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No Need to Compromise…We Can Have Our Cake and Eat It Too!

As I look back on this past week’s RSA 2012 in San Francisco, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to many enterprise and service provider customers, channel partners, analysts, media (including Fox Business News), investors, and even some of our competitors. BYOD, the transition from physical to virtual to cloud, and IPv4 moving to IPv6 networks came up over and over again. Read More »

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Lock It Down or Free It Up?

March 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm PST

On February 29th, Christopher Young, Senior Vice President of Cisco Security, delivered a rousing keynote address at the RSA 2012 conference in San Francisco.

The title and theme of his presentation, “Lock it Down or Free it Up?”, spoke to the dilemma organizations of all sizes face every day. Read More »

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A FAIR Way to Assess Security Risk

Last year was in many ways a crux year for information security, and I can vividly remember myriad conversations with colleagues from Cisco and other companies at RSA 2011 about the then recent spate of compromises and incidents. Although the intense media focus on high-profile compromises arguably seems to have abated somewhat in early 2012, that doesn’t mean that the threat landscape has changed for the better – if anything, it has become even more complex, a fact highlighted in Cisco’s 2011 Annual Security Report and 2Q11 Global Threat Report, both available from

As the manager of Cisco’s Security Posture Assessment (SPA) team, I have seen an overall improvement in our customers’ security postures over the past year as organizations have been forced to adapt to this threat landscape, but that doesn’t mean that we can become complacent. As our customers’ postures improve, so do the attackers’ techniques, and the information security arms race continues… Read More »

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Firewall, IPS, and Web Security Without Degrading Performance? Yes You Can Have It All!

February 28, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

In an effort to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency, organizations of all sizes have begun compressing their firewall and other security services into smaller form factors and fewer physical units. Many small and midsized companies have opted for UTMs to run all of their security on a single box. Unfortunately, UTMs have failed to deliver on their promise to deliver true multi-service security. Most UTMs do one or two things really well, but add all the other services as “checkbox” items just to say they have it. Read More »

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Router Security: Ready for Primetime

I have a confession: I’m a technology late-adopter. On Rogers’ Innovation Adoption bell curve, I probably fall somewhere in the ‘late majority’ —  I like the tried and true.

But with a few years and many advances, I’m back on Facebook (my short experience with it left me with privacy paranoia),  and if you can believe it, I’m now an iPhone user. I appreciate not lugging around my iPod, and having a camera ready whenever I need it, but it’s not only the extra bells on the integrated device that has impressed me -- it’s the realization that I don’t have to compromise functionality to have it all.

Another technology that has made a lot of strides since its entry into the market is integrated router security. Read More »

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