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SUMMARY Chris Young: Cisco Closes Sourcefire Acquisition; Delivers Threat-Centric Security Model

Chris Young, SVP of Cisco’s Security Business Group, posted an official announcement this morning on Cisco’s The Platform blog heralding the close of the Sourcefire acquisition.

 “I am excited to announce that Cisco has completed the acquisition of Sourcefire. With this acquisition, we take a significant and exciting step in our journey to define the future of security. As one company, we offer an unbeatable combination that will greatly accelerate our mission of delivering a new, threat-centric security model”, said Young.

Young also goes in-depth regarding the new capabilities immediately available to current Cisco customers as well as what the acquisition means for Cisco Security roadmap:

  • Leverage current ASA and FirePOWER hardware for future solutions
  • Give Cisco customers immediate access to Sourcefire’s NGIPS, NGFW, and AMP solutions
  • Committing to support open-source projects like Snort, ClamAV, and others
  • Broader solution sets incorporating the newly acquired technologies

This year, Cisco has increased investment in security innovation to provide market-leading threat-focused capabilities.

Young also promised Cisco Security will focus on a “threat-centric” security model moving forward – which means a priority focus on the threats themselves versus policy or controls. “Through our threat-centric model,” he said “we will provide broad coverage across all potential attack vectors, rapidly adjust to and learn from new attack methods, and implement that intelligence back into the infrastructure after each attack.”

Read the full post with all the exciting details here:  http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-closes-sourcefire-acquisition-delivers-threat-centric-security-model

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Emerging Markets Are Upbeat on Cloud

The sweeping changes driven by cloud and the Internet of Everything (IoE) are upending traditional models of IT consumption in dramatic ways.

In order to shed new light on these trends and their impact on IT, Cisco® Consulting Services (CCS), in partnership with Intel®, conducted a wide-ranging study. We explored the powerful changes affecting IT consumption at all stages — how businesses plan, procure, deploy, operate, and govern IT services. We also focused on the ways in which lines of business (LOB) — human resources, sales, and other areas that are end users of IT — are altering overall IT consumption.

Some of our most striking findings related to the differences in perception between developed and emerging markets. The “Impact of Cloud on IT Consumption Models” study surveyed 4,226 IT leaders in 18 industries across nine key economies during March and April 2013. For our purposes, “emerging markets” included Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and Russia,; developed markets were represented by Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States.

In all markets, cloud is overwhelmingly seen as a good thing. Despite the challenges and added complexity that cloud brings to IT organizations,
a strong majority feels that the business upsides outweigh the negatives. For example, 83 percent of respondents believe that cloud will positively impact IT planning. In addition, 81 percent see a positive impact from cloud on “IT funding and procurement.” Similar percentages apply across all other IT consumption lifecycle stages.

Read More »

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How the Heck Do You Omnichannel?

The buzz in retail these days is “omnichannel” – we see slogans such as “Engage with Today’s Omnichannel Consumers,” “Develop Your Omnichannel Business” frequently. Cisco itself uses this word often. But in all honesty, I don’t think many people fully grasp the concept and its potential. And I don’t know of any retailer that has a complete approach to it. That’s right: None. 

Omnichannel retailing is about opening the store, its products, and services to shoppers in an immersive way that drives customer interaction across any point of access, at any time. “Omnichannel” is not just about connecting existing systems, it’s a transformational way to look at how you conduct business.

Becoming an omnichannel retailer is a broad undertaking, and many retailers are creating new executive positions to lead this strategy. However, I think these companies may be missing the boat. When thinking about omnichannel strategies, consider three key points:

First, a customer-centric strategy cuts across all organizations in the business – it can’t be sidelined into one business function such as IT. I often consult with retailers who experiment with different capabilities in a disconnected way; essentially, they throw technologies at the wall and wait to see what sticks. Instead, why not start by asking, “What does my customer want? How can I build a loyal relationship with them?” It’s all too easy to assume that showrooming is the enemy. But, really, why, for example, is Amazon successful? It’s not because they are available on a mobile phone. It’s because they are easy to do business with, offer good pricing, and deliver quickly. It’s about the way they address customer needs.

Next, I think stores often try to do too much at once (see wall-sticking, above). Instead, I recommend a phased approach that starts with the low-hanging fruit – projects that have the highest probability of effectiveness and can be measured against business targets as a whole. Every store has its niche, and one size does not fit all. By achieving rapid successes up front, retailers gain funding for the next piece of the strategy, building from success to success.

Finally, accept the fact that an omnichannel business will change how people work. Are you avoiding Internet access because you think associates will waste time surfing the web? Some may – but your good salespeople will be able to leverage online information to help them serve shoppers. Concerned that showrooming on the floor will drive customers away as they find lower prices online? Build your own identity, brand, and incentives into the online environment to drive sales. Worried that an online storefront or call center will undercut in-store sales? Run the numbers on losses over time as consumers find your store is the only one without convenient mobile customer support.

Omnichannel is not about the technology. Rather, it’s about finding the best outcome for you and your shoppers. To achieve success, IT and business must work together to solve customer problems for the store as a whole – there’s no other way to do it with complete success. Check out this great blog by Cara Waters, Five Lessons in Retail Trends.

I love retail trivia! Comment below if you know the answer to this question: What is the oldest US retail company?

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Marketing: Trading in Fluff for Buff

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”

— Coco Chanel  

 I love that quote by fashion maven Coco Chanel. In today’s B2B marketing world, challenges can’t be addressed using outdated marketing tactics – hoping they will magically open new opportunities along with new revenue and ROI.

Growing trends in customer buying behavior and the technology used to make purchases are driving major changes for the role of marketing. As marketers, this gives us a fantastic opportunity. We can transform from what has sometimes been seen as simply “fluff” (and what many sales executives see as a cost center) into a revenue-generating center. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – October 4, 2013

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

As we move into fall, things are really picking up at industry events. This week in New York, Cisco spent time at Interop helping partners transform, create new opportunities and claim their share of the Internet of Everything (IoE) economy.

We announced our latest innovations to Unified Access. Be sure to check out my blog to catch the newest enhancements. If you weren’t able to catch John Chambers’ keynote speech from Wednesday at Interop, the replay is now available as well. Read More »

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