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Fame and Fortune Awaits: The Cisco IoT Security Grand Challenge

March 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm PST

Despite its overwhelming business benefits, the Internet of Things (IoT) also significantly increases security risks, via a dramatic increase in attack surface and diversity of potential threats.  And since IoT is a significant component of the larger Internet of Everything (IoE) market transition that combines connected devices with people, process, and data, it’s even more imperative that we ensure that the things we connect are secure. To achieve this goal, the security community needs to work together to develop innovative security measures.

That’s why Cisco is pleased to announce the IoT Security Grand Challenge, an industry-wide initiative to bring the global security community together to secure the IoT, and deliver intelligent cybersecurity for the real world -- before, during, and after an attack. Companies and individuals are invited to develop solutions for one of three focus areas -- Malware Defense, Security Credential Management, and Privacy Protection. Cisco will select up to six winners, each of whom will be awarded $50,000 USD. The winners will be announced at the IoT World Forum this Fall.

Interested in participating? Visit www.CiscoSecurityGrandChallenge.com for full details about the challenge and begin preparing a response. Submissions are due June 17th, so get started right away. Good luck!

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Highlights from RSA 2014

IMG_1155This week I had the opportunity to attend the RSA Conference in San Francisco.

The theme for the conference this year was “Share. Learn. Secure” with a focus on recent breaches, surveillance programs and DDoS attacks with:

  • Hundreds of educational sessions with insights, best practices and real implementation case studies
  • Live keynote speakers
  • Two expos featuring hundreds of solutions including Cisco and Sourcefire booths featuring threat-centric security solutions to reduce complexity, provide visibility, continuous control, and advanced threat protection

Cisco’s Chris Young, SVP, Cisco Security Business Group, and Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, delivered the keynote “The New Model of Security” sharing our vision and strategy Intelligent Cybersecurity for the Real World.

If you did not attend RSA  in person, starting March 3 you can view an on-demand webcast of the keynote.

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National Cybersecurity Center for Excellence: A Promising Fortress

It is one thing to recognize cyber threats and their potential to disrupt entire companies, agencies and institutions. It is another thing to do something about it. In light of recent threats we cannot sit still and wait for the next one.

On February 18, I was honored to join Governor O’Malley, Senator Mikulski, NIST director Pat Gallagher, and Montgomery County Chief Executive Ike Leggett in the partnership agreement signing ceremony to expand the National Cybersecurity Center for Excellence in Montgomery County.  Federal and Maryland officials signed the agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg to develop new cybersecurity technology and educational opportunities. Read More »

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Intelligent Cybersecurity for the Real World

Security trends and innovation are in the spotlight this week at the annual RSA Conference in San Francisco.   With the rapidly expanding attack surface and increasingly sophisticated attackers, the event is a must for insights on how the industry can meet this pace of change, evolve and defend against advanced threats.   Solving our customers’ toughest security challenges is our number one priority and we’re pleased to share Cisco innovation  -- both technology and thinking — that will better help you protect against threats across the attack continuum – before, during and after an attack.

For starters, we’re delivering new product innovation by adding Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) to our Web and Email Security Appliances and Cloud Web Security.  We are calling this “AMP Everywhere” because of its pervasive protection from the cloud to the network to the endpoint. This broad protection is made possible through the combined power of Cisco, Sourcefire and Cognitive Security technologies, integrated to bring you the best end-to-end solutions to combat Advanced Threats.

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User Behavior and Training Critical to Secure Mobility

Worker mobility has become an essential practice for government agencies. From teleworking on the road to accessing critical data on your smart phone, mobility increases productivity and employee satisfaction. And the trend toward mobility is growing. In fact, the Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts there will be more than 10 billion mobile devices worldwide by 2017. With the increased proliferation of mobile devices comes the need to ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place so agencies can take advantage of increased capabilities while still maintaining high levels of security.

By and large, government agencies are doing a good job of balancing the need for mobility with security requirements. However, according to a new study by Mobile Work Exchange, which was commissioned by Cisco, 41 percent of government employees are putting agencies at risk with secure mobility habits. Clearly, there is some room for improvement. MWEhotzone

The study used the Secure Mobilometer, an online self-assessment tool, to capture data from end-users and agencies. The tool ranked their mobility habits based on practices of user inputs, password protection, data loss prevention, mobile device policies and security training.

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