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Welcome to Cisco LIVE

Hello all. I’m here at Cisco LIVE preparing for the Public Sector Open Session. At the PS Open Session, you will hear about Cisco’s offerings around Cloud, Cybersecurity and Collaboration. I also hear that they have a special treat for those attending. Someone said something about the Alaska Wildlife Preserve.  We had our rehearsal session this morning, so I got a bit of a sneak peak, but you’ll just have to join us Sunday afternoon to see more.

I will be providing updates on a daily basis, including some videos, of the happenings going on here. Please check back to see what’s happening, some of the highlights, and what Cisco is doing for Public Sector customers.

I would also like to mention that we have some new ways to communicate with us. We have a brand new Twitter account where you can follow what’s happening at @CiscoGovt. And, we’ve recently brought up our Public Sector Community, a place where you can talk with your peers at the Public Sector Customer Connection. This is a place for you to discuss your concerns, issues and wins with other Cisco customers without having Cisco people interfere. Rest assured, we will be listening, and we will make sure you know who is listening, so that you can be sure your conversations are being heard by the right people. But this is intended to be a place where you can talk openly about whatever is on your mind. I look forward to seeing your conversations.

That’s if for now. Watch for further updates, videos and happenings from Cisco LIVE 2011.

jc

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Cisco Unified Communication Manager on Cisco Unified Computing System Express

Today, the network is a strategic platform in a world that demands better integration among people, information, and ideas. The network works better when services, together with products, create solutions aligned with business needs and opportunities.

The Cisco Unified Communication Manager on Cisco Unified Computing System Express Limited Availability—U.S. Department of Defense is an ideal solution for customers who require a certified, reduced footprint, single-box, integrated solution for unified communications.

Watch below as Ric Chavez, Senior Manager, Global Government Solutions Group shares the many benefits of the Cisco Unified Communication Manager on Cisco Unified Computing System Express Limited Availability—U.S. Department of Defense.

Be sure to stay tuned for more information on how Cisco continues to deliver exceptional solutions designed specifically to meet the needs of our government customers!

For more information, please visit: http://www.cisco.com/go/ggsg

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Cisco Leadership in Government Product Certifications

Meeting the rigorous standards set forth by the Common Criteria community, the National Institute of Standards and Technologies, and the Defense Information Systems Agency allows government customers to trust the integrity, security, and interoperability of their IT network systems. Check out the video below for an update on Cisco government product certifications:

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Five Ways To Start Using Big Data

Just when we feel we are drowning in information, along comes Big Data to save the day. Big Data refers to a dataset so large it is beyond the capability of a typical database to manage and make use of the information. But a set of advances in hardware and software now allows us to rapidly capture, organize, and make sense of vast oceans of data, enabling us to apply the results to make better business decisions.

Big Data can give us a strategic advantage. For example, investors could see global trends in trading across sectors in near-real time; they could respond much earlier to a downturn in prices in a given sector, avoiding the steep losses incurred by taking later action.

Big Data can also create a richer experience for customers. Bloomberg.com gathers more than 100 data points from every page an individual reader views, processing the data with 15 algorithms to personalize recommendations. Algorithms that understand natural language and rich media and can reason make Big Data technology even more useful in decision making. Novel visualization paradigms, 3D, and gesture interfaces make Big Data understandable and accessible to everyone.

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Security and NetFlow: The time is now!

For those of you that have been around the networking world for a while, NetFlow is far from a new technology. Cisco developed NetFlow years ago and it has become the industry standard for generating and collecting IP traffic information. NetFlow quickly found a home within network management providing valuable telemetry for overall network performance and management. Nine versions later NetFlow is growing in popularity not solely due to its value to network management but as a critical component of security operations. Over the past 12 months I have encountered more and more large enterprises that view NetFlow as one of their top tools for combating advanced threats within their perimeters.

The dynamic nature of the cyber threat landscape and growing level of sophistication and customization of attacks are requiring organizations to monitor their internal networks at a new level. IP flow monitoring (NetFlow) coupled with security focused NetFlow collectors like Lancope’s StealthWatch is helping organizations quickly identify questionable activity and anomalous behavior. The value that NetFlow provides is unsampled accounting of all network activity on an IP flow enabled interface. I bring up unsampled because of its importance from a security perspective. While flow sampling is a valid method for network management use cases sampling for the sake of security leaves too much in question. An analogy would be having two different people listen to the same song. One person gets the song played in its entirety, unsampled, and the other only hears the song in 30-second intervals. While neither may be musically inclined the person who had the advantage of listening to the song in its entirety would be able more accurately hum or sing back that song than the person that only heard 30 second snippets of the song. Furthermore the ability to identify that song during radio airplay would be in favor of the individual that was able to listen to the song in its entirety. This holds true for IP flow information when leveraging the information for detecting malicious or anomalous traffic. Some malicious code will only send a single packet back to a master node, which would most likely be missed, in a sampling scenario.

Further increasing the value of IP flow monitoring is Cisco’s recent release of Flexible NetFlow (FnF). FnF introduces two new concepts to flow monitoring. The first is the use of templates and the second expands the range of packet information that can be collected as well as monitor more deeply inside of a packet. This allows greater granularity in the information that is to be monitored as well a providing different collector sources for different sets of information. You can search for Flexible NetFlow on Cisco’s main website to get more technical details.

Are you using NetFlow for security operations? I welcome any feedback, good or bad regarding your experience and opinions on the value that IP flow information provides for detecting this ever-changing threat landscape.

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