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Advanced Malware Protection Can Help Keep Defense Agencies’ Networks Secure

It seems like these days, you can’t read the news without seeing something about a cyberattack or data breach. While the digital economy and the Internet of Everything (IoE) are creating huge opportunities for value creation in both the public and private sectors, they also create huge opportunities for security breaches. With an expanded attack surface created by the IoE, cybercriminals look to take advantage of the influx of new devices and increasing network complexity. While a large cyberattack on a private company might be painful financially, a hack on some of our nation’s defense agencies could hurt much more.

The Department of Defense (DoD) is a high-priority target for hackers of all types, but especially for advanced malware creators who are seeking to steal intellectual property, capabilities and strategies from the U.S. government.  These threats aren’t only isolated incidents from hacktivist groups; they often come from other advanced nation-states. The protection of military information and network assets is a part of national security and the DoD needs the tools to protect itself from cyberattacks.

One way the DoD and other agencies are looking to better protect their networks is by using advanced malware protection (AMP) tools. AMP helps detect “bad” files as they move across a sensor and flags the files for removal so that they don’t corrupt the rest of the network. Cisco’s AMP services are industry-leading; it was named a leader in Gartner Magic Quadrants for Intrusion Prevention Systems in 2014 and improved its position in 2015. It was also tested during NSS Labs’ rigorous next-generation firewall testing and received the highest effectiveness rating possible.

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Figure 1. Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for Intrusion Prevention Systems

Cisco AMP is unique from its competitors in that it can place sensors throughout the network. Unlike most companies’ sensors, which must be attached to the firewall, Cisco’s sensors are compatible with a large variety of devices and platforms, such as switches, virtual machines and the cloud. By allowing for sensors in other places in the network, Cisco AMP casts a wider and finer net to catch malware.

Additionally, Cisco AMP tracks files throughout the whole network. For most advanced malware systems, a file is only flagged as good or bad when it crosses a sensor. But with Cisco AMP, the file is tracked throughout and continually evaluated. That means if a file was initially tagged as good but more information appears, Cisco AMP can detect that anywhere in the network, flag it, and have the file removed. Continuously monitoring files enables security managers to get rid of corrupted files rapidly – which means the network can recover more quickly as well.

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Figure 2. Point-In-Time Detection vs. Cisco’s Continuous Detection

Another way that Cisco AMP sets itself apart from other security options is through its ability to trace a file’s path and remove other files it has potentially corrupted. The corrupted file is patient zero, but CiscoAMP can find every other patient it touched to ensure the threat is completed eradicated.

As DoD networks become increasingly complex, with more devices requiring access from remote areas, the capabilities Cisco AMP solutions provide will be even more important to ensure these critical networks are secure. No matter how it is utilized, Cisco AMP can help the Department of Defense and other public sector agencies defend their sensitive information from cyberattacks. Click here to learn more about Cisco AMP solutions.

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A New Security Paradigm Needed to Support the Internet of Things

Shutdown. Cleanup. Restart.

This “incident response” approach to cyber security was designed primarily for enterprise networks, data centers, and consumer electronics. It companies perimeter-based protection that uses firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) to prevent security threats.

When threats penetrate perimeter-based protections, human operators typically shut down the compromised system, clean up or replace the compromised files and devices, and then restart the system.

Next is forensic analysis. This, too, requires intensive human involvement to harden existing protection mechanisms and develop future remediation measures.

However, as we move into the next phase of the Internet—the Internet of Things (IoT)—this security paradigm won’t be adequate because of changing form factors and use cases.

To succeed, we need fog computing. This will extend cloud computing (including security) to the edge of an enterprise’s or consumer’s network. Much in the way cloud technology enabled the Internet, fog will enable an array of secure IoT possibilities.

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Cisco at IBM Insight 2015: Showcasing Industry-leading Technology for Big Data and Analytics

Note:  Cisco’s Mohammed Ahmed of the Cisco IBM Alliance team was the key contributor for this blog post

In the IT industry we understand that customer confidence and respect is a leading reason that customers choose IBM and Cisco solutions and  services. Cisco and IBM have earned this trust over the years by each having deep technical expertise; global resources; and world-class support that few companies can match. With an almost two-decade history of working together, our success in the market together is demonstrated by more than 25,000 shared customers.

