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Driving Conversations on Cybersecurity in the Public Sector

Just like private businesses, public sector organizations are taking advantage of today’s “boundless” infrastructures. They also face the same challenging reality when implementing those networks: a threat to data security. For public sector, the stakes are especially high. The proliferation of hackers, inevitable human errors, bring-your-own-device initiatives and the ever-broadening need to share information weigh heavily on government and education organizations, and consume substantial resources.

Against this backdrop, it’s more important than ever to be constantly discussing and innovating cybersecurity measures to keep networks safe. Cisco is not only an industry leader when it comes to providing cybersecurity solutions and services for the public sector, but it is also helping drive conversations with government and technology leaders around the country. In fact, Cisco will be attending a number of cyber-focused events over the next few months:

Cisco is a proud sponsor of the RSA Conference, an event that helps drive the information security agenda worldwide and plays an integral role in keeping security professionals across the globe connected and educated. Speakers will discuss everything from cloud computing to quantitative security, and include Secretary Jeh Johnson, Department of Homeland Security.

This year’s CyberTexas conference will explore the intersection of cyber security and the ‘Internet of Things’. Cisco’s Kurt Harris, Senior Systems Engineering Manager, is presenting on This session will explore the importance of securing the IoT and how these security challenges impact the enormous opportunity presented by the IoE for public sector in the future. This session will explore the importance of securing the IoT and how these security challenges impact the enormous opportunity presented by the IoE for public sector in the future. This session will explore the importance of securing the IoT and how these security challenges impact the enormous opportunity presented by the IoE for public sector in the future. This session will explore the importance of securing the IoT and how these security challenges impact the enormous opportunity presented by the IoE for public sector in the future. the importance of securing the Internet of Things and how security challenges impact the enormous opportunity presented by the Internet of Everything for public sector in the future. Cisco is also sponsoring the “Securing the Internet of Things” track.

The 2015 Synergy Forum brings together government and industry practitioners driving our collective technology futures to examine the emerging fusion of physical and digital worlds. Gary Neal Akers, senior vice president of Advanced Security Initiatives, Cisco, will take part in a panel on security and the Internet of Things.

Linked by a commitment to cybersecurity, government agencies, intelligence personnel and industry leaders will gather at the 2015 Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium to discuss successful strategies for improving security. In addition to exhibiting its cybersecurity solutions at the symposium, Cisco’s Kapil Bakshi, Distinguished Architect, will be speaking on a panel titled “Secure, Operate and Defend in the Commercial Sector – How Do We Maintain and Increase Cyber Security While Providing Innovation in IT?”

Digital Government Institute’s 8th annual Cyber Security Conference will explore today’s cyber threats and offer an opportunity for those supporting government security initiatives to collaborate on how to detect, protect, and respond to these challenges. Peter Romness, cybersecurity solutions lead, U.S. Public Sector, will be presenting during the show. Cisco is a Gold Sponsor of the DGI Cyber Security Conference.

The NSA Information Assurance Symposium is a biannual forum hosted by the National Security Agency that brings, policy, governance, technology, hands-on training and networking opportunities to attendees from across government, industry and academia. Cisco will be exhibiting at the symposium.

That is quite the cyber roadshow! Also, don’t miss our webinar with GovLoop on April 30th for a discussion on how to stay secure and connected in the age of the Internet of Things. And of course, we will undoubtedly be talking cybersecurity during Cisco Live in San Diego, June 7-11th. If you are attending any of these events, please make sure to stop by and say hello!

 

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Congratulations FCW Federal 100 Award Winners

Earlier this month, FCW announced the 2015 winners of its prestigious Federal 100 Awards. In its 26th year, the Fed 100 program has evolved to become one of the most recognizable achievements in the federal IT market. These awards honor individuals from government, industry and academia who have had a significant impact on how federal agencies leverage technology systems and services. Winners are selected for their progressive efforts and demonstrating innovative thinking in the federal IT community. In short, these are the individuals directly influencing how technology is being used to transform agencies’ operations and help them achieve mission success.

Here at Cisco, we are fortunate to have had fantastic customers and employees recognized for their contributions over the years. This year, I’m very pleased to congratulate Cisco’s own Larry Payne, Area Vice President for U.S. Federal Sales, as well as Dr. Himanshu Singh, Associate Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) for their selections as Fed100 Award recipients. Read More »

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Beyond the Internet of Things (IoT): A Commentary

Shawn McCarthy, Research Director at IDC Government recently penned an insightful blog on IoT. Titled “Beyond the Internet of Things: How Convergence Can Help Governments Support Their Rising Tide of New Devices,” the blog notes with more devices producing more data, government agencies have been working to add more storage, security, network bandwidth, and systems management tools. David Bray, the innovative, young Chief Information Officer at the Federal Communications Commission, has noted this exponential change. In a recent interview, Bray estimates that from the current 7 billion networked devices we will grow to upwards of 50 billion networked devices by 2020. Deloitte suggests that by 2020, the IoT is powered by a trillion sensors. And Cisco Systems’ research indicates the economic impact in 2020 is more than $14 trillion. In order to take advantage of their mountain of new data, and the associated range of new applications, agencies will have to merge parts of their existing infrastructure. That converged infrastructure can take two forms – merging data centers themselves or consolidating components within a single optimized computing package. Converging IT infrastructure is the first step in the roadmap to capitalizing on the benefits of the Internet of Everything (I0E). Bray goes even further, arguing that we will need to shift from searching for data to having relevant data find us, to include developing machines that learn our preferences for data as well as when to deliver that data in a form most useful to our work. McCarthy also reviews the disruptive, but hopefully positive, effects of IoT on citizen services, government reaction times, and employees. Read More »

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Beyond the Internet of Things: How Convergence Can Help Governments Support Their Rising Tide of New Devices

The accelerated growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) already has created a cascade of changes across public sector. With more devices producing more data (and demanding more IT services), government agencies have been working to add more storage, security, increase network bandwidth and system management tools – all while supporting a growing range of applications which let them take advantage of their mountain of new data.

In order to truly take advantage of a growing variety of available solutions, many agencies still have a great deal of work to do. This includes working to merge parts of their existing infrastructure. The challenge is where to start. We see two significantly different types of converged infrastructure. Read More »

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Cloud Success Requires Embracing Federal Compliance

It’s no secret that federal agencies are increasingly adopting or at least “dipping a toe” into the cloud computing pool. Private and public cloud environments offer agencies the opportunity to reduce costs, increase agility, and improve flexibility to meet their mission-critical objectives. However, concerns over the security and control of data are two major reasons many agencies aren’t moving to the cloud. In fact, a new Cisco-sponsored survey found that security topped federal IT leaders’ wish list when it comes to evaluating cloud service providers, with 69 percent rating it as a critical characteristic.

Cisco is a longtime leader in not only following, but embracing the government certification and accreditation processes. Common Criteria, FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) and FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program) are all critical evaluation programs that facilitate the implementation of new technologies. That’s not to say government regulations aren’t complex. In fact, Cisco has a team dedicated to managing global government certifications. But without these standards in place, our continued advancement of military and civilian operations would cease to exist at the federal level. Read More »

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