new branch architecture to help meet next-generation demands like mobility and cloud. One of these customers is a large school district in the United States digitizing education with tools like eLearning, eBooks, and HD video. These initiatives could saturate bandwidth and potentially ruin the ability of students to download books while others watch live video or download OS updates. By deploying the ISR 4451 the school district was able to use our Akamai Connect capability to cache eBooks locally, off-loading enormous traffic from the WAN since the each eBook was now stored locally! Leveraging the ISR 4000 has helped the school district move forward with a truly digital learning experience. Read More »

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