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#CiscoPublicSafety Series: Connected Justice Solutions for Correctional Facilities

Two of the biggest problems that prison staff must face every day are security and cost. From visitation to healthcare to education, cost-efficient technology solutions can make the lives of inmates safer and better.

Cisco® Connected Justice™ and Renovo Software have partnered to integrate Renovo’s expertise in inmate visitation management and Cisco’s open communications infrastructure. This combination provides prisons and courts with the ability to offer telecommunications services that improve lives and uphold public safety standards while cutting costs.

A great example of this theory in practice is Muskegon County Jail. The Michigan jail will leverage Renovo’s videoconferencing technologies to facilitate visitation for inmates and their families, as well as streamline communication with courtrooms and lawyers. Televisitation allows inmates to maintain frequent face-to-face contact with their legal counsel and visitors without the concerns of physical safety and contraband. This technology alleviates a burden on prison personnel and eases the physiological impact of visiting a prison for families of inmates, especially children. Video visitation is not new, but Muskegon County is a pioneer in fully adopting the practice and planning for its future use. Read More »

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#SmartConnectedCity Series Wrap-up: IoE, Smart+Connected Communities, and the Future of Cities

Imagine what a city could and should look like in several years. What do you see?

  • What will be top of mind for citizens?
  • How will citizens be accessing information and engaging with city agencies?
  • What tools will be needed in this future of cities?

Well, look no further because the city of the future is here today. Insight related to those questions, and many more, is provided by Cisco’s Wim Elfrink in Huffington Post, as he explores innovative concepts for urban sustainability and new possibilities for an improved citizen experience, as well as how the Internet of Everything (IoE) can help enrich people’s lives.     Read the full article via Huffington Post, published today.

IoE, the Smart+Connected Communities Framework, and the Impact on the Public Sector

Throughout the New Cities Summit, as well as throughout our #SmartConnectedCity blog series, we took a look at how IoE and technology are helping to re-define cities by providing a framework for city and local government leaders to improve agency agility and performance, to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs, and to enhance on-demand citizen services. Below, for additional insight, Anil Menon and Wim Elfrink elaborate on this topic from New Cities Summit last week, as well as kick off a discussion about the subsequent impact on the public sector, which includes expanding access to education and healthcare. 

To see more actual examples showing the impact of technology and IoE on cities and the public sector, click on the image below. Read More »

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#SmartConnectedCity Series: Accessing Remote Experts for Government Services

June 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm PST

Following last week’s New Cities Summit, I have renewed interest in some of the technologies being implemented to improve citizen services. For example, as a citizen of the Dallas metroplex, I was intrigued by many of the solutions and applications the City of Dallas has put into place on its quest to become a smart and connected city.

With so many cities being pressured with the need to spend less yet meet growing citizen needs, we are seeing a growing interest in solutions such as the Remote Expert Smart Solution for Government Services (REGS). Many of us don’t have frequent need to engage with a city expert or professional, but when I have, the experience has been less than stellar. Too often, citizens end up in lines, waiting, having to take off work and in the worst case scenario – leaving without the information we needed.

Let’s say my grandfather needed to renew his driver’s license. With the REGS solution, the city could place a REGS units (or POD) inside a REGS_podlocal commercial complex, within the public library or even the local bank. My grandfather wouldn’t have to go all the way to the Department of Motor Vehicles.  He could simply go to the local POD location, enter the POD, be greeted and start a virtual face-to-face consultation immediately with an expert who would walk him through the process. The expert and my grandfather could see one another and the expert could share a browser or document and even print off any forms my grandfather needs before he leaves.

REGS_howitworksAs Cecile Willems wrote yesterday, citizen engagement is critical to making our cities better. With solutions that make services easier to access, easier to use, and more effective for both the citizen and the city, we may just see that  an engaged citizen is a happy citizen.

 

Is your city taking steps to improve citizen services? (check out what they are doing with REGS in Brisbane, Australia, by the way)

Interested in learning more about Smart+Connected Solutions such as REGS? 

To learn more about what cities are doing to create new possibilities for improved citizen engagement and a better citizen experience, register  for the entire #SmartConnectedCity blog series, or visit Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities page and Government page on Cisco.com.

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Cisco achieves first Foundation Grade certified IPsec VPN gateway

June 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm PST

Today, We bring good news from the Cisco U.K. team, and author Mark Jackson.

Cisco achieves first Foundation Grade certified IPsec VPN gateway which supports CESG PRIME encryption

Cisco is pleased to announce that the Cisco ASA 5500 and 5500-X series security appliances have successfully completed evaluation against the IPsec security gateway security characteristic and are now certified at Foundation Grade. This award represents the first Foundation Grade IPsec VPN product capable of supporting both the CESG interim and PRIME cipher suites, enabling public sector customers to take full advantage of the very latest cryptographic algorithms.

 

In April 2014, the UK Government reformed the way in which information assets are classified, moving from a six tier protective marking scheme to a new three tier classification scheme: OFFICIAL, SECRET and TOP SECRET.  The motivation for the change was driven by an overall civil service reform agenda; supporting a greater level of personal accountability over information, enabling a modern workspace and ensuring that security is applied in a proportionate manner.

 

At an ICT level, the reform is designed to allow Government departments to exploit a wider range of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies at the OFFICIAL tier where the vast majority of Government business operates.

 

As part of this transition and the wider adoption of COTS technologies, there remains a need for risk owners to have a degree of assurance that the technologies they choose are fit for purpose. CESG, the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, have updated and improved the product assurance model to meet Government needs. This model includes two grades of assurance; Foundation Grade and High Grade. Foundation Grade products are COTS products designed to provide protection against threats to information classified as OFFICIAL and certification is achieved through the completion of either a Common Criteria or Commercial Product Assurance (CPA) evaluation.

 

The certification covers both site-to-site and remote-access VPN deployment options and coupled with the Cisco AnyConnect client (currently in CPA evaluation), will enable Government customers to deploy a scalable, assured secure mobility solution for a range of operating systems.

 

Rod Halstead, Managing Director of Cisco’s UK Public Sector organisation said “Cisco has a long history of working with the UK public sector and over the past few years has contributed extensively to the G-Cloud and PSN programmes, especially in the area of security and information assurance. Achieving Foundation Grade certification on the ASA platform further demonstrates Cisco’s commitment and provides the foundation for enabling public sector employees to adopt commercial grade technology to support their remote and mobile.”

 

A spokesman for CESG said: ‘We congratulate Cisco on their latest achievement and are pleased to add their latest products to CESG’s expanding range of certified Foundation Grade products. By choosing a VPN which has been evaluated against CESG’s standards, customers can have confidence that the product will perform correctly and will protect their data and information from compromise.”

 

#SmartConnectedCity Series: Dallas, Big Smart Things Happen Here

NewCitiesSummit2014If Dallas only brings images of football games and TV soap operas to mind, it’s time to re-consider this southern city.

A year ago, Dallas faced some challenges adopting comprehensive sustainability programs. But since then, the city has not stagnated in its journey to become smart and connected. Recently, Dallas has caught the attention of large technology companies, won grants, and been selected to hold thought leadership events.

This week, Dallas hosted the annual New Cities Summit, joining past host cities and world capitals Paris and São Paulo. The summit sponsor, New Cities Foundation, founded by Cisco and Ericsson, strives to incubate, promote, and scale urban innovations. The selection of Dallas as the summit’s 2014 location indicates its position as a city well on its way to becoming a technology hub. Read More »

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