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Your New Year’s Resolution for 2016: Start with a Cisco Domain Ten Workshop

A few years ago, I wrote a series of blogs on Cisco’s Domain Ten(SM)  framework.  Since then, we’ve used this simple yet powerful analysis tool to help guide many customers on data center and IT transformation projects.  I personally found it quite notable that leading market analyst firm IDC, recognizing Cisco as the worldwide leader in the Networking Consulting Services arena in their August 2015 IDC MarketScape Worldwide Network Consulting Services 2015 Vendor Assessment (IDC Document #258131), called out Cisco Domain Ten in their assessment of Cisco.

Over the years, as we’ve used this framework to analyse customer IT, data center and cloud challenges, we’ve evolved and tuned the framework.  You can learn more about Cisco Domain Ten, in the video below as well as my original blogs, which are still very relevant.

How then, do you know if a Cisco Domain Ten would help you in your data center, cloud and broader IT initiatives? How do you know if you should be making a Cisco Domain Ten workshop one of your new year’s resolutions for 2016?

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Five Strategic Insurance Business Imperatives for 2016

One of these days the ground will drop out from beneath your feet
One of these days your heart will stop and play its final beat
One of these days the clocks will stop and time won’t mean a thing

“These Days”, Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

 As we kick-off 2016, the time is now for industry decision-makers to make a profound difference in the way Insurance business is transacted. Not just for competitive position, but for future generations, shareholders and most importantly, for the customer. Peer group competitors are formulating action plans now to address the most pressing tactical and strategic business imperatives across the enterprise for 2016 and beyond. Are you? Here are five top focus areas for 2016 that I am hearing from insurance executives across both Life and P&C:

  1. Digital Strategy
  2. Security
  3. Collaboration
  4. Talent Acquisition and Retention
  5. Business Outcome Approach

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We Hear You: Retail Security Should Be Simple and SAFE

Retailers are in the business to sell, not to be stolen from. And they don’t set up shop to buy security products from companies like Cisco. However, attackers who target retailers have discovered that it’s much more lucrative to shoplift virtually rather than physically. So even if you focus on security rather than selling, you face a daunting task.

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The challenge of retail security is that it gets more complex by the minute. The combination of mobile devices, distributed services, increased customer expectations, virtual systems, and changing business goals creates a huge attack surface for fraudsters. Add in a pantheon of security vendors offering specialized products that don’t always work well together as well as a dwindling supply of qualified security personnel, and feelings of frustration and futility are understandable.

Our industry desperately needs a resource that addresses the problem from end to end and makes security easier to understand. Enter Cisco SAFE, a comprehensive and credible solution portfolio. SAFE uses a model to organize retail networks into areas that can be more easily understood from a security perspective. It looks at the threats that exist and the best practices available to defend against them. It helps manage the design, build, and maintenance of today’s retail networks.

SAFE provides “how to” guides tested in Cisco’s laboratories for complex security challenges. It maps your threats to the security capabilities you need at this time, which can help you avoid overspending and overcomplicating the defenses you need to protect your business.

Come see me at the National Retail Federation show in New York. At a Big Idea session, I’ll be speaking about how Cisco SAFE helps simplify retail security. We’ll be in Room 4, Level 3 of the Expo Hall, on Monday, January 18, at 12:45 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Learn more.

I look forward to meeting you there!

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Video Security Everywhere: From Creation to Consumption

Not that long ago, life was much easier. Video was delivered in a linear managed path and there was a well-defined process – from content creation to distribution to consumption – with distinct roles for content creators and service providers. Video infrastructure was largely isolated and used unique technologies designed for broadcast video delivery.

This model also made security much more straightforward. Video content was protected using encryption and conditional access integrated in the set-top box.

But today, life is getting more complex. IP and cloud based delivery allows service and content providers to meet customers’ demands, but it’s also more challenging to secure.

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In this open environment, service and content providers need to protect their entire network from new vulnerabilities, stopping attackers from stealing video content, services and confidential data. At the same time, they need to retain full flexibility to deliver the services customers want – security should not be an inhibitor but an enabler.

Cisco delivers a Read More »

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New Cisco AnyConnect Network Visibility Module App for Splunk

Users on the network are an important layer of an organization’s security strategy – and a particularly vulnerable one. In fact, a recent IBM cybersecurity report found that human error was a contributing factor in 95% of all security incidents! It is critical to know what users are doing on the network, especially since some potential high-risk behaviors like data disclosure and shadow IT may not trigger current security layers (e.g. malware protection).

Cisco AnyConnect Network Visibility Module (NVM) empowers organizations to see endpoint and user behavior on their network. Cisco AnyConnect NVM collects flows from endpoints (e.g., laptops) both on and off-premise along with additional context like users, applications, devices, locations and destinations.  Now, IT administrators can use Splunk Enterprise to analyze and correlate this rich data with the new  Cisco AnyConnect Network Visibility (NVM) App for Splunk, which  provides collection and reporting of flows generated by the Cisco AnyConnect NVM endpoint sensor technology.

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