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Network-Centric Warfare: How IoE is Transforming Defense

The power of the Internet of Everything (IoE) lies in connecting the unconnected, bringing together people, process, data and things to create new and exciting possibilities. These connections are already transforming the world today, from corporate business to local government. One area in particular that has been significantly transformed by connectivity over the years is our nation’s defense.

Throughout the past 30 years, Cisco has been working closely with the Department of Defense to transform its operations from a point-to-point world to one that is fully connected. We are proud to have played a role in building the first defense-wide enterprise network, known today as the DoD Information Network (DoDIN). These networks were rapidly extended into the deployed environment, and Cisco was there helping to make that transition. Today, DoD networks are being pushed out even further into the tactical edge connecting sensors, platforms and mobile users. This network capability is critical to supporting all branches of the U.S. military, serving as the connective tissue that transitions enterprise to deployed to tactical edge establishing the Defense Department’s global IoE environment.

Modern battlespace boundaries are consistently harder to define, but IoE technologies such as sensors and collaboration capabilities operating on a secure mission fabric are enabling shared situational awareness, accelerating rapid indications and warnings, and improving real-time collaboration. For example, every element of today’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations – from unnamed vehicles and autonomous sensors to a solider in the field with a handheld decision aid or intelligence analysts in the operations centers – requires a secure, reliable network to connect a vast defense landscape.

In the garrison, the emergence of connected base environments illustrates how IoE is impacting daily military operations. IoE-driven solutions such as energy-monitoring, smart street lighting and advanced asset tracking can help bases around the world operate more effectively, provide information for better decision-making and improve cost efficiencies. The medical and logistics environments, for example, are replete with sensors that can monitor, control, optimize and automate their unique mission operations. From bases to tactical edge, the DoD will continue to adapt and refine its “Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs)” necessary to improve mission effectiveness across every branch of the U.S. military.

So what’s next?

As today’s battlespace boundaries continue to evolve, the need for agility, resilience and adaptability is more critical than ever. Similarly, the strategies and technologies required to achieve success will change and Cisco will be there to support the defense community with solutions for service members around the world. We are committed to helping the DoD build and maintain the secure mission fabric necessary for efficient and effective operations.

For more information, check out this new white paper highlighting on how IoE technologies and Cisco are supporting the Department of Defense. Also, keep an eye for future blogs that will take a closer look at connected bases and how the Navy is leveraging the power of enhanced connectivity.

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The Collaboration Evolution – A Strategy for Transforming Government Collaboration

The traditional office is not what it used to be.  I’m not referring to Mad Men, where smoking in the office was acceptable and having a cocktail in the middle of the day was the norm.  I’m talking about when and where work gets done.   For me personally, being  part of an organization that embraces collaboration, I am able to work from home, the coffee shop or the airport terminal without compromising communication or efficiency.

The rise of mobility, video and other collaboration technologies is prompting government organizations to rethink the way they approach communications. As more agencies, like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, embrace teleworking options they’ve found that their employees are happier and their workforce is more flexible and able to work around things like natural disasters or more commonly, a snowstorm.

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Collaboration Evolution: Why it’s Time to Upgrade to VoIP

Communication is key, yet too many government agencies voice platforms are living in archaic times.

As government agencies are turning to collaboration technologies like voice, video and mobility to increase efficiency and lower costs, many are faced with outdated voice platforms like Private Branch Exchange (PBX) and Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) .  However, the shift to VoIP enables organizations to modernize their communications platform for more robust communication applications, while significantly reducing operating costs.

VoIP provides significant net savings by allowing the management of managing one unified network and no longer needing to sustain a legacy phone system. It also provides enhanced features and VoIP services that improve the user experience. Advanced call routing, image transfer, phone portability, as well as integration with other collaboration applications, such as voicemail delivery via email, voice call button on email are examples of functionality users have come to expect. Read More »

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Addressing Government Cloud Security Challenges – AFCEA Cyberspace Symposium

Boutelle Press Photo[1]Guest post from Steve Boutelle, VP, Business Development, Global Government Solutions, Cisco.

Cybersecurity and innovative IT solutions play a central role in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2013 fiscal year, highlighting the military’s increasing reliance on IT. In order to address new and evolving threats today and into the future, the DOD is challenged to develop a strategy to acquire next-generation host-based cyber-security tools and capabilities that go beyond current anti-malware and signature-based threat detection.

Government information systems today are more sophisticated and globally integrated than ever before, and attacks are growing in frequency and complexity. The challenge of data protection is constantly increasing in scope. While government organizations have always needed to secure confidential information, changes in information technology models have introduced new stakeholders, new threats and new regulations. As a result, government organizations need to think beyond the traditional models of securing the perimeter and locking down specific segments of IT infrastructure. For example, the risks of unauthorized access to data in the cloud can be mitigated through the use of next generation technologies.

This year’s AFCEA CYBERSPACE Symposium is themed, “Cyber – The New Center of Gravity.” The event serves as a key opportunity for interaction between industry and government to explore this new domain that has become the center stage of national defense.

At the event, I will be moderating a panel, “Securing the Cloud,” featuring Bret Hartman, CTO, Security Office, Cisco and leaders from Lockheed Martin, ThreatMetrix and Terremark. The panel session will explore current and future technologies for addressing government concerns about new threats targeting the cloud.

By ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of critical information that flows through today’s cloud-based infrastructures, new and emerging technologies enable government organizations to reduce risk, demonstrate compliance, enhance agility and pursue strategic goals with greater confidence. This panel will be an opportunity for attendees to learn more about a wide variety of current and future technologies that address cloud security challenges.

More information about AFCEA Cyberspace Symposium and the panel is available here:

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BYOD and Government Certifications

It’s summer and my kids have been testing for swim certification so they can swim in the big pool. When they complain about the swim exam, I assure them that it’s not only to be safe, but also  to validate that they have reached a recognized standard of performance.  Similarly, governments worldwide require proof of certification before allowing equipment, including commercial wireless devices and technology, to be deployed on their networks.

With the growing trend towards BYOD, countless organizations must strategize how to best protect data in-transit across wireless networks, while optimizing the benefits of a mobile workforce.  For government and public sector organizations, it is especially imperative that the solutions employed to mitigate risks associated with BYOD and WLAN are compliant with the highest standards and certifications.

Certification is an ongoing effort in a changing landscape.  Cisco maintains an active product certification program for government customers by staying as current as possible with certifications to enable our customers to confidently deploy our solution.  As of July 26, 2012, we are proud to announce the Common Criteria Certification award to one of our recent 7.0 software releases.

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