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Cisco Investments Shape the Disruptions that will Define Tomorrow’s World

It’s impossible to predict the future, especially when it comes to the impact of technology on our lives.  This has been true since the time of the very earliest human inventions, and in the modern era, we no longer need decades and multiple generations to see these changes; they are immediate and have the power to transform single generations many times over.  Just consider how the personal computer, Internet, email, and mobile devices have changed our lives time and again. These innovations, taken alone, are extraordinary.  However, the power they have unlocked by coinciding in time and the profound consequences of connecting people, places, and things—Everything—makes the potential of the future both unpredictable and boundless.

The ability for any company to stay well ahead of disruptions—whether to defend their own markets or to expand into others—is extremely difficult.  And it is nearly impossible to do so consistently.  This is because the nature of the innovation, the context, time or market in which it lives, as well as its cost, all play a role in whether it takes seed and matures.  The better you can understand the factors that may make a lasting crop, the smarter you can be in choosing what field of soil to till, under what conditions to plant seeds and when the best time is to do either.  This really amounts to making the best and most educated bets you can.  In practical terms, these wagers can range from choosing the right customers to pursue to determining where you invest precious resources.

Some companies, including Cisco, have adopted robust build, buy and partner models to keep ahead of the market and inevitable disruptions that pose both threats to current market positions as well as offer powerful tools to enter into new markets.  For Cisco, having an additional lens to help see factors a little better in order to make smarter bets, has long been part of the Cisco Investments approach.  Putting capital to work through equity investments in start-ups and funds has helped to improve illusive visibility that can make the difference to catching critical market transitions—or missing them. Insights learned through equity investments into young and interesting companies on the bleeding edge of change helps Cisco gain valuable understanding of market trends, assess and develop better partnerships as well as strengthen relationships with other investors and partners that complement our M&A and organic development efforts.

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Virtualizing Video

Here today at CES 2014, the show is kicking off in full swing. With attendance of over 150,000 people expected, the buzz is building off of last year around the latest 4K/UltraHD televisions, smart devices, and wearables with the overall theme of the show being the Internet of Everything.  But while the name of the show focuses on consumer electronics, what isn’t as widely recognized is that CES is also the largest service provider tradeshow in the Americas with operators coming from around the globe to learn about new services they can offer those devices to increase their revenue, new ways to offer those services to save on operating costs, and news ways to roll those services out quickly to catch market opportunities.

Yesterday, Cisco announced ways for service providers to address each of those fundamental business care-abouts by announcing it is virtualizing Videoscape – its leading immersive video solution – by putting it into the cloud. This announcement has three standout offers: Read More »

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Last Year’s Tech Trends and What They Mean for 2014

2013 was an incredible year, filled with both good times and bad times.  It also proved to be a year for technology to become even more intertwined with our lives. As we move forward into the first month of the New Year, let us take a look at some of the top trends of 2013, and how they might fare this year: Read More »

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Comment on Der Spiegel articles about NSA TAO Organization (UPDATE 2)

UPDATE 2: On Monday, December 30th, Der Spiegel magazine published additional information about the techniques allegedly used by NSA TAO to infiltrate the technologies of numerous IT companies. As a result of this new information coming to light, the Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) has opened an investigation. Customers can stay informed of the progress of this investigation via the previously posted Cisco Security Response.

December 29th -- An article was published in Der Spiegel today about the alleged capabilities of the United States National Security Agency (NSA) Tailored Access Operations (TAO) organization. The article says that TAO “exploits the technical weaknesses” of Information Technology products from numerous companies, and mentions Cisco. 

We are deeply concerned with anything that may impact the integrity of our products or our customers’ networks and continue to seek additional information.

We are committed to avoiding security issues in our products, and handling issues professionally when they arise. Our Trustworthy Systems initiatives, Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle, Cisco Common Crypto models, and Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) and Vulnerability Disclosure policies are all industry-leading examples of our commitment to our customers. This is central to how we earn and maintain trust.

At this time, we do not know of any new product vulnerabilities, and will continue to pursue all avenues to determine if we need to address any new issues. If we learn of a security weakness in any of our products, we will immediately address it.

As we have stated prior, and communicated to Der Spiegel, we do not work with any government to weaken our products for exploitation, nor to implement any so-called security ‘back doors’ in our products.

UPDATE 1: Customers seeking additional information may refer to the Cisco Security Response.

Additional Resources:

Cisco Trustworthy Systems: http://www.cisco.com/web/solutions/trends/trustworthy_systems/index.html

Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle: http://www.cisco.com/web/about/security/cspo/csdl/index.html

Cisco Security Advisories, Responses and Notices:http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/products_security_advisories_listing.html

Cisco Security Vulnerability Policy:http://www.cisco.com/web/about/security/psirt/security_vulnerability_policy.html

Cisco Blogs on Security and Cryptography http://blogs.cisco.com/tag/crypto/

 

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The Importance of Ethics in Global Business

For the sixth time in as many years, the Ethisphere Institute honored Cisco by naming us to its list of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and we continue to be proud of our long-standing commitment to ethics and integrity. At Cisco, we hold ourselves to a very high standard of business and professional conduct. Our company was founded on a platform of open communication, empowerment, integrity and respect. These values remain at the forefront of the way we do business each day. As a result, our customers, partners, and stakeholders around the world continue to trust our products and services. Read More »

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