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Elon University underpins campus safety with Cisco Video Surveillance

Nearly every campus across the country faces an ongoing challenge with helping provide a safe and secure learning environment both for students and educators alike.   Elon University in North Carolina has already taken steps to address this, by recognising that deploying a fully IP-based surveillance infrastructure can create a new partnership model between IT and security.  This new collaborative approach uses the converged network as a platform for deploying and managing video cameras across the campus.

In this video, Elon’s assistant vice president and CIO Chris Fulkerson shares some key insights into how productivity of security staff and the campus police force has increased since deploying a Cisco IP video surveillance solution.

“Every parent’s main concern is security for their college student. This Cisco Video Surveillance System has enabled us to multiply our security and police force by giving us eyes in multiple locations all at the same time. At Elon, the surveillance system has proven to be a real deterrent to crime. Our old system was very labor intensive to install and operate.  With this new system it takes just 10 seconds to deploy a camera.  We are excited that it gives the power and flexibility directly to police to operate the system instead of requiring so much IT intervention.  We are now free to leverage our investment and integrate surveillance with the rest of our physical security systems.” 

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Injecting the Python Interpreter Via GDB

Recently I was evaluating the security of an application sandbox and I needed a way to inject some kind of interface into the sandboxed application in order to explore the possibilities available from that context. The main objective was to be able to easily explore file and system call access to determine what was allowed/denied. I decided the most suitable interface I could use for this exploration would be the Python interactive shell.

The first step I needed to take was to get the Python library (libpython) loaded into the address space of the target application. The easiest way that I could think to do this was to utilize the call command in the Gnu Debugger (GDB). GDB’s call command performs a debugee procedure call by injecting a new thread into the debugee and controlling the startup state. Since GDB already performs the necessary steps, I could take advantage of this by issuing the command:

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Managing Communications During Customer-Impacting Incidents

No matter how you prepare, you never know how or when it will begin. The phone rings and sixty seconds later a sense of dread emerges. It grows slowly, peaking just as you hang up the phone. Sitting back in your chair, you take a deep breath and turn your mind to all the customers, executives, and journalists who will soon know what you know.

You and I both have a sense of the work involved in managing customer-impacting data exposures, privacy breaches, or malicious attacks. These are high pressure, high profile incidents that demand the very best response team—a team that includes technical and non-technical expertise.

Working as I do with Cisco security and incident response teams, I sit alongside some great people who understand the value of having a professional communicator at the table. With a technical response underway, the communicator can do what they do best—summarize the topic, identify impacted audiences, assess their needs, and craft the required messaging. Regardless of their department—public relations, employee communications, customer communications, or marketing—these people will be critical to sustaining customer relationships and protecting your organization’s reputation.

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Security Industry Visionary Joins Cisco

We are in the middle of several major market trends and transitions, including mobility, cloud and virtualization. Security is at the center of these massive transitions, and our customers tell us that they want simplicity and seamlessly integrated solutions for their network architectures. These industry disruptions require new thinking to create innovative technological solutions that will solve our customers’ biggest problems.

Enter Bret Hartman.

Bret has joined Cisco as the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the Security Technology Group, which encompasses all of Cisco’s core security products. For Cisco, Bret will define our overall security technology strategy, particularly as it relates to how security technology integrates across the network infrastructure. Ensuring that our strategy transitions into value-added customer solutions will be critical as we move to an integrated security architecture that leverages the network.

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IPS Performance Explained

Data sheet performance numbers are often used to make purchasing and deployment decisions for network devices. This is true for Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) as well. However, the nature of IPS is such that performance can vary greatly based on multiple factors, including the traffic mix seen at the IPS, signature tuning, and the software version in use. As a result, basing an IPS deployment purely on data sheet numbers is difficult. Cisco has demystified data sheet performance metrics for its IPS 4500 and IPS 4300 products via a detailed technical paper that walks the reader through each performance number.

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