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Cisco Compatible Solutions Carry Clout

We are in the midst of a connected revolution, driven by technology. Everything is becoming connected, and it’s not just things. It’s people, processes, data, AND things. That’s what Cisco describes as the Internet of Everything (IoE).  Today, less than 1 percent of the things in the world – or about 10 billion things –  are connected to the Internet. That number will grow to more than 50 billion in the next decade.

Fast innovation requires Fast IT. In order to keep up with the volume of things connecting to the network, we must support the developers who are designing the solutions and the connected architecture that will support the future of intelligent networks. Developers and solution builders are the lifeblood of IoE.  In fact, Cisco has created DevNet to enable an open community of software developers – including ISVs, customers and Systems Integrators/channel partners – to easily and rapidly build Cisco-enabled applications, including IoE applications.

As the need for business applications continues to rise, it is beyond Cisco’s purview to develop all of those applications. We understand how valuable Cisco Solution Partners are in meeting diverse application and product needs. Cisco’s goal is to support these vital members of the Partner Ecosystem to develop solutions that benefit joint customers. Read More »

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Cisco 2014 Midyear Security Report: Focusing on Common Vulnerabilities is Smart Security Strategy

August 14, 2014 at 6:00 am PST

Enterprise security professionals have their hands full these days—monitoring networks for security breaches, managing the implications of “bring your own device” policies, and patching systems to combat “weak links,” or vulnerabilities that could allow online criminals to grant entry.

Regarding this last task, security practitioners may be able to take an approach to addressing vulnerabilities that allows them to more effectively allocate resources toward resolving these challenges. As detailed in the Cisco 2014 Midyear Security Report, urgent critical vulnerabilities—those that merit the time and attention of security executives—make up a very small number of reported vulnerabilities. While all reported vulnerabilities should be patched, it’s wise to focus on those that pose the most danger.

Cisco publishes thousands of multivendor alerts every year, and zero-day vulnerabilities (for which patches are not yet available) tend to win the lion’s share of attention from security practitioners and the media because of their perceived urgency. However, only about two percent of the thousands of reported vulnerabilities were being activity exploited soon after published reports.

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Partner Voices: TekLinks Provides Cloud-Delivered EHR

August 13, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

As we continue to expand the Partner Voices series, I get the opportunity to talk to more and more of our partners, which I love. I also get the inside scoop on some innovative solutions entering the marketplace. Just recently, I spoke with David Powell, Vice President of Cloud and Managed Services at TekLinks about their cloud-delivered electronic health record (EHR) applications.

David answered some questions I had about how TekLinks can provide doctors and their staff with a fully HIPAA-compliant data as a service DaaS solution. Of course, the TekLinks’ solution is Cisco-certified, which is why we are so interested in seeing how they implemented the solution as a stand-alone hosted app, or as a complete virtual desktop for any number of end users.

Frankly, there are times when David talks and I simply can’t follow, unless it’s around our shared tastes in music, or the few times that we might agree on a finer point of college football. In this case however, it all sounds so simple when David explains the importance and relevance of the TekLinks solution, so it’s easier if I just let him speak for himself. Read More »

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Putting a Damper on ‘Lateral Movement’ due to Cyber-Intrusion

Analysis of high-profile cyber breaches often reveals how intruders gain their initial footprint in the targeted organizations and bypass perimeter defenses to establish a backdoor for persistent activities. Such stealthy activities may continue until intruders complete their ultimate mission—claiming the “crown jewels” of the victim organization.

“Lateral movement” is a term increasingly used to describe penetration activities by intruders (more information on lateral movement is available in Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report[1]). These activities begin with network reconnaissance, typically leading to compromises, hijacking of user accounts and ultimately privilege escalation to access sensitive data. Organizations may go to great lengths to detecting and stopping the initial breach and final data exfiltration as well as establishing more intelligence at their ingress/egress perimeters. But how can you minimize the damage caused by an intruder’s lateral movement once your network is already compromised?

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Gartner Recognizes Cisco as a Leader in Unified Communications…Again

For the seventh year in a row Cisco was positioned as a leader in the August 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications. In the accompanying Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications document, published July 2014, Cisco also received the highest ratings in Full UC with Strong Telephony and Ability to Offer Hybrid Solutions use cases. We believe our continued recognition in these key industry assessments demonstrates that the focus on simplicity and user experience across the Cisco Collaboration portfolio is delivering our customers the productivity gains they are looking for through a collaboration experience that only Cisco can deliver.

According to Gartner,  “The primary goal of unified communications (UC) is to improve user productivity and to enhance business processes. Gartner defines UC products (equipment, software and services) as those that facilitate the use of multiple enterprise communications methods to obtain that goal…UC products integrate communications channels (media), networks and systems, as well as IT business applications and, in some cases, consumer applications and devices.” Cisco shares this vision for UC and continues to deliver key innovations and integrations to ensure our customers are clearly benefiting from the full suite of Cisco’s leading  telephony, video , web conferencing , messaging , IM/P and contact center offerings.

In the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, Gartner once again positioned Cisco as a leader for ability to execute and completeness of vision.  The report identifies strengths and cautions for individual vendors and we feel the strengths for Cisco UC offering are: Read More »

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