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Cisco Annual Security Report 2015: Secure Access for Defending Against Threats

Cisco recently published their Annual Security Report (ASR) for 2015 and there was quite a bit of interesting information on what happened in 2014, but also trends for 2015. We saw the rise in the number of highly publicized attacks in 2014 and the fact that C-Level Executives are under a lot of pressure to improve the security of their networks and protect sensitive client data. While attackers have always targeted IT users, in 2015 the trend is shifting where the primary target is to take advantage of user behaviors to breach the network. This last point is important because once the user has been compromised or their credentials have been lifted, the attacker then has access to anything important that is connected. The Cisco 2015 ASR shows that only 43% of organizations leverage identity administration and provisioning to properly secure their networks and data. This means that over half of organizations don’t know who is accessing their networks, where they’re going or coming from, or what they’re using and if it is even authorized based on business policy. As we all know, once someone unauthorized gets inside it can be challenging to track down the incursion and negate the threat.

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IoT’s Prominence at Cisco Live Milan

The Internet of Things (IoT) was a hot topic at Cisco Live last week in Milan. I got to spend a lot of time with customers, partners, and developers, and came home impressed by the tremendous focus on IoT applications. There is an enormous amount of energy directed at building on the foundation Cisco is creating.

If you weren’t able to join us in Milan, here is my list of the week’s highlights.

The opening day keynote Read More »

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Why We Need Diverse Perspectives in IoT – Experience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison IoT Lab

We need to create more effective mechanisms for attracting and engaging a diverse group of students in technology.  In my work as an educator and collaborator with leading companies in a variety of industries, I have noticed a trend: that including women, minorities, and those pursuing non-STEM disciplines in Internet of Things (IoT) technology-related learning is a critical issue that needs to be addressed to yield the greatest benefit from IoT.  I am personally very passionate about this topic.

IoT-800x800-ImgWhen we launched the University of Wisconsin-Madison, our Internet of Things (IoT) Lab in February 2014, one of our primary objectives was to provide students unique interdisciplinary learning and innovation experiences with IoT technologies. The IoT Lab is not associated with any course – the students who are participating in the IoT Lab are doing so because they are intrigued by and excited about IoT technologies and potential applications. This hub also serves as a campus technology sand-box and innovation community where students from diverse disciplines come together and engage in fun, social, collaborative learning and hands-on experimentation.

The IoT Lab has adopted a novel approach for successfully engaging students.  It has fostered participation by dozens of undergraduate and graduate students (a large fraction being women) representing a range of disciplines including not only engineering and computer science, but also other “non-technical” disciplines such as business, human ecology (retailing and consumer sciences), nursing, economics, journalism and mass communications, mathematics, physics, statistics, and philosophy.

There are several key insights that we have gained through our experience in engaging students with IoT.  Here are two: Read More »

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Is the Internet of Things the New Dot-Com Era?

Fifteen to twenty years ago we were in the middle of another frothy, technology-hyped revolution — the Dot-Com era. Mass adoption of the Internet promised radical changes in business and our everyday life and a new social and economic Utopia. In those halcyon days, stock prices were on a tear, venture capital money flowed like water, and countless start-ups greedily chased the pot of gold. Could the most recent technology revolution, the Internet of Things, be another Dot-Com experience?

Like the Dot-Com revolution the Internet of Things is the culmination of radical advances in four core technology pillars: 1) Connectivity (dial-up modems of yesteryear vs. mobile data and high-speed broadband today); 2) Data (the browser vs. big data and analytics); 3) Cloud (CompuServe and AOL vs. cloud storage and computing); and 4) Things (PC computer vs. smart phones, sensors and other machines). Like the Dot-Com era, technology visionaries and strategists could see that the perfect storm of the disruption in these core technology pillars would herald Read More »

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How Cisco IT Adopts New Technologies in the Data Center

I’d like to give you an inside look at our Allen Data Center and go over how Cisco IT is adopting new technologies and capabilities while at the same time running the business. I’ll answer your top of mind questions and cover topics such as: Read More »

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