With the end of the year fast approaching and the 31st Annual Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas this week, this post is dedicated to a quick reflection on emerging data center trends and their impact on security.
The global technology analyst firm Ovum expects the market to become further focused on cost-savings and efficient internal IT delivery methods with broader virtualization, cloud and the use of converged infrastructure systems in 2013. This closely mirrors the agenda for the Gartner Data Center Conference where the agenda shows focus on trends such as IT Operational Excellence, Optimal Cloud Strategies and Delivering Greater Business Value.
BayThreat 2012, the third annual information security conference in the South Bay of San Francisco, will be held December 7–8 at The Firehouse Brewery in downtown Sunnyvale, Calif. This technical conference is well attended by security professionals from the top technology companies in the South Bay. Randy Ivener and Joe Karpenko, security specialists from Cisco Systems, will present “Network Threat Defense”at 10 a.m. Saturday at the conference.
Botnets, worms, and denial of service (DoS) attacks increasingly threaten the availability of every network, yet few network engineers realize the security benefits of leveraging network infrastructure to handle these attacks. “Network Threat Defense” will address how to build a more secure infrastructure and how to leverage inherent network features, such as NetFlow, to provide a full range of attack handling mechanisms. During the presentation, Ivener and Karpenko will briefly cover the following fundamental network security topics:
A couple of days ago, I participated in a Social Video Broadcast about cyber security survival tips for the holiday season. Some of my advice is familiar. Use stronger passwords, apply the “smell test” to too-good-to-be-true on-line offers, read the manual—especially the parts about account set up and security—when turning on a new device. Others are a little less well known. I keep a separate credit card account with a low spending limit for on-line purchases. Ask your Sys Admins if it is OK to connect a new “BYOD” device to an enterprise network when you return to work in January.
But the most important advice I offer is to slow down and think before doing anything that might subject you to cyber mayhem. Technology, and the Internet in particular, has programmed us to rush through life. But the best way to make it into to the Cyber Security Victims Hall of Regret is to lose your sense of situational awareness by clicking on anything that moves. This needn’t lead to paralyzing indecision. But taking a moment to ask: “Is this for real? Is this wise? Why does that look funny?” will spare you from a lot of harm in the holiday season.
Why are standards so important in Information Technology? Standards enable interoperability between complex systems. Many enterprises look to products that use these standards for easy integration between their existing and new systems, as well as lowering design, development, and production costs. Further, standards allow innovation, enabling new solutions that solve business problems.
Cisco has been a member of the Association of Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) since 2006 and has contributed to many white papers and standards over the years, including Cloud, SOA, Mobile, and Social Blueprints. Many of the standards created by ARTS focus on the messaging syntax used between systems that enable products from a diverse set of vendors to interoperate and communicate with one another—complexity made simple.
ARTS is the IT standards division of the National Retail Federation (NRF), and is comprised of over 200 international vendors and retailers dedicated to reducing the costs of technology through standards. Since 1993, ARTS has been delivering application standards exclusively to the retail industry. ARTS has four disciplines: the Standard Relational Data Model, Unified POS, XML, and Standard RFPs. The National Retail Federation (NRF) will be having its next Big Show in January at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. ARTS is targeting to release several new publications at this show and Cisco will be there sharing our latest solutions developed with our technology partners. Read More »
From halfway around the globe in fabulous Singapore, I was delighted to have the chance to interview Wong IK Ming, a Cisco Certified Partner covering Southeast Asian nations, to get his perspectives on data center security opportunities.
Tell me about your customers. What are their most pressing problems?
eSURIA caters mostly for the public sector but we are now extending our services to include Oil and Energy. Our customers have to adhere to new and emerging government mandates around data privacy and sovereignty. This requires a combination of strong governance processes mapped to sound technical controls and a design that is future proof, for example ensuring unified policy, dynamic and logical segmentation. Security must be thought out from the beginning—from the application to the edge of the cloud. I’ve seen a couple of instances of community clouds where security has not been thought through and it’s a matter of time before a security incident occurs.
As a partner, what benefits do you see for Cisco’s approach to data center security?
Our customers are fast adopting new infrastructure models and having the Cisco Validated Designs is a huge benefit because it enables us to attest to the technical soundness of the overall solution and to present security as an integrated element as opposed to a separate element. It also enables us to build these into the overall services templates that we provide with confidence that the necessary testing has taken place. I look forward to seeing more of these validated designs. For example, a validated security blueprint for Microsoft private cloud applications with Cisco UCS.