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What You Can Learn from 2nd Graders and Traffic Lights and Happy Employees

February 29, 2012 at 8:53 am PST

What do the U.S Patent Trade Office (PTO), the City of San Antonio and the Mooresville Grade School District in North Carolina all have in common?   Each of these organizations is using technology in unique and innovative ways to fundamentally change how they approach their business.  By implementing a telework program, the PTO was able to recognize $19M in savings in real estate costs, while at the same time, providing their employees with the flexibility to work remotely and save commuting time.  Mooresville School District improved graduation rates from 64 to 91%, by implementing a Digital Conversion program which provides every student in grades 2 and above with a laptop, integrating mobile technology into researching, multimedia projects and three dimensional learning.  The City of San Antonio succeeded in improving traffic, lowering gas emissions and shortening commute times, by creating an intelligent traffic signal communication network.

While these stories demonstrate great results, they are not entirely unique.  Many government and education organizations are turning to technology to help them connect, innovate and save.  There are some great stories to be heard and lessons to be learned.  If you find these examples interesting, you might want to check out this Town Hall discussion where representatives from these organizations, as well as from the City of Raleigh North Carolina, The City of Aurora Illinois, the Idaho Education Network and McHenry County discuss the new and exciting ways they are deploying technology.  You might even learn a thing or two from traffic lights.

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ISR G2 and ASR1000 achieve PEPAS Certification!

February 27, 2012 at 11:53 am PST

The Global Certification Team is proud to collaborate with our colleagues across the globe.  Today we have a guest post by Mark Jackson <marjacks@cisco.com>, Technical Solutions Architect, Cisco UK.  Mark will be sharing about the recent PEPAS certification of the Cisco ISR G2 and ASR1000.

The Public Services Network (PSN) is at the heart of the UK Government ICT Strategy and aims to deliver significant cost savings against the current £16.5bn annual ICT spend whilst at the same time providing the foundation to enable the government to transform the way in which it delivers services to the citizen. Maintaining security within the PSN is critical to its success and as such, CESG and the Cabinet Office have laid down a range of technical and information assurance standards against which vendors must comply.

In the UK Government, classified information is protectively marked based on the resulting impact to business should the information be compromised. Often shortened to IL (Impact Level), there are seven levels ranging from IL0 to IL6 where IL6 has the highest impact.  The discipline of information assurance (IA) is used to provide confidence that systems systems handling protectively marked information do so in a robust fashion. Effective IA is widely seen as providing an important role in reducing the Nation’s vulnerabilities to cyber attack (Nation Cyber Security Strategy) and takes on a wide range of forms across the domains of technology, people and process. In the technology domain, the use of assured products is a key element in providing confidence that classified information will remain protected in accordance with its IL marking.

Within the context of the PSN, the baseline infrastructure will be assured to protect IL2 information passing in the clear; IL2 is used by many government departments and local authorities. The PSN will also be used extensively to transport IL3 information, more often seen in central government departments and law enforcement. In the PSN, protecting IL3 information requires the use of CESG assured cryptography and historically this has meant CAPS Baseline assured devices. CAPS devices are often criticised for their high cost and complexity of management, requiring customers to deploy two physical devices per site; a situation that is clearly not ideal when the primary goal of the PSN is to reduce cost. The CESG PEPAS assurance scheme was developed specifically to address the information assurance requirements of for using commercial-grade cryptography to deliver large-scale secure network overlay solutions for IL3 information within the PSN.

Cisco are pleased to announce that their ISR G2 and ASR 1000 Series routers have successfully completed and passed CESG PEPAS evaluation and can be used to support the secure transportation of IL3 information in the PSN. This announcement provides our customers and partners with the confidence to deploy Cisco IPsec VPN technology to protect IL3 information, whilst at the same time taking advantage of the wide range of capabilities offered by the ISR G2 and ASR 1000 series platforms. The Cisco ISR G2 and ASR 1000 series deliver an all-in-one solution combining WAN and IPsec VPN termination, whilst at the same time being able to deliver non-encrypted IL2 transport and additional services such as firewalling, application optimisation and voice.

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Global Certification Team at RSA 2012

February 24, 2012 at 7:18 am PST

The Global Certification Team is proud to have a presence at RSA 2012 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco!

We will be taking part in several talks and presentations, including the following:

  • The CC Forum Interim Steering Committee -- This time will be used for both the Terms of Reference working group and the Governance working group.
  • Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (O-TTF).   The O-TTF is developing a set of best practice requirements and recommendations for Supply Chain Security, that when practically applied, create a business benefit in terms of reduced risk of acquiring tainted or counterfeit products for the technology acquirer.
  • “Lock it down or Free it Up” -- Special keynote address by Christopher Young, Senior Vice President, Security and Government Group, Cisco -- Wednesday February 29, 3:10 p.m.
Be sure to check out this link for the live stream of the Keynote addresses.
We are looking forward to meeting with our peers from around the globe.  If you are attending any of the above workshops or talks, look for us!

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Come see us, let’s do lunch @ the GSF!

February 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm PST

Join Cisco experts, selected partners, and industry leaders at the 2012 Government Solutions Forum. Get program updates by searching #ciscogsf on Twitter.

We invite you to join Cisco experts, selected partners, and industry leaders on March 21 at the fourth annual Government Solutions Forum. At this interactive educational forum you will discover how public sector agencies and educational organizations are successfully implementing new processes and technologies to improve operational efficiency, enable workforce productivity, and deliver measurable results. You will also benefit from:

  • Technology showcases
  • Interactive demonstrations by Cisco strategic partners
  • Peer-to-peer networking opportunities
  • Detailed discussions of customer best practices and case studies

Benefits

Title: Four Tracks Provide Maximum Value

The 2012 Government Solutions Forum is structured in four tracks to provide detailed technical learning about the topics facing today’s technology and program management professionals in governmental and educational organizations. Choose the track that best suits your interests. They include:

  • Track 1 Mobile Collaboration
  • Track 2 Unified Data Center and the Cloud
  • Track 3 Cutting the Cost of Government
  • Track 4 Managing Risk in a Dynamic Network Environment
Agenda and Registration is here:  http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/government/solutionsforum.html

Note:  I may be hosting a special deep dive technical session on switching and network management, please write me directly if you are interested in attending.

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Network Security Surfaces as Mainstream Media issue

The New York Times’ Nicole Perlroth filed an alarming account of government and corporate network vulnerabilities that comes across like a briefing dossier read by James Bond aboard a Heathrow-Beijing flight. But it does the good work of putting a critical technology issue before a broad audience.

Traveling Light in a Time of Digital Thievery” (NYT, Feb. 10) details extraordinary counter-espionage precautions taken in China by prudent travelers and their organizations. Many now leave their usual notebooks, smartphones and tablets safe at home. Some say a device taken into China is never again permitted to touch their corporate network.

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