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Cisco Chief Security Officer on President Obama’s Data Collection Speech

“President Obama’s announcement represents one of many important steps required to address global concerns about privacy and data collection. Our customers require that privacy, security, and transparency be at the foundation of the equipment, services, and capabilities they purchase from technology companies. We remain committed to working with our customers, technology providers, and governments to deliver on the promise of a global, secure Internet.”

(Editor’s note: you can view President Obama’s speech here.)

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What’s on Cisco’s Technology Radar? Predictions for 2014 and Beyond

Will an ‘Internet of Everything’ shorten your commute in the morning? Are we at the beginning or the end of the SDN hype cycle? What exactly is ‘context aware’ computing? How will large format HDTV technology transform the way global teams work together? 

Just before the holidays, I had the pleasure of posing these and other questions to a distinguished panel of Cisco engineers, innovators and business leaders.

Susie Wee, VP and CTO, Networked Experiences, Lauren Cooney, Senior Director, Software Strategy , CTO and Architecture Office, David Ward, CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect and Maciej Kranz, VP of the Corporate Technology Group led a discussion inspired by the work of Cisco’s Technology Radar team.

Cisco’s Tech Radar brings together a network of 80+ scouts  to identify emerging technology trends and forecast their impact on business, governments, and everyday society through a five, ten and twenty-five years time frame. The findings inform Cisco’s engineering and corporate development strategy.

During the course of 90 minutes, our panel dissected as many of those trends as they could, from augmented collaboration to WebRTC; mega data centers to SDN; security and privacy to the Internet of Everything.  You can view some highlights of the discussion in the video below, or – if your New Year isn’t too busy yet – you can watch the entire Technology Radar 2014 program here.

Join the conversation #CiscoTechRadar

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Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report: Trust Exploitation a Permanent Fixture in the Cyber World (Trustworthy Systems Can Be, Too)

The Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report has been released, following months of collaboration between threat researchers and other cybersecurity experts at Cisco and Sourcefire. As promised, it provides a “warts-and-all analysis” of security news from 2013 and our perspective for the year ahead based on the hard data collected through Cisco security products and analyzed by our researchers.

Our report that the cyberthreat and risk landscape has only grown stronger and more complex over the past year is not a revelation, perhaps. But we also now assert that because the cybercrime network has become so mature, far-reaching, well-funded, and highly effective as a business operation that very little in the cyber world can—or should—be trusted without verification.

We also expect adversaries to continue designing campaigns that take advantage of users’ trust in systems, applications, and the people and businesses they know. It’s an effective strategy. How do we know? Because 100 percent of the networks analyzed by Cisco have traffic going to known malware threat sites, and there is no doubt that the vast majority of those compromises relied initially on some abuse of trust.

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Public Sectors Worldwide Capture Value from the Internet of Everything

Today, Cisco announced that Public Sector entities worldwide could realize some US $4.6 trillion in value by embracing the Internet of Everything (IoE). The Value at Stake calculation comes from a bottoms-up analysis of 40 case studies of Smart city, state and country solutions proven to enhance everything from healthcare and education to traffic flow, parking, lighting, crime reduction, waste and water management.

With IoE, the possibilities to connect people, processes, data and things via common networks and killer apps seem infinite. The release of our study, “Internet of Everything: A $4.6 Trillion Public-Sector Opportunity,” coinciding with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), spotlights many Public Sector opportunities over the next decade.

Why Now?

Here, I want to elaborate on two vital questions a lot of people asked me at CES: First, why now? Second, what are the opportunities internationally?

Why now?  Since the dawn of the Internet, a complementary ecosystem of sensors, actuators, killer apps, mobility, computing power and Big Data analytics has continued to mature around the network. In just the past few years, as usage has grown, the costs of these networked technologies and solutions have come down rather dramatically.

As a result, it now makes sense not only for private enterprises but also for Public Sector organizations to reap benefits that outweigh the costs of building networked infrastructures. After years of visionary talk, it’s now possible for the Public Sector to improve IoE-based services for citizens and consumers, in effect, with flat budgets.

Reduced costs, increased revenue, better employee productivity (there are 350 million Public Sector workers globally) and enhanced citizen experiences all combine to more than make up for the costs of implementation, which also can be defrayed through public-private participation.

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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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