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London Calling

The Infosec London Conference is coming up this week, running April 23-25 at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Center. Cisco will be there of course, in a booth showing the latest Cisco security innovations and presenting four papers on:

• “Securely Accelerate Access to Data Center Applications” (Tuesday, April 23, 10:30)
• “The Changing Landscape of Identity: Is 802.1X Enough?” (Tuesday, April 23, 16:00)
• “Outbound Content Security” (Wednesday, April 24, 10:30)
• “BYOD Demo—Onboarding the iPad With Cisco Identity Services Engine” (Thursday, April 25, 10:30)

While taking in Cisco content at the show is definitely a must do item, I have a little insider travel tip to impart. Show goers should also check out the small and emerging companies usually found next to the walls in the convention hall. Read More »

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Cisco Still Number One for Data Center Security

We were excited to read the Infonetics Data Center Security Strategies and Vendor Leadership: North American Enterprise Survey, which was released yesterday. It revealed Cisco’s continued leadership in a market that spans a multitude of vendors – application/database, client, data center integration and network. The report indicates that leaders need to offer the right mix of products across the data center security and cloud arenas as well as demonstrate security efficacy and integration into adjacent markets. Cisco has continued to execute on a unified security portfolio spanning firewallsIntrusion Prevention System (IPS), gateways, and integrated threat intelligence further complemented by strategic partnerships. Seamless integration and shared security intelligence with routing and switching (Nexus and Catalyst) and converged infrastructure (Cisco UCS) enables our customers to benefit from optimized traffic links, the highest levels of security resilience, increased availability and scalability as well as lower costs of ownership. Per the report, “to say you’re the leader in the data center/cloud security is to say you are an innovator who can tackle the biggest problems in IT security for the biggest and most demanding customers.”

We’d like to highlight two areas that Cisco has continued to demonstrate an outright lead over other vendors. In the area of perception as the top data center security supplier, Cisco leads with 47 percent of votes compared to IBM with 38 percent and McAfee with 28 percent, who ranked second and third. Cisco scored between 40 to 60 percent of respondents’ votes (covering 10 criteria) for being the leading data center security supplier with McAfee scoring 15 points below Cisco, HP received around 20 percent of votes, and Juniper and Trend with 15 percent.  Read More »

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Streamline Your Data Center with Three Key Optimized Security Measures

The data center is at the heart of promoting IT transformation. Mobility initiatives have created a need for increased connections; power initiatives have created a need for greater efficiency; and the increased need for real-time workload processing are driving that change. I see these as “signature” trends in 2013 and also highlighted these in my earlier post this year. Conventional IT security approaches often add complexity and usually impede efficiency gains. What’s needed is an approach that does not introduce latency or require the data center to be reconfigured to accommodate security. Neither should it introduce a myriad of new of tools, new reports, and new processes.

Very few vendors can claim to provide an end-to-end architecture where security is a key programmable element of the underlying data center fabric. This capability not only accelerates the adoption of virtualization and cloud technologies but also mitigates the complexity associated with disparate and siloed security technologies. The benefits are increased business agility backed by assured security posture, strong alignment of business function to security and reduced operational costs. In this paradigm, data center and IT executives will no longer be forced into making tradeoffs between business function and security to ensure newer and more capable services.

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Ask the Data Center Security Expert: Context-Aware and Adaptive Strategies for an Agile Data Center

At Cisco Live London, one of my data center theater presentations will focus on the benefits of a context-aware and adaptive security strategy. This approach helps accelerate the adoption of virtualization and cloud, which traditional static security models often inhibit. Context-based approaches factor in identity, application, location, device, and time along additional security intelligence such as real-time global threat feeds for more accurate security access decisions.

Neil MacDonald, vice president, distinguished analyst, and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research has been advocating the benefits of a context-based approach now for some years as outlined in his Gartner blog. Not only does he say that by 2015, 90 percent of enterprise security solutions will be context-aware but in cloud computing environments where IT increasingly doesn’t own key IT stack elements, having additional context at the point of security decision leads to better decisions with risk prioritization and business factors accounted for. Neil MacDonald also co-authored a report, “Emerging Technology Analysis: Cloud-based Reputation Services,” which highlights the value of cloud-based threat intelligence in enabling secure cloud adoption.

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How Will You Keep Up With An Avalanche of Connections in 2013?

Ask the Data Center Security Expert with Cisco’s Rajneesh Chopra

Rajneesh Chopra is the Director of Product Management and Marketing at Cisco for the enterprise firewall line of technologies and has more than 10 years of product management leadership experience in the networking and data center arena. He also has a very futuristic outlook and a great passion for solving big customer problems.

Rajneesh sees the confluence of mobility, power efficiency, and standardization as the key drivers for change in the next-generation data center and with implications for the way security will need to be addressed. These changes are particularly significant as they are being driven by end-users versus heavy marketing pushes, which can often artificially induce change. Rajneesh delves into each of these factors and the role they play in the next generation data center.

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