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Everything’s in the Cloud: Now What?

Today’s applications are either virtualized in our own data center or being hosted by any number of providers. But is our security built around our current security reality or is it living in the past? During one of my Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit presentations, I shared best practices in a rapidly changing environment, where cloud vendor hype isn’t matching our security reality. Now that everything is in the cloud, we need a strategic approach to cloud security.

 

Here’s how to make it happen:

Ensure safe data handling when working with cloud provider. Considering cloud providers are an extension of your business, it is vital to ensure how your provider handles security for storing and transmitting your data. What provisions are in place to make sure data is secure once it has been transmitted? Determine if your provider has firewalls, data encryption, and user authentication to keep your data safe.

Combat growing threats. As cloud-based technologies grow more sophisticated over time, so do the possibilities of threats. A proactive approach to security means that we enable technology like cloud-based threat intelligence to detect a threat as they happen – or in some cases before they happen. Other anti-threat measures such as deep packet inspection and proactive monitoring can also help combat viruses, spam and other intrusions. Learn more. You don’t have to be a security expert to take security seriously. Leverage industry bodies, like the Cloud Security Alliance, for guidance on benchmarking service provider security capabilities. Learn what certifications and security practices your cloud provider has, including daily risk audits. And look for ways to increase security processes when you work with cloud providers. See how Cisco can help you protect your business assets and meet compliance requirements.

Learn more. You don’t have to be a security expert to take security seriously. Leverage industry bodies, like the Cloud Security Alliance, for guidance on benchmarking service provider security capabilities. Learn what certifications and security practices your cloud provider has, including daily risk audits. And look for ways to increase security processes when you work with cloud providers. See how Cisco can help you protect your business assets and meet compliance requirements.

To know more follow me on Twitter  @e_desouza  and check my blog and Gartner presentation  on Three Data Center Security Innovations to Accelerate Your Business

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Cisco’s onePK Part 1: Introduction

Exordium

Cisco’s One Platform Kit (onePK) is a fantastic toolkit for building custom applications that interact with your Cisco routers and switches. Using onePK, you can build automation directly into the network and extend all sorts of functionality using Cisco devices. The first in a three-part blog series, this article will introduce onePK to the reader, explain what it is, how it can be useful, and will show how to configure onePK on a router. The second and third installments will walk the reader through a simple security-relevant application using the C API. Important to note is that we’ll be covering the 0.6.0 version of onePK features and service sets. At the time of this writing, the toolkit is still in Controlled Availability and as such, is still in active development, and the API could change before it is released into General Availability. However, even in the face of API evolutionism, this article will provide you with a solid jumping-off point for your plunge into the wondrous world of onePK.

OK, Just What is onePK?

OnePK is a Cisco IOS Software feature and a set of programming libraries enabling an application programmer to build powerful applications that tightly integrate and interact with Cisco devices. onePK is available to you via a well-documented and unified API, currently offered in C and Java with Python in active development. It is currently in pre-release and is available only on request. Details on how to obtain onePK are provided below. Read More »

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Design & Implementation Guide: What’s In a Name?

This may seem to some a rhetorical question, right? It’s in the name! A guide that describes the design and implementation of a system or solution. That seems simple enough. Cisco Design and Implementation Guides (DIGs) can be found in the Cisco Design Zone. Many of these designs are Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) that include internal or external testing, some are reference designs, and some are visionary architectures or best practices documented by experienced engineers.

As a Network Architect, I came to Cisco to develop CVDs and accelerate business solutions beyond just the “marketecture” vision. I wanted to prove how products and systems can be used to create end-to-end solutions that work better together, more than just the sum of their parts, solving real-world business problems.

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If You Didn’t Care About HIPAA Before, You May Need to Now

The HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule, released January 2013, greatly expands the number of organizations that must comply with HIPAA beyond the known ‘Covered Entities.’

The Final Rule expands the definition of a Business Associate to include an organization that ‘creates, receives, transmits or maintains’ PHI. Adding the term ‘maintains’ into the definition makes a big difference and will include a lot more businesses than before. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that 250,000 – 500,000 additional entities will be considered a Business Associate and therefore must comply with HIPAA. Read More »

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Network Threat Defense at Black Hat 2013

Join us at Black Hat 2013 in Las Vegas this July, for our two-day hands-on Network Threat Defense, Countermeasures, and Controls course. Courses will be offered on July 27-28 and July 29-30, and attendees will learn and perform two network security roles. First, as a Security Practitioner, you’ll learn to secure and harden network infrastructure devices, and second, as a Security Incident Response Investigator, you must correctly detect, classify, and mitigate threats attacking a network by configuring and deploying advanced network threat defenses and countermeasures. Learning these roles will help you prepare for and respond to real world threats such as the recent Financial ServicesSpamHaus, and OpUSA Denial of Service Attacks. Read More »

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