Simple Network Monitoring Protocol (SNMP) has been widely deployed as an important network management tool for decades, is a key component of scalable network device management, and is configurable in nearly all network infrastructure devices sold today. As with any management protocol, if not configured securely, it can be leveraged as an opening for attackers to gain access to the network and begin reconnaissance of network infrastructure. In the worst case, if read-write community strings are weak or not properly protected, attackers could directly manipulate device configurations.
Cisco has recently seen a spike in brute-force attempts to access networking devices configured for SNMP using the standard ports (UDP ports 161 and 162). Attacks we’ve observed have been going after well known SNMP community strings and are focused on network edge devices. We have been working with our Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to assist customers in mitigating any problems caused by the brute-force attempts.
While there’s nothing new about brute-force attacks against network devices, in light of these recent findings, customers may want to revisit their SNMP configurations and ensure they follow security best practices, including using strong passwords and community strings and using ACLs to restrict access to trusted network management endpoints.
Cisco has published a number of best practices documents for securing the management plane, including SNMP configuration:
“This conference is designed not only to make you think about the application of automation, but also to help you take action” -- David Greenfield, Automation World, editor in chief and TAC event director
The conference achieved this goal and more. The framework of the sessions encouraged audience collaboration and dialogue around the challenges and practical steps and strategies being designed and deployed to achieve an integrated and scalable IoE architecture that drives value across the entire manufacturing value chain, as depicted in the video below:
What better way to meet that objective than to leverage a manufacturing use case around beer!!!!
Automating Brewing Operations from Two Different Perspectives
I attended this session where Highland Brewing, Sierra Nevada and Vicinity Manufacturing gave an interesting perspective around the challenges and strategies in deploying their next generation manufacturing operation.
Highland Brewing is a regional brewer of craft beers based in the Southeast and Sierra Nevada is a larger brewer with more of national brand. The interesting contrast between the two is that Highland Brewing is designing more automation into their operational facility and Sierra Nevada is scaling their automation and IoE strategies across all their facilities. Both perspectives and approaches have the same objective. How do I effectively integrate all the various technologies into an intelligent, flexible and scalable system/architecture to meet the following business outcomes:
Increase Customer Loyalty
Supply Chain Optimization
To paraphase Kevin Wheeler, Director of Operations, Highland Brewing Co,“Our core competency is crafting great beer. We have an opportunity to drive efficiency into our operation by an integrating IoT/IoE platform … the challenge is figuring out the best approach.”
Like Highland Brewing, manufacturers must begin to transform existing business processes and fundamentally rethink how they create, operate, and service smart, connected products in the IoE. For those that get it right, the future represents a huge opportunity to create product and service advantages.
Are you having challenges putting together the “IoE technology puzzle?” Is security the main barrier to IoE adoption?
In this month’s installment of the “We’re Listening” blog series, Steve Young discusses customer feedback to the Technical Assistance Center (TAC), and what his team is doing to address your main concerns with TAC support. Steve is Director of the TAC’s Service Delivery Transformation efforts.
By Guest Contributor Steve Young
You’ve shared a lot about your experience with the Technical Assistance Center (TAC) – the many positive experiences as well as areas for improvement. We continuously review these multiple sources of customer listening data to ensure we are addressing your biggest concerns with your support experience.
One of your main concerns is not getting to the right expert right away. When you have an issue, you don’t want to be bounced around the TAC. Read More »
Jaime’s daily contributions to the Cisco Support Community over the past 6 years have not only helped establish him as a Unified Communications thought leader but also reduce extraneous company costs.
The Cisco Support Community is an online technical support community on which company employees can interact with and respond to questions from Cisco customers and IT professionals. Oftentimes, SME contributors like Jaime who resolve customers’ technical issues by responding to questions on the community have greatly helped avoid opening unnecessary Technical Assistance Center (TAC) cases, ultimately diminishing company costs.
The Cisco Support Community Hall of Fame
The Cisco Support Community Hall of Fame is an exclusive group which highlights top individuals who have showcased long-term contributions to this community. Jaime is the most recent addition to this elite group which consists of a total of 8 members. His high quality contributions over the past 6+ years in the Collaboration, Voice and Video communities are said to have made a significantly positive impact to the overall online community.
Jaime’s Social Activities
Jaime is a Network Consulting Engineer specializing in the Cisco Unified Communications (UC) portfolio of solutions on the Planning, Design and Implementation (PDI) team. Although Jaime is involved with VXi technologies with PDI from the UC perspective, he studies VMWare View and Citrix ICA to get a better understanding of the technology of the whole. Jaime claims that self-studying also helps him participate on the Cisco Support Community in a more effective manner.
Every day, Jaime volunteers his free time to respond to customers, partners and prospective clients on the Cisco Support Community. Through diverse channels including discussion forums, webcasts, blogs, Ask the Expert events, documents and more, Jaime actively shares his knowledge and expertise with others on this site.
What motivates Jaime to be such an active participant on this online social platform? Read More »
At Cisco, we are focused upon internally and externally sharing social media best practices and lessons learned from individuals who have successfully integrated social media into their day job. We recently sat down with one such social practitioner, Jennifer Halim, a subject matter expert (SME) on the Customer Support Team, to learn more about how she incorporates social media into her job at Cisco.
Jennifer joined the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) in 2007 and focuses on security products in Australia. In 2010, she became a Technical Account Manager with ScanSafe, Cisco’s cloud-based web security service. Even after the move, she managed to keep up to date with the technology that she used in her previous role by actively participating on the Cisco Support Community. With over 322,000 registered users and 11 years of history, the Cisco Support Community is a platform on which technical experts and Cisco customers can interact with each other by asking and answering questions in the discussion forums, commenting on blogs, rating videos, and more. While spending an average of one to three hours per day contributing to the discussion forums regarding Cisco Security products, she participates completely out of her own will during after business hours. Through her engagements on this website, Jennifer states that she is constantly learning from other contributors to the community, and she enjoys the satisfaction of being able to help customers by answering their questions and resolving their issues.
Community participants like Jennifer who have responded to customers have contributed to Cisco’s $80 million in annual cost savings that is attributed to the Cisco Support Community and is a conservative estimate based on TAC case deflection. Based on the number of customer cases resolved, Jennifer has been one of the top contributors since she joined the community in 2010.
How does she manage to integrate her Support Community activities into her day job?