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CyberPatriot Competition Kicks-Off with a Bright Start

The sixth season of the National CyberPatriot Competition kicked off back in November, and the National Finals are coming up: March 26th -- 29th. Conceived by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot is a premier Internet defense competition designed to excite, educate, and motivate the next generation of network defenders, which are critical to our nation’s security. It is the largest high school cyber defense competition in the United States, with two divisions:

  • Open Division -- Open to an accredited public or private institutions, registered home school associations, and community organizations like the Boy Scouts and Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
  • All Service Division -- Open to students in Junior ROTC programs, Civil Air Patrol squadrons, and Naval Sea Cadet units. Read More »

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Missing the Mark on Cloud-based Intelligence

This week, Juniper Networks announced a new cloud-based threat intelligence service focused on fingerprinting attackers’ individual devices. We’d like to officially welcome Juniper to the cloud-based security intelligence market—a space where Cisco has a proven track record of leadership through Security Intelligence Operations (SIO). Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, but in Juniper’s case, they entered the market years late and with limited visibility.

Let’s take a closer look at Juniper’s latest offering.

To start, here is what we know for certain: cyber threats take advantage of multiple attack vectors, striking quickly or lurking for days, months and even years inside your network. Not only this, but the Cisco 2013 Annual Security Report showcases how the web is an equal opportunity infector, with cyber threats crossing national, geographic and organizational boundaries as quickly and easily as users can click on a link. Security solutions must understand the attacks and infrastructure they are launched from, with tracking individual hackers doing far less for your defenses than blocking malicious activity being actively distributed over the network.

The Problem of Visibility

When a detective walks onto a crime scene, they don’t just focus on one thing. The only way to understand an event is to look at the entire scene: interview witnesses, check the neighborhood and look into the history of everyone involved; in other words, context—or the “who, what, where and how” information using every available piece of data.

Just as a skilled investigator builds a holistic picture, security solutions are only as reliable as the intelligence they receive, with Juniper’s being limited by the number of “honeypots” across their customer base. In network security, focusing on a single piece of information, a single attack vector, or one delivery mechanism misses the global visibility and context needed to stop advanced attacks. Cisco SIO powers our security solutions, receiving over 100 terabytes of network intelligence across 1.6 million deployed web, email, firewall and IPS devices. We correlate this data from physical, virtual and cloud-based solutions with a world-class threat research team, augmenting all of this with an ecosystem of third-party contributors. Fingerprinting is one small tool you should deploy in your arsenal, even though it has limited utility and perhaps even limited accuracy.

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What Will 2013 Bring for Your Data Center Security?

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[1] 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.

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