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Launching Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence in Europe

I recently wrote about how we are extending Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR)  and our open innovation strategy beyond Silicon Valley through local incubation partners in Chicago, San Diego and Berkeley.  Our presence in these innovation hubs will enable us to discover, influence and learn from new ideas and talent at early-stage startups with potential to disrupt our industry.

Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of Cisco EIR Europe, extending our program to a non-U.S. innovation hub for the first time.  Cisco EIR will be located initially in Vienna, where we plan to launch a small cohort of early-stage European startups by January 2015 – to be supported & incubated by Cisco – drawn from across EMEAR.  As with Cisco EIR in Silicon Valley, we will look for game-changing entrepreneurs in IoE, security, Big Data/analytics, Smart Cities & other transformational opportunities that are in Cisco’s strategic line of sight.  Also as in our Silicon Valley program, the startups will be supported by Cisco engineering & product teams as well as our EMEAR partner ecosystem.  The Vienna-based program is intended to serve as the beachhead – our “Phase 1” – for a broader EU-wide footprint for Cisco EIR.

Key to our success is how we leverage the startup ecosystem that already exists in Europe.  To this end, starting in Vienna, we have partnered with Pioneers, a leading startup community organization in Europe.  More partnerships are in the works.

I know all of you will agree innovation knows no national boundaries.  Europe, with its deep entrepreneurial talent, large market and history of innovation, presents a unique opportunity for usEurope is also one of the key regions for our Smart Cities – as you saw from our recent announcement of a new Smart Cities initiative in Copenhagen, following similar projects in Barcelona, Amsterdam Chicago and Hamburg.

We are thrilled to forge relationships in the European startup community – and support entrepreneurs as partners in open innovation.

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Connecting the Unconnected

Connecting the Unconnected

“The Internet of Things is the next technology transition where devices will allow us to sense and control the physical world by making objects smarter and connecting them through an intelligent network”, Lindsay Hiebert, Senior Marketing Manager, Internet of Things, Cisco Systems

The Internet of Things in a Manufacturing Plant Environment

The Internet of Things in a Manufacturing Plant Environment

The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects accessed through the Internet.  These objects contain embedded technology to interact with internal states or the external environment.  This technology allows objects within such places as manufacturing floors, energy grids, healthcare facilities, and transportation systems to be controlled from virtually anywhere in the world.   This connectivity also means more data can be gathered from more places, with more ways to increase efficiency and improve safety and security.   The Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything (people, process, data and things) is about connecting the unconnected.

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New Edge Devices are Having a Cascade Effect on Public Sector IT Consumption

Multiple changes are on the horizon for public sector information technology managers. Over the next two years, IT organizations could be heavily impacted by these transformations, via a very distinct series of events.  Government and education CIOs, program managers, and business process planners will need to keep an eye on these looming changes as they embark on long-range IT plans.

IDC Government Insights recently worked with Cisco to develop a detailed InfoBrief –  as a way of highlighting these crucial issues. It’s titled Public Sector Reacts Positively to the Changes in IT Consumption.

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#InnovateThink Tweet Chat on Friday, July 18 at 10 a.m. PST: Fast IT: An IT Model for the #InternetOfEverything

As the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to drive one of the most sweeping market transitions in history, organizations will need to be hyper-aware, predictive, and agile. And IT will demand an infrastructure that is flexible enough to keep pace with rapid change and fast innovation, as it responds dynamically to ever-rising threat levels. Above all, it must support business leaders looking to capture their share of the $19 trillion in IoE-related value at stake.

But a rethink on the traditional role of IT is critical. Today, IT cannot simply continue “keeping the lights on.” More than ever, IT must partner with the business as an orchestrator of services and a true leader in innovation. The new IT operating model for the IoE era is Fast IT. And it enables more efficient processes, better asset utilization, an increasingly productive employee base, and improved customer experiences.

Fast IT is the way forward for businesses looking to compete and thrive in the rapidly changing IoE economy. Is your organization ready for the transformation?

Here are a few questions to consider as you evaluate your organization’s readiness:

  • How confident are you in your current network’s ability to propel your business into the future?
  • What are your top three concerns about your network?
  • What are the criteria you see as crucial for your organization to adopt a Fast IT model?
  • How will next-gen networking affect your IT staff, role and influence?

7 14 Cisco_IDG_Twitter v2

Join me on Twitter this Friday, July 18 at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST for insights and feedback about the #FutureOfIT, the #InternetofEverything and your organization in the #InnovateThink Tweet Chat.

Follow @JosephMBradley to learn more about the Internet of Everything and how companies must embrace Fast IT to fully maximize the value of the Internet of Everything for both themselves and their customers. Join the discussion by simply using hashtags #InnovateThink and #FutureOfIT on Twitter to join the conversation.

Learn more about the role of Fast IT in an Internet of Everything world:

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HAVEX Proves (Again) that the Airgap is a Myth: Time for Real Cybersecurity in ICS Environments

July 3, 2014 at 7:00 am PST

The HAVEX worm is making the rounds again. As Cisco first reported back in September 2013, HAVEX specifically targets supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), industrial control system (ICS), and other operational technology (OT) environments. In the case of HAVEX, the energy industry, and specifically power plants based in Europe, seems to be the primary target. See Cisco’s security blog post for technical details on this latest variant.

When I discuss security with those managing SCADA, ICS and other OT environments, I almost always get the feedback that cybersecurity isn’t required, because their systems are physically separated from the open Internet. This practice, referred to in ICS circles as the “airgap”, is the way ICS networks have been protected since the beginning of time; and truth be told, it’s been tremendously effective for decades. The problem is, the reality of the airgap began to disappear several years ago, and today is really just a myth.

Today, networks of all types are more connected than ever before. Gone are the days where only information technology (IT) networks are connected, completely separated from OT networks.  OT networks are no longer islands unto themselves, cut off from the outside world. Technology trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT) have changed all of that. To gain business efficiencies and streamline operations, today’s manufacturing plants, field area networks, and other OT environments are connected to the outside world via wired and wireless communications – in multiple places throughout the system! As a result, these industrial environments are every bit as open to hackers and other cyber threats as their IT counterparts. The main difference, of course, is that most organizations have relatively weak cybersecurity controls in these environments because of the continued belief that an airgap segregates them from the outside world, thereby insulating them from cyber attacks. This naivety makes OT environments an easier target.

The authors of HAVEX certainly understand that OT environments are connected, since the method of transmission is via a downloadable Trojan installed on the websites of several ICS/SCADA manufacturers. What’s considered a very old trick in the IT world is still relatively new to those in OT.

It’s absolutely essential that organizations with ICS environments fully understand and embrace the fact that IT and OT are simply different environments within a single extended network. As such, cybersecurity needs to be implemented across both to produce a comprehensive security solution for the entire extended network. The most important way to securely embrace IoT is for IT and OT to work together as a team. By each relinquishing just a bit of control, IT can retain centralized control over the extended network – but with differentiated policies that recognize the specialized needs of OT environments.

We’ll never completely bulletproof our systems, but with comprehensive security solutions applied across the extended network that provide protection before, during, and after an attack, organizations can protect themselves from most of what’s out there. A significant step in the right direction is to understand that the airgap is gone forever; it’s time to protect our OT environments every bit as much as we protect our IT environments.

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