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Dynamic Cyber Attacks Call for Dynamic Controls

Last month’s earthquake in Napa Valley got me thinking. In earthquake-prone areas, new construction is being built to move dynamically to withstand shocks and tremors. Innovative materials and designs sway and bend to provide better protection. But older buildings based on traditional, static design concepts can suffer devastating damage in an earthquake and its aftershocks.

It’s similar to the journey we’re on in the security industry, which is scaling to better address the harsh realities we face as defenders. At Cisco, we track this journey through a scale of controls we refer to as  the Security Operations Maturity Model, which moves from static to human intervention to semi-automatic to dynamic and, ultimately, predictive controls. I will talk more about this scale in the coming weeks, but for now, let’s focus on the need for most organizations to shift to dynamic controls.

We all know that the security landscape is constantly evolving and attackers are innovating in lockstep with rapid changes in technology. In fact, as I talk with security professionals daily about the challenges they face, a few consistent points come up:

  • As new business models are built on innovations in mobility, cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Everything (IoE), security solutions and processes must become more dynamic and more scalable to keep up with the change;
  • Further, as hacking has matured and become industrialized, the security models used to defend need to mature as well; and
  • Finally, there’s too much complexity, fragmentation, and cost in legacy security deployments.

A recent malicious advertising attack called “Kyle and Stan”, discovered by our Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group, demonstrates the challenges defenders are up against -- read their full post here. Posing as legitimate advertisers, cybercriminals contact the major advertisement networks to try to get them to display an ad with a malicious payload packed inside of legitimate software – spyware, adware, and browser hijacks, for example. They target popular websites and instruct the companies to run the ad for just a few minutes, leaving little or no time for the ad content to be inspected. In this case, malvertising victims were faced with an often-unprompted download of what appeared to be legitimate software with a hidden malicious payload. The malware droppers employ a range of clever techniques to continuously mutate in order to avoid detection by traditional, point-in-time systems.

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Delivering Better Transportation Solutions In a Connected World With Cisco IoE

Cisco ITS WC boothFord, GM, Honda, Toyota, the U.S. Department of Transportation.  It’s no surprise why they were front and center at the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) World Congress which wrapped up in Detroit last week.   But, Cisco?

Barry Einsig, Cisco Transportation Executive and John Gillan, Sales Relationship Manager for Cisco Advanced Services prepare for a customer meeting at ITS World Congress

Barry Einsig, Cisco Global Transportation Executive and John Gillan, Sales Relationship Manager for Cisco Advanced Services prepare for a customer meeting at ITS World Congress.

“Reinventing Transportation in our Connected World” was the theme of this year’s ITS World Congress, yet a question we heard all week was “what is Cisco doing here?”  As if right on cue, as the show came to a close, Connected World Magazine ranked Cisco as #1 on their prestigious Connected World CW 100 annual ranking of the top 100 elite technology leaders in connected devices.

Cisco has long been recognized as a leader in traditional IT and networking, but customers are starting to see how the Internet of Everything and the Internet of Things is driving a big transformation in transportation.  And, they trust Cisco to lead the way again.

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Cisco helps to advance Health IT Collaboration and Communication

This is an exciting week for Cisco and for the Health IT industry at large.  Two big industry events are taking plan this week: Epic’s Users’ Group Meeting and National Health IT Week.

Epic’s 2014 Users’ Group Meeting: Down on the Farm
If you are planning to attend Epic’s 2014 Users’ Group Meeting from September 15-19 in Verona, WI, be sure to visit the Cisco booth (#316) to see solutions that improve the patient experience and facilitate collaboration, including:

  • Epic UGMCisco Virtual Sitter Patient Observation: Video-enabled, centralized approach that allows trained staff to monitor multiple high-risk patients while also delivering two-way communications to alert clinical staff about potential patient situations.
  • Cisco JabberAll-in-one collaboration application that brings together video, voice, and IM on any device.
  • Cisco Extended CareA personal health and wellness collaboration platform, enabling patient engagement and care team interactions at any time and from anywhere.

Also, drop off a business card to register for a chance to win a $250 American Express gift card.

National Health IT Week: One Voice, One Vision
NHIT WeekNational Health IT Week (NHIT Week) is a collaborative forum and virtual awareness week that assembles key healthcare constituents dedicated to working together to elevate the necessity of advancing health through the best use of information technology. Cisco is one of 425 healthcare partners helping to bring this important cause to the forefront of the nation’s attention through events in Washington D.C., at the HIMSS 9th Annual Policy Summit, and other events throughout the week.  Follow tweets at #NHITWeek.

How the Internet of Everything enhances the quality of care
Both of these events highlight how hospitals and healthcare providers are now using the power of the Internet of Everything to expand their outreach within and outside their healthcare organizations.  From connecting patients with chronic medical conditions to using mobile technologies to help remind patients to take their medications on time, hospitals are incorporating new and innovative ways to improve the efficiency of care-delivery.  Cisco is here to help you adapt to these changes in accessing quality care and bringing expert care to your patients.

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Location Based Services Enabling Smart Connected Cities

Smart Cities and the Internet of Everything have become commonly used terms over the past year or two. Both represent huge opportunities for both business growth and also for the delivery of better services and experiences for consumers and citizens alike. The size of this IoE opportunity has been widely predicted to exceed $14 Trillion[1] and within this just the Smart Cities component has been estimated to be worth $1,266 Billion[2] by 2019.  With this scale it is little wonder that it attracts a lot of interest and therefore a lot of very interesting innovation.

lbs1.1The Internet of Everything (IoE)  brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before.  Smart and Connected Cities takes this and applies it in an urban environment to create new capabilities , richer experiences and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals and countries.

While the Internet of Everything is about a connected grid of people, processes, data and things, what touches most of us is the ‘connecting people’ part of this equation.Within the greater IoE world, the Foundation for Delivering Next-Generation Citizen Services is how organizations and municipalities find innovative mechanisms to engage with us all. Read More »

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Summary – Fast IT: Sourcing Disruptive Innovation

The explosion of network connections among people, process, data, and things, now called the Internet of Everything (IoE), is the driver behind much of the disruption and change we see in all industries. It is making innovation more accessible and affordable, while presenting enormous opportunities.

At the same time, IT organizations are contending with significant challenges. Operational costs are rising as budgets fall. Pervasive mobility and an explosion in connected devices are intensifying complexity. Business users are bypassing IT to access cloud-based services while new security threats arise daily. These conditions can stand in the way of greater innovation and agility, and prevent companies from capturing the opportunities in the IoE economy.

Fast IT addresses the following core areas across IT:

  • Simplifying the infrastructure across silos and driving automation to reduce operational costs
  • Using strategically automated policy to build agility and intelligence to fuel growth and respond to changing conditions
  • Connecting the right people to the right information and process at the right time
  • Evolving security to defend against attacks before and while they happen, and to run analysis after they end

Read the full article Fast IT: Sourcing Disruptive Innovation to learn more. Full study findings can be found here.

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