Cisco and IBM strive to work together to deliver innovative solutions to meet our joint customer needs – Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, the IBMBigInsightSolBriefData Center, the Internet of Everything (IoE), and Collaboration are just few examples.

Recently, Cisco and IBM added another strategic solution to the list “Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data with IBM BigInsights for Apache Hadoop” to help customers maximize the value of their big data and leverage business insights from it.

The Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data (CVD Link) with IBM BigInsights has been jointly tested and validated by both companies and provides a flexible, industry leading platform affording enterprises to fully leverage the latest open source technology together with the powerful SQL on Hadoop and Analytic capabilities.  The solution highlights are:

  • Powerful and high performance SQL on Hadoop designed for enterprises that require greater SQL standards compliance, performance, concurrency, and security
  • Highly scalable analytics for Data Scientists, Business Analysts to explore, discover, analyze and build advanced predictive models
  • Comprehensive enterprise-grade infrastructure using Cisco Fabric Interconnects and Rack Servers optimized for BigInsights

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Let’s celebrate failure in Europe!

That was one of the key themes discussed during today’s “Internet of Everything – What’s in it for Europe event” in Brussels, with MEP Kaja Kallas asking the audience to consider a change in innovation culture to capture the predicted 4.3 trillion that the IoE could generate in value in Europe. Kallas coined the EU attitude to a fear of failure and failing fast compared to the US with “Silicon Valley innovates, DC litigates and Brussels investigates”.

4.3 trillion is a big number, but we think its on the conservative side based on our engagement with public and private sectors around the world. Digital disruption fuelled by the Internet of Everything is redefining industries, cities, countries at an unprecedented rate and promises productivity and economic gains with 1.4% increase in annual GDP and with 1 million new jobs created over ten years.

Michael Hager, Head of Cabinet for Commissioner Oettinger, echoed Kallas’ sentiment on the courageousness required to capture the IoE opportunities, leveraging the Alliance for IoT Innovation (AIOTI) and the Digital Single Market (DSM) to look beyond national borders to a European and international approach. Engaging cross-sectoral collaboration and getting privacy, security and connectivity right will be key enablers.

I was struck by how much in common an enterprise like Bosch, start up AirCloak and the City of Copenhagen had – all touched on the need for vision to breakdown siloed use cases, using concrete demonstrations to illustrate value, to tackle privacy and security issues head-on and the need for education initiatives to accelerate digitisation.

So yes we can celebrate failure in Europe but we can’t afford for the policy environment to be the reason we fail. Fostering the right policy environment means getting it right on issues as diverse as an adaptable data protection framework, a partnership-based security model and the development of an IoE-savvy workforce. The Digital Single Market will bring many elements that will help take us forward, but we need more Member States to complement these efforts by putting digitisation front and centre of their accelerated national digital agendas and municipalities to embrace the opportunities.

Please click here for more information on the opportunity that digitisation fuelled by the Internet of Everything enables.

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How the Internet of Everything is changing lives

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is already helping to unlock new possibilities for health care. What’s coming next is a new kind of connected medicine with the potential to save lives.

A networked connection of people, process, data, and things is transforming healthcare through developments like electronic health records that are customized and secured for each user, giving patients more information about their own medical care.

For consumers, IoE has given rise to an ecosystem of user-enabled health monitoring wearables like Fitbit and Apple Watch, which deliver personalized, data-driven health insights. And healthcare organizations are developing a range of point-of-care technologies to improve patient care and access to needed healthcare.

As we recognize National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, we celebrate the survivors and honor those we’ve lost to breast cancer. An area of hope against this cruel disease is the ability of IoE to provide us with data insights to help diagnose and treat breast cancer.

The need is more urgent that ever. The World Health Organization says breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer, killing more than a half million women globally in 2011. The rates of breast cancer are increasing, particularly in developing countries where most cases are diagnosed in late stages.

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