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Top of Mind: Best Practices and Security Updates

With the Black Hat and DEF CON security conferences last week in Las Vegas, two topics are top of mind for me and those in my organization: best practices for securing the network and the importance of applying software security updates. An event like Black Hat or DEF CON certainly raises awareness, but what’s really important is to take that awareness and embed it into daily management of the network. For the most part, those practices are followed on end points and applications. Unfortunately, our data indicates that patching in the infrastructure is much less consistent. This is usually based on complexity and the demands of uptime placed on the network. Events like Black Hat give my teams an opportunity to deliver training on implementing network-based mitigations and defenses. In many cases, participants in these events are simply unaware of what is available in newer versions of our products.

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Are you really secure ?

Yes, the question is “Are you really secure?” Now that I’ve asked a loaded question, let me get to the point.

The term “secure” sure has a lot of different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. If we take it from a corporate security perspective, your options are somewhat limited to physical security, as in video surveillance or physical access, or logical security, as in your laptop or data access. But, when you ask a security professional if they are secure, they will most certainly take that in the context of what they can control, and will most likely answer “yes”.

Well, what about the things you cannot control? You can control which products you buy to provide security, you control how they are installed and configured, and you control the processes and procedures that identify how they are managed and updated. But, can you control how they are manufactured?

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Geeking Out on Cisco Security Solutions at RSA 2011

February 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm PST

RSA—the annual security conference that draws IT professionals from around the world—has been taking place this week in downtown San Francisco. At this year’s event, Cisco had a booth that highlighted innovative security solutions spanning from the data center to cloud networks, showing how to protect the evolving network infrastructure.

Tom Gillis, Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Security Technology Business Unit, also addressed the conference during a keynote session, at which he introduced SecureX, Cisco’s security architecture, which makes security context-aware.

I made a trip down to RSA to geek out on some new products and to find out all the relevant security information that you, our partners, will want to know. I met with several Cisco managers at the Cisco booth who walked me though some demos of the products Cisco is showing.

Keep reading for links and more details on Cisco’s security solutions, and how they can benefit you, your customers, and your business

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A Secure Network is a Productive Network

Because it’s Cyber Security Month, security has been top of mind for me, I’ve realized that network security plays a silent role in almost everything we do.

Last week our power went out.  This is pretty rare where I live, because I’m on the same power grid as Disney World; which means that there are two major power sources sending electricity our way (imagine the cost of a power outage to Disney World!).  I really never thought it would happen.  Even the year that Central Florida was hit by three hurricanes the power never faltered here.  But, a little transformer blew in town and knocked the lights out.  No power, no network.  So, I picked up my laptop and scooted out to the local Starbucks without giving it a second thought.

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The big cost of spam & viruses for small business

Protecting your network against spam and other Web threats can save you plenty

The Web is a wondrous place filled with valuable information and harmless entertainment. It’s also a dark place filled with phishing scams, malware, viruses and spam (unsolicited or “junk” email). It’s kind of like walking around in a new city, you never know when you are going to cross “that street” and find yourself in an unsafe neighborhood. We all know not to send our banking information to the “kind gentleman” in a foreign country who needs help exchanging his royal inheritance; but it’s not always that obvious that you encountering a criminal.

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