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Inside Cisco IT Takes You on Our Security Journey

Would you jump on a horse without consulting someone else who is at least somewhat familiar with horses?  You know, like a cowgirl or boy?

Probably not.

At least not if you’re interested in staying in the saddle versus tumbling to the never-soft earth.

While Cisco IT doesn’t have any expertise in horseback riding (I mean, you are welcome to ask me for a couple of pointers, but I’m not promising results), we DO have expertise in a variety of challenges IT departments face on a regular basis.

Like Security.

Last week, we hosted a live Inside Cisco IT Webinar on our Security Journey with two of our own Cisco IT Security Experts.  If you missed it, you should definitely give the recording a gander.

After checking out the recording, this is what you should come away with:

Security Webinar Key Takeaways

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Learn How to Build an Intelligent WAN at CiscoLive Milan

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Missing CiscoLive? Learn what’s new!

According to the Open Network User Group (ONUG), a consortium of IT leaders including Bank of America, Fidelity Investments, JP Morgan Chase, UBS, and Gap, among the top priorities to reduce network expenses was WAN management, coming it at #3

This should not be a surprise with the growth of bandwidth demands from cloud, mobility and rich media applications like video. In fact, 68% of IT decision makers expect their WAN demand to grow. However, few (1 of 4 IT organizations) will have addition budget to pay for it.

Next week, over 5000 IT leaders will be meeting at CiscoLive Milan to find out how to prepare their organization for the opportunities ahead, and build a next-generation network. One essential element is building out a next-generation WAN.

For attendees making their way to the show, here are few sessions and demonstrations to note in your show planner.
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Curious About Cisco and Facebook’s Partnership for Wi-Fi?

More and more organizations across industries are realizing that providing simple, easy Wi-Fi for customers, guests, visitors, and more is becoming a basic expectation. Consumers are used to their always-on, always-connected lifestyles, so naturally their checklist for any venue they step into will now include “Wi-Fi” as a top priority. Good thing Cisco has not one but two simple ways for organizations with venues to provide easy Wi-Fi access for their consumers. One is CMX Connect, which you read about in the MSE blog series. The other is CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi.

We announced our partnership with Facebook last October to help connect businesses with their consumers at Interop New York. This Wednesday, January 22nd, we are having a special live webinar to give our customers a deeper dive into the Cisco and Facebook Wi-Fi solution.   Register to join us at 10am PST!

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Cisco and Facebook speakers, as well as a special guest customer, to learn more about our joint-solution. Hear how CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi can help boost recognition for your brand, foster stronger relationships with customers, and promote your business by connecting you directly to customers through Facebook.

Click here to register.

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Beware: Insider Threats Getting Worse

December 18, 2013 at 5:00 am PST

Most recently ESG/Vormetric came out with a threat report that highlighted the increase in insider threats & the significance to augment perimeter and host-based security. The rationale behind the increase was that more people are accessing the network, increase cloud and network traffic are making it difficult to isolate the problem.

Almost 50% of the organizations believe they are vulnerable to insider attacks and have or plan to invest dollars.

This is alarming!

The top methods noted for these insider threat vulnerabilities were abuse of access by privileged users, contractors, and other employees. Security professionals are finding it quite difficult to monitor the users, traffic, ports, etc to identify and mitigate insider threats. They must glean this information from multiple sources and many times need to translate the data. For example, “whose IP address is this and why is Mary from finance, who is supposed to be on vacation, downloading data from the payroll server?” This process slows the resolution time. The criticality of this type of contextual information is enormous to remediate quickly.

Security needs to be pervasive and consistent to manage these inside threats—so how does one do this? Integrate security into your infrastructure (wireless, wired, VPN)! Once security is woven into your infrastructure it provides the visibility and clarity to respond in a timely manner with a high degree of efficacy and is not dependent on distinct and isolated ingress points.

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Guest Blog: Migrating High Density University Networks to 802.11ac

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Joe Rogers, Associate Director of Network Engineering for the University of South Florida (USF). Hear Joe speak about his experiences with next-generation wireless in high density environments on next Tuesday’s webinar:  ”Migrating Enterprise Networks to 802.11ac” at 10am PST (Dec 17) (Register here)

Joe RogersJoe Rogers is the Associate Director of Network Engineering for the University of South Florida.  He is a graduate of USF’s Computer Science and Engineering program and has worked as a network engineer at USF for the past 20 years.  He is currently responsible for all aspects of USF’s network which provides connectivity to over 100k devices across three campuses.  He’s held a CCIE routing and switching certification since 1999.  When not working, he’s an avid mountain biker (if you can call it “mountain” biking when you live in Florida).

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Universities face some of the most complex design challenges in wireless networking.  Our user population is highly mobile, bandwidth-hungry, and often simultaneously using at least two wireless devices in rooms with hundreds of their classmates.  The wireless network isn’t simply a convenience to them.  It’s critical to their educational success as many of the students are taking tests or working on assignments across the network.

At the University of South Florida, we support over 20,000 concurrent wireless users on our network of over 4,000 access points.  We have more than 90,000 unique devices registered this semester.  Our biggest challenge is designing the wireless network for the device densities in our large classrooms and popular study areas.  In these locations, we often have a thousand devices in a few hundred square feet of space.

We heavily rely on band select to place as many devices as possible on 5Ghz where more channels are available.  Unfortunately many devices such as older tablets and smart phones simply don’t have an 802.11a/n radio.  So we must carefully RF engineer the environment with smaller cells to provide the necessary coverage density. Read More »

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