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Cyberspace! The New Frontier!

We are currently in Cybersecurity month here in the United States, which is to say that our country is trying to raise our awareness in regard to our virtual protection.

So, Cyber Security? What is security for cyberspace…? It’s difficult at times to think of an imaginary border that protects networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. Unauthorized access… so hacking? Yes, but more devious with results that could even lead to injury or death of our population.

Imagine what would happen if, all of a sudden, one of our major cyber systems were “hacked”… What does that mean for us? Think. Just about our whole existence revolves around cyberspace. That’s right, systems operate virtually to be able to manage simple things like pay roll all the way to complex things like flight plans, take-off and landing. Cyberspace is where your Facebook lives, Twitter, personal email accounts, and all of your personal finance information. Has your account ever been hacked by a friend posting a funny blurb on your account? Or has your identity been stolen by a hacker? With technology becoming an extension of ourselves, it’s just important to protect ourselves. Let’s not create an episode of J.J. Abrams “Revolution” if we can avoid it…

What can we do about it? That’s the point of this month is for “us”… yes, us plain ole citizens, to be more proactive in protecting ourselves, our communities, and ultimately our country.

This is what the Department of Homeland Security says about how we can start protecting ourselves:

“Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their personal assets, and private information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can do to practice cyber security during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) and throughout the year:

  •  Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Here is a glance at Cisco’s part in cybersecurity.

Check out this blog by Chris Coleman titled “The Virtual Maginot Line” and also be looking for blogs by other members of Cisco that are revolving around Cybersecurity month.

This is very simple. We have roughly 2 weeks left in this month. Let’s all do our part.


Mark Rogers

To learn more about the strategies mentioned in the video, visit and

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Sustainable Cities & Technology: Insights & Final Thoughts from Meeting of the Minds 2012

I had the opportunity to attend Meeting of the Minds in San Francisco last week. It was an amazing event that brought together thought leaders from the world’s most innovative organizations to spotlight fresh ideas in urban connectivity and sustainability.

The emerging themes centered around innovation, leadership, and enabling connectivity. While there and after the first day of sessions, my team had the pleasure of catching up with Gordon Feller, director of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Public Sector Practice, Urban Innovations team and convenor and co-founder of Meeting of the Minds, to capture his insights. Check out the video:

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Progress Report from the Common Criteria Supply Chain Security Technical Working Group

On September 19 at Progress Report from the Supply Chain Security Technical Working Group (September 19 2012), a status report was presented from the Supply Chain Security Technical Work Group which was formed in March 2012 with the approval of the Common Criteria Development Board, in order to produce a Common Criteria Supporting Document that technical communities can use and adapt for their protection profiles.

The information and communications technology (ICT) supply chain has become increasingly complex, with logically long and geographically diverse routes, including multiple tiers of outsourcing.  This leads to a significant increase in the number of organizations and individuals who “touch” a product, and thus, increase the likelihood that a product’s integrity will be compromised.  Ensuring that ICT products from commercial software and hardware providers are free from vulnerabilities introduced via the product developer’s supply chain is an increasing concern which has manifested in proposed legislation and draft government regulations, as well as publicized attacks.

Exacerbating those concerns is the fact that awareness of supply chain risks and potential mitigations is not widely shared within the ICT industry, academia, government regulators, and product acquirers.

The product life cycle and its corresponding supply chain aspects extend from design to sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, delivery, installation, support, and end-of-life. Each stage presents potential threats of attack: the introduction of counterfeit products or components; elements of product taint, for example via malware or an integrity breach; disruptions to logistics and delivery; as well as tampered communications between the product developer and the customer or the customer and supplier.

The initial Supply Chain Security Supporting Document will describe several of these threats in more detail, specify additional threats, suggest assurance requirements, and recommend best practices for product manufacturers, evaluators, certifiers and end users.

As communities incorporate targeted material from the Supply Chain Supporting Document in protection profiles and vendors complete Common Criteria security evaluations against those protection profiles, customers will gain additional assurance of the product developer’s actions to secure their supply chain, and confidence in the manufactured product they are receiving; all under the globally accepted Common Criteria framework.



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How Safe is Your Network? Learn How to Defend Your Cyber Borders

As government agencies, schools, hospitals and organizations everywhere transition to mobile workforces the need to rethink cyber defense strategies becomes critical. Rates of cybercrimes, like hackings, virus infiltrations and digital breaches, continue to rise and networks need protection in order to keep data—and people—safe. In fact, President Obama outlined the importance of cyber security in his Wall Street Journal op-ed this summer.

In addition, The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) declared October National Cyber Security Awareness Month, so on October 25th , we invite you to join us as government experts, industry specialists and leading analysts gather for a cybersecurity town hall event, “Defending Cyber Borders—Beyond the Virtual Maginot Line.” Take part in the discussion as guests like Forrester analyst Rich Holland and Sans Institute Fellow Rob Lee, discuss innovative cyber security strategies and technologies and teach you to build effective, cost-conscious approaches to protecting your networks.

Register today for the virtual event. If you can’t make the date but are serious about cyber security, stay tuned for an on-demand version of the discussion.


Smart Cities: Moving from Discussion to a Call for Action

I am in San Francisco this week to attend a City Protocol workshop along with the Meeting of the Minds 2012 conference (Twitter: @meetoftheminds), which brings together thought leaders from the world’s most innovative organizations to spotlight fresh ideas in urban connectivity and sustainability.

All week, I’ve been surrounded by urbanists and city experts talking about ways to make cities better. At many city events worldwide, I see a lot of discussion that seems to center on “what” can be done to improve our cities. This week, however, I’ve heard people asking the presenters “how” the smart innovation actually happened. That is, they wanted to know who did what, and how it was developed, operated, and financed.

This clearly demonstrates that there is need for more replicable and usable information describing “how” Smart Cities are actually made to be smarter. To fill this need, one must understand how cities operate and how Smart City “indicators” are actually delivered. Read More »

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