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Danger at the Retail Point of Sale

This blog post was authored by Martin Lee and Jaeson Schultz.

With the announcement that yet another major retailer has allegedly been breached, it is important to review how attackers compromise retail systems and how such intrusions can be prevented. In this latest case, retailers are working to determine if a large cache of credit card information offered for sale on an underground trading forum originated as a result of a systems breach.

The presence of large amounts of financial and personal information within retail systems means that these companies are likely to remain attractive targets to attackers. Illicit markets exist for such information so that attackers are able to easily monetize stolen data. Although we don’t know the details of this specific attack, it may follow the same pattern as other major breaches in the retail sector. Incidents involving Point of Sale (POS) malware have been on the rise, affecting many large organizations.

In addition to the risk of fraud to the individuals affected, the consequences for the breached organizations are severe. News of customer data theft not only damages the brand, but recovering from the breach can also cost into the millions of dollars as systems are investigated, cleaned, repaired, and new processes are implemented to prevent future similar attacks.


POS Attack
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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014 at 7:31 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

This week we announced the largest portfolio expansion for Cisco UCS since the launch of the product five years ago. Partners will now be on a whole new level of delivering business outcomes for their customers.

John Growdon talked about how partners win big with the new technology solutions that transform how customers deliver IT. These solutions also cut across all market segments with positive and sustained impact to customer businesses and they innovate and grow  business too. With the commitment of our partners, Cisco has grown to #1 in the US and #2 worldwide in x86 blade server market. Our hats are off to you!

Additionally, Cisco and Red Hat announced a significant expansion to its partnership, bringing our cloud and integrated infrastructures together with Red Hat’s market leadership and domain expertise of open source and OpenStack – essentially building on-ramps to the Intercloud. This blog from Denny Trevett (@dtrevett) details how Cisco Channel Partners will benefit with opportunities to grow their data center practices. Integrated solutions from Cisco and Red Hat enable partners to drive profitable growth and increase customer value with solutions that drive business outcomes. Cisco and Red Hat will offer enterprise and solution provider customers the most robust and open portfolio of integrated solutions for data center modernization, open hybrid cloud and big data. Read More »

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Cisco SPotlight Series – Connected Devices in the Connected Home

chowj-300x4001By Joe Chow, VP & GM, Connected Devices Business Unit, Cisco

Our home entertainment centers are rapidly changing. For decades, the television has been the center of American living room, but with the advent of cable, video games, streaming services and the cloud, our definitions of TV and set-top boxes have evolved. These days, a cellphone can be remote control and a remote control can be a security system. Consumers can watch movies on-demand or access second-screen content with their tablets or they can check their Facebook over their TV sets. Meanwhile society demands are expanding to include environmental concerns as well greater efficiencies.

To address many of the questions of the changing market, Cisco is launching a new video SPotlight series. Through the course of several videos, key Cisco executives will answer questions and provide commentary on many of the hottest topics in television and video.

In the inaugural video, Read More »

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Introducing New Computing Platforms for the Internet of Everything

There will be fifty billion things connected to the Internet by 2020. Untold new and valuable connections will be formed as people, processes, data and things connect and create the next wave of the Internet that we call the Internet of Everything.

Our ability to realize the $19 trillion of economic potential inherent in that Internet of Everything will be dependent on the applications that facilitate business transactions; enable partners and suppliers to interact; transform how users share, learn and buy; and deliver analytics derived from all of these connections.

The ability of organizations to seize the opportunity of the Internet of Everything will be determined by how well CIOs embrace new models of I.T.   The performance and security of these critical applications will be determined by how well the I.T. industry rises to the challenge of delivering new forms of I.T. infrastructure.

Today is a big day for Cisco as we rise to that challenge for delivering FAST IT.

I’m excited to announce that today marks the beginning of the next wave of innovation for the Cisco Unified Computing System.

Five years ago, we delivered Cisco Unified Computing System, a groundbreaking architecture designed for virtualization, automation and orchestration that uniquely addressed the needs of customers embarking on the journey to data center virtualization and cloud.

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Fast IT: Sourcing Disruptive Innovation

Change is accelerating at a speed and scale never seen before, and disruption is constant.

The explosion of network connections among people, process, data, and things, now called the Internet of Everything (IoE), is the driver behind much of this change. 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.

The foundational technologies behind IoE — cloud, mobility, collaboration, and analytics — may be disruptive, but they also usher in an era of significant IT improvements. Fully leveraging these opportunities requires an entirely new IT operating model, with new outcomes. IT organizations must become the source of disruptive innovation — and at long last assume the role of transformational business partner. Cisco is calling this new model Fast IT.

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

Essentially, Fast IT is an adaptive, policy-driven approach that accommodates today’s and tomorrow’s pace of change. A well-executed strategy will bring together the right resources — which ultimately include infrastructure, applications, data, and people —- at the right time to take advantage of the IoE economy.

One of the key areas in which to create Fast IT is the data center.

In keeping with this approach, Cisco announced today new Unified Computing System (UCS) products and capabilities. UCS is a perfect example of the kind of integrated infrastructure that is eliminating complexity and enabling agility. Its blending of network, compute, and storage provides the foundation for automation and orchestration for physical and virtual systems as one, significantly reducing the management burden on IT.

UCS offers:

  • Greater Automation: UCS Director Express for Big Data enables simplified operations and lower costs
  • More intelligence at the Edge: the UCS Mini enables computing at the edge, which is essential for leveraging Big Data and data in motion
  • Improved Agility: UCS is a foundational element of cloud via the Cisco UCS M-Series Modular server. UCS also dovetails seamlessly with Cisco solutions such as ACI and Intercloud, underpinning an overall hybrid-cloud strategy.

In Creating Fast IT, a 20-25 Percent Cost Dividend

Because the pace of change is so dynamic, it is important to examine just where IT stands today. To that end, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) recently conducted in-depth research.

Cisco surveyed more than 1,400 senior IT leaders in Brazil, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We interviewed leading industry analysts, authors, academics, IT executives, and IT practitioners. We compared this data with conclusions from numerous customer engagements.

A key finding was that implementing the key elements of a Fast IT model could potentially result in a 20 to 25 percent reduction in costs, which can then be reinvested in new capabilities to drive innovation and business outcomes.

Fast Innovation Requires Fast IT

FastIT-RJacoby

What Our Research Found

Here are key insights from the research. In creating a Fast IT model, organizations will:

  • simplify operations at a time when complexity is mounting — and IT budgets are flat.
  • move seamlessly through a “fabric of clouds.” Workloads and infrastructure tasks shift as business (application) conditions warrant.
  • drive much faster provisioning of enterprise applications. Time to provision and scale can decrease from months to minutes.
  • build processing capabilities at the edge of the network, capturing “data in motion” for real-time decision-making and contextual insight.
  • evolve to a more platform-driven security approach in which visibility is improved across all infrastructure domains, devices, applications, and services — enabling protection before, during, and after attacks.

Full study findings can be found here.

I have no doubt that implementing the elements of a Fast IT model — including Cisco UCS — will help organizations to be more agile and innovative. By moving to a policy-based IT approach, IT can free resources and people to realize the longtime goal of becoming a true partner in driving business outcomes.

In the IoE economy, Fast IT is the way forward.

Join us in the social conversation on Twitter at #FutureOfIT.

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