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Summary: 2014 – Year of the Internet of Things (IoT)

A lot happened in IoT in 2014. About this time last year, John Chambers laid out $1.9T market projection for IoT at CES and that drew significant attention and generated momentum in many industries. Over the year, we saw some real world use cases and innovative companies and technologies at the IoT World Forum in Chicago.  IoT really gained traction across many verticals over the year. While a lot of progress has been made, IoT is still evolving and globally companies and industries are still trying to figure out business models, technology selections and IoT standards. Cisco has led the way on many IoT fronts in 2014 and our own IoT Cisco Champion Pranay Prakash scopes the year and defines it as the Year of the Internet of Things and outlines what’s in store in future.

Read my full LinkedIn article here.

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Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services – How to get infected

On October 7, 2013 Cisco completed the acquisition of Sourcefire. At that time, I recognized this via Twitter and checked out the products on their website. I was excited to see the FirePOWER in action together with a Cisco ASA.

I had a good possibility to join the “ASA with FirePower Services” Workshop in Munich directly at Cisco. A big part of this Training was a Hands-on Lab, where the FirePOWER “Virus” infected me. I was thrilled, about the Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services and the FireSIGHT Management Center.

This intelligent cyber security solution covers gaps in traditional security solutions. The threat-focused next-generation firewall provides next-generation security capabilities:

Application Visibility and Control (AVC)

Over 3000 Application-Layer and Riskbased controls, that works closely with the IPS to optimize the security.

Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS)

Visibility to detect multivector threats to streamline and automate defense response, Superior threat prevention and mitigation for both known and unknown threats

URL Filtering, and Advanced Malware Protection (AMP)

The comprehensive malware-defeating solution can enable malware detection and blocking, continuous analysis, and retrospective alerting.

Cisco ASA1 Read More »

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Internet of Things (IoT) and our future

As an Information Technology professional I believe that IT is changing and will keep changing the way we live and of course our future. IoT (Internet of Things) has been a major topic of discussion, especially in 2014.

Everyone predicts that in the near future almost everything will be connected to the Internet, and will have its own IP address.  Connectivity not only includes PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphone, but coffee machines, refrigerators, TVs, washing machines, microwaves ovens, cookers, closets, etc…

I am afraid that one day the refrigerator will refuse to open because it reads my mind about wanting chocolates, and finds that I am overweight. The next day my car will not drive me home, but to the local gym after checking my schedule and finding some free time. Then it will kick me out saying, “Go do some exercises, your extra weight consumes more fuel, and my chassis will not endure until next summer!” Thank goodness it’s just a dream right now. I don’t even own a car, and will never think about buying a smart internet connected refrigerator, simply because it’s very expensive. :)

In this article I will share my thoughts and raise questions about four main factors related to IoT’s future: Read More »

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It’s Not The Network

All too often we networkers spend our time defending the network not only from security threats but from blame as the root cause (actual or perceived) of performance problems. The network is guilty until proven innocent. So how do we counter these arguments, put the issue to rest, and uphold the integrity of the network? Logs, logs, logs.

Logs are evidence to support your hypothesis. There are a couple of different types of logs I’d like to talk through and the roles they provide in a tiered approach to troubleshooting.

SNMP – This is one of the first places I go to when an issue is reported. This provides a look at the current state of the network based on polling intervals and traps, and also a place to explore data patterns and trends. Most enterprises will have an NMS solution in place and in my experience this is also a great place to learn the topology of the network(s) when joining a new company. There are many commercial and open source products available and I suggest trying a few different options to find out which works best for you and your team as they all organize and present the data in slightly different manners. Read More »

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IT professionals and end users. Cui Bono?

As a Senior Network Engineer I’ve seen many end-user issues that look like big problems but are actually very simple. The difficulty lies in a lack of understanding between end users and IT teams who support them. In this article, I want to give some advice to improve communications and relationships between these two groups.

Maher Abdelshkour article image Read More »

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