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Cisco Connected Government: Helping Heroes

As I wind down and get ready for Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so many people in my life. At Cisco, I have the opportunity to work with amazing people around the world dedicated to helping others. These people are the heroes who help, teach, heal, serve, and protect us.

At Cisco, we believe it is our role to help heroes around the world dedicated to public service.  We share our vision in this short video titled “Being There.”

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Collaborative Technologies: A Key Tech Initiative during Obama’s Second Term

November 14, 2012 at 10:24 am PST

As President Barack Obama preps for his second term in office, we’re look out for what technology trends will matter most for government agencies and video technology has made the list.

Over the next four years we expect to see collaborative technologies, like Cisco TelePresence, transform the federal workplace. As businesses continue to adopt video technology and social platforms as a way to encourage efficiency and collaboration, the public sector will follow suit.

For more federal IT trends that we think will matter most during Obama’s second term, take a look at our very own Kerry Best’s post “With Second Term Ahead – What Tech Initiatives Matter Most for Government Agencies in 2013”.

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Connected Public Sector: Being There in Every Situation

This weekend, as the United States celebrates Veterans Day, Cisco’s Global Government team would like to thank all those who have and continue to serve.

The world is continuously changing, bringing new and complex challenges and now, more than ever, communities and citizens need and expect a connected government, one that will enable local government to be there to help, to serve and to protect, no matter what the circumstance.

A connected government is about creating new possibilities for citizens and employees. It’s about breaking down silos between agencies and departments, providing cost-effective solutions, increasing operational efficiencies, and delivering better, faster, real-time services. It’s about understanding how the world is changing, and adapting to that change with scalable, long term, solutions made possible through technology.

As governments of today face these variety of challenges, new and innovative approaches are being implemented and some local governments are leading the way by deploying cloud and mobility solutions to overcome these challenges in a collaborative and timely manner.

Our latest public sector video highlights some examples of how these challenges are being addressed globally.

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Cyber Trick or Treat?

Today is Halloween with fun costumes and trick or treat in our communities and also the last day of National Cybersecurity Awareness month.

I love the Internet and all the great social and professional tools available in my life, to do my job, and keep in touch with friends and family around the world.  But, we need to be careful since each email or web link represents a potential threat in the cyber world.  Forget the ghosts and goblins of Halloween, cyber security threats are scary. Cyber-threats now have the potential to disrupt communications, cause widespread power outages, and compromise sensitive government intelligence – in a blink of an eye.

And, with the proliferation of mobile devices we need to be extra careful to ensure security. A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)  report found  “18 of 24 major federal agencies have reported inadequate information security controls,” and in a September 2012 report on mobile security, recommends better implementation of controls for mobile devices need to be encouraged since malware aimed at mobile devices alone has risen 185 percent in less than a year.

The good news is that there are steps we can also take to address these risks including best practices.  Click to learn more.

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Cyberspace! The New Frontier!

We are currently in Cybersecurity month here in the United States, which is to say that our country is trying to raise our awareness in regard to our virtual protection.

So, Cyber Security? What is security for cyberspace…? It’s difficult at times to think of an imaginary border that protects networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. Unauthorized access… so hacking? Yes, but more devious with results that could even lead to injury or death of our population.

Imagine what would happen if, all of a sudden, one of our major cyber systems were “hacked”… What does that mean for us? Think. Just about our whole existence revolves around cyberspace. That’s right, systems operate virtually to be able to manage simple things like pay roll all the way to complex things like flight plans, take-off and landing. Cyberspace is where your Facebook lives, Twitter, personal email accounts, and all of your personal finance information. Has your account ever been hacked by a friend posting a funny blurb on your account? Or has your identity been stolen by a hacker? With technology becoming an extension of ourselves, it’s just important to protect ourselves. Let’s not create an episode of J.J. Abrams “Revolution” if we can avoid it…

What can we do about it? That’s the point of this month is for “us”… yes, us plain ole citizens, to be more proactive in protecting ourselves, our communities, and ultimately our country.

This is what the Department of Homeland Security says about how we can start protecting ourselves:

“Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their personal assets, and private information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can do to practice cyber security during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) and throughout the year:

  •  Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Here is a glance at Cisco’s part in cybersecurity.

Check out this blog by Chris Coleman titled “The Virtual Maginot Line” and also be looking for blogs by other members of Cisco that are revolving around Cybersecurity month.

This is very simple. We have roughly 2 weeks left in this month. Let’s all do our part.

Regards,

Mark Rogers

To learn more about the strategies mentioned in the video, visit OnGuardOnline.gov and DHS.gov/Cybersecurity.

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