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Cisco ISE 1.3: Welcomed Improvements

I’ve finally had a chance to stop and smell the roses. The roses being Cisco ISE 1.3 that is. It’s been a much anticipated update to Cisco’s core TrustSec component and there are a number of improvements, many dealing with Guest users. So what has Cisco done to improve? Let’s look at 5 areas related to Guest access:

1.     End-User Web Portals
2.     Notifications
3.     Guest Portals
4.     Sponsor Portals
5.     Non-Guest Portals

End-User Web Portals

One of the new features that I really like is how the interface has been modified to centralize the portal configuration tasks and customization into a single location. The first thing you notice when you navigate to Configure Guest Access and Sponsor Access is that the interface is designed to make life easy. Three steps to Guest Access are overviewed and each step is clearly identified. We don’t usually find this information in the user interface. Normally we’re looking for this in an End User Guide or a Lab Guide for one of the courses I teach. So, in my opinion, this is a fresh new approach to making a complex device like ISE much easier to use.

ise-guest-access

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Extending control and advanced threat protection for web security

Today the web is a favorite vector for threat actors to launch their attacks. According to the Cisco 2014 Midyear Security Report, More than 90 percent of customer networks observed in the first half of 2014 were identified as having traffic going to websites that host malware. More recently, Talos uncovered a massive malvertising network known as Kyle and Stan. Some 31,151 connections were observed to the network’s 6,491 domains.

In an effort to continue offering the most comprehensive protection to our customers, today we are announcing several important new features and expanded threat protection for the Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA).

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New White Paper from Enterprise Strategy Group on the Evolution of and Need for Secure Network Access

Mention Network Access Control (NAC) to some security or network operations engineers, and they just might grimace.  Why?  Most people still associate NAC with a set of technologies that were complicated to deploy and implement effectively.

Today, however, those nightmare assumptions are far removed from the reality.  In this newly released white paper, Jon Oltsik, Senior Principal Analyst for the Enterprise Strategy Group, discusses how NAC is transforming into something more—a technology he calls Endpoint Visibility, Access, and Security or EVAS. Mr. Oltsik discusses how the NAC market has changed to reduce complexity in both deployment and usage. Through this advancement, this evolved technology has become an increasingly more critical component in securing enterprise networks.  In addition, Mr. Oltsik discusses how Cisco and the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) are in the best position to meet IT security challenges in terms of what EVAS should be and how it helps.

Download the white paper on Cisco.com:
http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/security/cisco-evas-white-paper.pdf

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Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) Further Expands Technology Partner Ecosystem

It’s the 25th anniversary of the film Field of Dreams, the movie about an Iowa farmer who hears a whisper that says, “If you build it, he will come.” Given the need for control with context for secure access initiatives, we did build it–and they have come.

After its introduction last year, momentum has continued for the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) partner ecosystem, enabled by Cisco pxGrid, our robust context-sharing platform.

The Cisco ISE partner ecosystem began with an idea to create a group of best-in-class IT infrastructure partners who use the deeper level of contextual data collected by ISE, our security policy management platform for access control and security compliance, enabling IT organizations to have a consistent method of making their IT platforms identity, device and network aware. This enables deeper, broader network and security insight, makes network and security events more actionable and allows for consistent, cross-platform user and device visibility and control. Read More »

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Greater Dynamic Controls for Secure Access and Mobility

Businesses today are required to meet multiple challenges with respect to connecting users to applications.

First, it is no secret that the demands of employees and users are great–they expect access to enterprise resources and their work via more mediums than ever before–by personal laptops, tablets and smartphones, both at home and on the road. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the latest technology where we must now prepare for a world where everything is connected. From Wi-Fi-enabled sensors for treatment care to vending machines for restocking or even sensors linked to power controls.

In addition to meeting demands of workers and all of these connected devices, there are also security challenges associated with connecting these devices into business networks to balance productivity with keeping advanced security threats, insider misuse and data breaches at bay. Read More »

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