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Securing Your Network Before BYOD or IoT

If you’re a network engineer or have been following some of the recent trends in network security space, you may have come across terms such as “erosion of trust”, “zero trust ecosystem”, “the increased attack surface” and “new attack vectors”. What this means for a network engineer is that as application migrate from on-prem to cloud, and trends like mobility and IoT vastly expand the scale of assets and forms of access to be secured, traditional network security, which historically was centered around securing the perimeter of your network, is no longer sufficient.

Anatomy of Data Breach

I was recently reading the Symantec Internet Security Report. This report has been quite appropriately themed as “2013: Year of the Mega-Breach”. In particular, the Point-of-Sale type of attack, mostly prevalent in the retail segment of the market, is a great indicator of the anatomy of a typical breach. So I’ll use that as an illustrative example for the purposes of this post.

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IWAN Wed: LiveAction 4.0 True Scalability at Any Scale

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.57.54 PMLiveAction 4.0, shipped in late June 2014, brings increased scalability to enable users the ability to see thousands of devices across their entire network on a single pane of glass. It provides centralized visibility and management enhancements while leveraging the intuitive user interface and robust troubleshooting capabilities that LiveAction has become known for.

Through a highly expandable architecture, LiveAction 4.0 provides a consolidated view for the entire network bringing central management and coordination of nodes, distributed analytics management and device interaction and configuration. This allows network administrators to easily troubleshoot and resolve performance issues in networks with multiple data centers and geographically dispersed branch offices.

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New Software Release IOS-XE 3.6.0E/IOS 15.2(2)E Enables Lower TCO and Innovation

If you’ve ever had a situation where you urgently need new switching features or critical bug fixes, you’ll know why a new Cisco IOS software release is as precious as gold. In fact, a new software release can create big impact beyond features and bug fixes in many ways. For example, about 9 months ago, Cisco published its first converged software release (IOS-XE 3.5.0E/IOS 15.2(1)E) that allowed many Cisco switches such as Catalyst 4500-E, 4500-X, 3750-X, 3560-X, 2960-S, 2960-C, 2960-Plus, and 3560-C to use a common software release for simplified IT operations and maintenance.

Today, we are excited to announce a new Cisco software release, IOS-XE 3.6.0E/IOS 15.2(2)E, which is a major milestone in the Cisco IOS software history. For the first time, this new software delivers a single version of converged release for the extensive Cisco Unified Access product portfolio. You can save precious time, reduce operational costs and achieve lower total cost of ownership (TCO) with this release as you qualify, deploy and maintain this single combined software going forward . This software release supports new Unified Access products including Catalyst 2960-X/XR, Catalyst 3850/3850 fiber/3650, Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor 8-E, Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controller (WLC) as well as other “classic” Catalyst switches. Take a look at the chart below to see details.

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IWAN Wed: Say “Yes” and “Now” with Akamai Connect

Cisco and Akamai ConnectHas this happened to you? The line of business comes to you one day and says they have this great new idea to train the sales teams.  “Let’s use YouTube videos”, they say.  Or the CMO comes to you and says, “digital signage will increase our revenue if we can promote this next new line of products that is about to launch”.  Or “This new cloud application looks great and it will increase employee productivity!”

But all you could say was ‘no, that’s not possible’.  Not because you didn’t want to enable each of these groups but because 1) you are short of resources or 2) budget is tight or 3) the infrastructure just isn’t ready yet.  Any or all of the above?

With 80% of the workforce in a non-HQ location, enabling these digital services is daunting to IT.  What happens to other business critical applications if the WAN is flooded with YouTube videos?  Digital Signage is a great idea, sure, but how do I distribute those HD videos or images to the stores?  Cloud applications may seem like not much as a user but what happens if all my users are accessing the cloud at the same time? Read More »

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Introducing Cisco Active Advisor – A Free Cisco Tool For Your Network

Dimension Data recently came out with their 2014 Network Barometer Report. The report has business and technology insights based on data gathered from 74,000 network devices in 32 countries. Some of the findings are counter-intuitive, like failure rates and mean-time-repair (MTTR) are lower for obsolete equipment. See press release here, and download the full report here (requires registration). Also, check out their Google+ hangout on Wednesday July 9th.

DiData NBR Facebook-Timeline-v2

Based on this exhaustive report, Dimension Data’s top recommendation is:

“Have an accurate inventory of your network estate.”

The very fact that this is a top recommendation shows that creating accurate network inventory is hard. Otherwise, customers would already be doing this, and Dimension Data wouldn’t need to make it their top recommendation.


We are doing our part to make it easy for customers to create an accurate inventory of their network devices. Cisco Active Advisor is a free cloud-based service that can scan your network for Cisco enterprise and small business products such as Catalyst switches, routers, wireless access points, wireless controllers, and more. It provides valuable information on these products such as security vulnerabilities (PSIRTs), product lifecycle (End of Sale, End of Support), service contract status, warranty status, and more. You can view the report in an elegant web-based interface, and setup alerts. Cisco Active Advisor is ideal for small and mid-size networks. Read More »