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Extended By Popular Demand: The Cisco IoT Security Grand Challenge

June 16, 2014 at 5:00 am PST

Since its announcement at the RSA 2014 conference, the security community has been actively involved in the Cisco IoT Security Grand Challenge, an industry-wide initiative to bring the best and brightest security minds to the table to help us find innovative IoT security solutions. Thus far, we’ve had dozens of wonderful submissions and they’re still coming in.

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The initial deadline to make a submission was this coming Tuesday, June 17th. However, the challenge has been so popular that we’ve decided to extend the deadline by two more weeks, to July 1st, to give you an opportunity to complete your best work. After all, we all benefit by ensuring that the things we connect are secure. And with billions of objects networked all over the world, many of which will reside in insecure locations, security is arguably more important for IoT than it has been for any other technology in history.

Cisco will select up to six winners, each of whom will be awarded between $50,000 and $75,000 USD. The winners will be announced, and will have an opportunity to present their winning submission, at the IoT World Forum in Chicago, October 14-16, 2014!

Interested in participating? Visit www.CiscoSecurityGrandChallenge.com for full details about the challenge and prepare your response. Good luck!

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Mobile Cloud Accelerates the Pace of Change

As organizations seek ways to maintain real-time connections with their workforce and customers in an increasingly digital and mobile-centered world, the growth of mobile cloud will be a major force in shaping the business landscape and future tech decisions. This blog series will explore how the convergence of mobility and cloud will deliver unprecedented transformation for all organizations. This post will highlight the growth of mobile cloud and how any business in any vertical stands to benefit.

Mobile communications have fundamentally changed the way business works. At the same time, cloud computing has become the new way of delivering and charging for IT services and functionality. This collision of technology -- the “mobile cloud” – stands to significantly increase the overall value of mobility, as well as radically alter the way employees work and businesses operate.

In short, what we know about mobile cloud today can be summed up in three parts:

1. Mobile cloud is growing. A leading industry report estimates mobile cloud services will increase at a staggering pace from $500 million today to $4.4 billion in 2017, a scant three years away. It’s also important to note that hybrid cloud environments are a major force in mobile cloud growth. By connecting private and public clouds, organizations can deliver the mobile, collaborative and rich video cloud services that enable today’s new connected experiences.

2. Mobile cloud is the beginning of an evolution – and it’s being driven by cloud-based applications. Mobile cloud will change not only where employees can work, but this convergence of two technology tools will completely change the way business works. A key component of this is the growth of applications in the cloud, with personalized experiences delivered in real-time, everywhere and anywhere. According to a recent Cisco study, 96% of IT decision makers said that collaboration apps are primarily accessed on mobile by employees. This behavior also supports the prediction that the percentage of enterprise apps adapted for mobile will grow from 31% to 42% in the next year.

3. Mobile cloud is a significant part of moving the Internet of Everything (IoE) forward. As people, processes and things become connected and always on the go, more data will be communicated through mobile cloud. For example, Cisco VNI data predicts that mobile cloud traffic will grow 12-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 64 percent.

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#SmartConnectedCity Series: Tackling City Challenges and Creating Opportunity with IoE and Smart+Connected Communities

What If…

…You have access to unlimited computing power at a reasonable price…

…You have access to unlimited storage and bandwidth at a reasonable price…

…Everything is connected to everything else…

Then…

Would you still provide healthcare and education in the same ways?

Would you run cities the same way?

Would you live your life the same way?

I think you’ll agree that the answer is no.

The Internet has already radically changed the way most of us live our lives. If we take a look at the challenges facing cities today--overcrowding, traffic, areas of poverty, crime, limited access to healthcare, education, citizen services—we recognize the opportunity for the Internet—as it evolves—to radically change the way we address these challenges as well.

New Answers to Big Problems

But to do so, we need to ask some simple, yet profound questions: Why is there traffic? How do we dispense medical information and healthcare more efficiently when 70% of the time a doctor doesn’t need to actually be in the room to help you? Can we provide more efficient street lighting and still keep our streets safe? How do we continue to provide adequate citizen services as cities grow by 10,000 people per hour?

The growth and convergence of things and data as well as people and processes on the Internet–which Cisco calls The Internet of Everything (IoE)--is allowing us to look at the challenges our cities are facing in new ways. At the same time technology is evolving, the price for computing, storage and bandwidth has dropped to nearly free.

Everything is Being Connected

By 2020–only a few years from now--upwards of 50 billion devices--video cameras, home security systems, refrigerators, your car, your medication, maybe even your baby’s diaper--will be connected to the Internet, each one requesting and generating more and more data. And that data will need to be analyzed and packaged to make it useful.

Cisco has estimated that the value of all of these connections in terms of the opportunities and the savings they represent to be a startling $19 trillion over the next decade…and the portion of that dedicated just to public-sector activities to be $4.6 trillion.

Big Opportunities for Cities that Get Smart

Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities (S+CC) initiative applies the power of IoE to the problems faced by cities. We’ve crafted a set of architectures and a growing portfolio of solutions to allow cities to gather relevant data, analyze it, process it, share it and deliver it to the right people, places, and things to make things happen. Whether it’s to change the stop lights to green as an ambulance is making its way to a hospital or automatically alert the public when the water supply has been compromised, a smart, connected city has more tools in its arsenal to address its most pressing challenges – and leverage new economic opportunities.

Barcelona is a prime example of a city – along with dozens more including Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Songdo--that has already embraced the smart vision and is making radical architectural, technological and process investments for their future by engaging in a variety of smart, connected city projects.

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An Update on Recent Industry Events and IoT in Manufacturing

It has been a crazy past three weeks with IoT and IoE for myself and also Cisco.  We recently hosted Cisco Live where we had over 25,000 attendees onsite and over 200,000 more attend virtually.  By the end of that week, I felt I had met each and every one and had at least a 15 minute conversation with them.  The buzz is there and our customers are telling us we are aligned to tackle this market and make IoT  in manufacturing take off.  Aside from our customers, I also had the pleasure to talk with leading industry and manufacturing analysts on our vision of IoT as well as various customer projects.  Here’s what one leading analyst blogged about right after CiscoLive:

“…current plant networks are like spangled spaghetti, which Cisco is attempting to untangle it based on its powerful networking routers and switches in a secure, simple and an effective way. The converged platform approach solves flexibility, scalability and responsiveness challenges of end-users. At a juncture, wherein customers across industry verticals are looking at standardization and standards-driven manufacturing, Cisco clearly has cracked the code with this platform approach.”  -

-Muthuraman Ramasamy, Frost & Sullivan

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Cisco #SmartConnectedCity Series Kick-Off: Re-Defining the Citizen Experience through Technology and IoE

With the annual New Cities Summit coming up in Dallas, Texas, June 17-19,  we’re kicking off a new thought leadership blog series to explore the transformation of cities through the power of technology and the Internet of Everything (IoE). The series will feature posts with an in-depth look at the juncture of innovation in cities and how technology can help transform the citizen experience and drive economic growth and sustainability.

I’m thrilled to be able to kick off this series and am looking forward to following the conversations that ensue. Given my focus on local government, I am particularly passionate about the issues facing cities and local government leadership, and feel that technology can be a very formidable force when it comes to enabling positive change to enhance and improve our communities.

Cities around the world face an increasing array of challenges: traffic congestion, parking, safety and security, waste and water management, and access to education and healthcare. Mayors and city managers are looking to technology to solve these challenges, while also finding efficient ways to provide better services, enhance livability, reduce the municipality’s carbon footprint, as well as expand the ability of its leadership to be more accessible to its constituents.

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