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Harnessing the Power of As-a-Service Cloud Offerings

When used wisely, consuming cloud as-a-service (aaS) can dramatically improve business outcomes. Primarily, cloud IT services can promote business agility, reduce expenses, and accelerate time-to-market. They also can provide access to highly trained professionals with focused technical expertise, solving a longstanding problem many IT leaders face with sourcing specialized talent.

Businesses today want speed and flexibility, and cloud IT as-a-service can help them achieve that because they don’t need to procure and deploy hardware and then build, test, and iterate software solutions. Although cloud offerings are attractive because they are readily available and can be deployed quickly, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether to build a solution in-house or outsource it to a cloud provider.

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Endpoint Visibility to Combat Advanced Attacks – I Want That

Protecting data, maintaining compliance, and enabling the business is a balancing act. Put too many controls in place and you inhibit workflow. Rely exclusively on traditional security tools and you lack the visibility to detect and respond to advanced attacks quickly.

The industrialization of hacking has created an effective and efficient criminal economy. Attackers are fast and the malware they write and resell is smart, able to evade traditional defenses and quick to do damage. If attackers get through – and they will since there is no such thing as 100% breach prevention – IT security professionals need to be able to detect potential malicious activity as it happens, analyze it, and take action. And, increasingly, network-centric detection is not enough.

An explosion of new, untethered devices means that endpoints extend everywhere and so does the workplace you need to protect. Windows and Mac desktops and laptops, tablets and smartphones, and even smart watches make it possible to connect back to the corporate network anytime from anywhere. Attackers are taking advantage of this proliferation of endpoints and using gaps in security to drive their attacks home. Endpoint visibility is becoming a must-have.

To combat these more frequent and destructive attacks, you need to see beyond traditional indicators of a breach, like a signature or a hash or an IP address, to identify behavior-based activities that may point to malicious activities. This visibility must be on workstations so that you can track executables and processes across your environment and cut detection time down to minutes or seconds. You also need to maintain that visibility on devices connected to a protected network or roaming on public or personal in-home wi-fi.

Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints gives you the visibility and control you need to protect data, maintain compliance, and enable the business – everywhere workers may be. For example, the Prevalence capability in Cisco AMP displays files that have been executed across the organization ordered from lowest to highest number of instances. Files with low prevalence likely indicate a malicious executable you need to investigate. And because AMP is cloud-based you can continue to track devices and deliver the same level of protection whether devices are on or off the network.

Customers across a broad range of industries are using Cisco AMP for Endpoints to increase protection against today’s elusive attacks. Listen to Tim McGuffin, Information Security Officer at Sam Houston State University, describe how his team used Cisco AMP for Endpoints to detect and respond to a malware attack disguised as bad user behavior, and how they maintain a secure infrastructure while ensuring academic freedom and research.

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SUMMARY: Open at Cisco is Moving!

“In our collective eagerness to talk about our growing list of cloud offerings, emerging cloud strategies, and contributions to the cloud community, we all started blogging from different places. The data center folks were talking about Cisco’s cloud-optimized hardware on one blog, the open source enthusiasts were talking about OpenStack and the Metacloud acquisition on another (this one), and still other groups were discussing cloud security and cloud as it relates to SDN on other blogs.”

Read Ali Amagasu’s full post here:
Open at Cisco is Moving!

OpenStack Logo

 

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Security-as-a-Feature

security

Some of you may remember Marathon Man, starring Lawrence Olivier as the evil Nazi dentist Dr. Christian Szell, and Dustin Hoffman as a graduate student nicknamed Babe. Szell has come to New York from his South American jungle hideaway to retrieve a cache of diamonds, but he’s not sure he won’t be walking into a trap. He thinks Babe knows, and tortures him by repeatedly asking, “Is it safe?

Szell: “Is it safe? Is it safe?”
Babe: “You’re talking to me?”
Szell: “Is it safe?”
Babe: “Is what safe?”
Szell: “Is it safe?”
Babe: “I don’t know what you mean. I can’t tell you something’s safe or not unless I know specifically what you’re talking about.”

It’s a scary scene.

I’m reminded of it whenever people ask or say: “Is the cloud secure?” or “Public clouds aren’t secure” or “Multitenant applications aren’t secure.”

So, is your cloud safe? Is it secure? 

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Governments Need Global Standards of Conduct for Surveillance

Privacy and human rights advocates, technology companies, and trade associations have today called on U.S. political leaders to reform the country’s surveillance laws. We add our voice to those calls. These reforms will help show the world that the U.S. Government is ready to lead the dialogue on global standards of conduct, and wants to further build international trust with citizens – a cornerstone for our industry.

We also see a need for governments to agree on transparent standards of conduct. Building a system with appropriate safeguards and limits will serve both national security objectives and the needs of global commerce. In May 2014, Cisco offered a series of recommendations that support customer confidence in the global internet economy, while respecting the role that governments need to play in ensuring the physical safety and the economic security of their citizens. Governments and industry players need to deliver these outcomes for our future. Cisco is ready to play our part and we believe our peers and colleagues in industry and government are as well.

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