Lippis Report 130: Global IT Security Threat Trends and Future Outlook

July 20th, 2009

nicklippis.jpgCyber crime and IT security threats are taking a more ominous turn as they seek financial gain by exploiting open Web 2.0 technology vulnerabilities and share “tricks of the trade” via collaborative web sites. Hackers and cybercriminals are launching ever more sophisticated attacks on businesses and individuals, intent on mastering the arts of trust-breaking and reputation-hijacking. The economic motive for cybercrime is well documented and lucrative, which is disturbing on multiple levels.

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Cisco IPTV Broadcast Regarding Cisco 2009 Mid-year Security Report

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July 20th, 2009

Watch Cisco security executives discuss findings from the Cisco 2009 Mid-year Security Report recapping the security events and trends of the first half of 2009. The broadcast will highlight:
· Security Threats This Year: Security incidents that effected businesses and consumers around the world.
· Crime Today – Who’s Getting Down To Business: Discussion of how Internet criminals are increasingly operating like successful businesses, borrowing some of the best strategies from legitimate companies and forming partnerships with one another to help make their illegal activities more lucrative.
Watch the video here.

Navigating Network Infrastructure Expenditures During Business Transformations

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July 20th, 2009

By Nicholas John Lippis III, President, Lippis Consulting

This paper explores tools and techniques available to business and IT leaders who seek to maintain and increase network availability through management, device feature exploitation and network design, especially during business process change. The mixed network vendor approach to diversity and redundancy is explored and brought into question as some IT leaders, pressured by lower capital budgets, seek to procure infrastructure from low cost providers as a means to make ends meet. The paper takes the position that a common network based upon mixed network supplier platforms paradoxically reduces network availability by increasing complexity and operational cost, the highest cost component in total cost of ownership (TCO). The paper further identifies that a mixed network vendor environment restricts design options, increases security vulnerabilities and limits the ability to optimize application performance.

Download the paper here.

Cisco 2009 Mid-year Security Report

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July 20th, 2009

By Cisco Systems

As predicted in the Cisco 2008 Annual Security Report, 2009’s threats are more sophisticated and targeted, as individuals and organizations navigate the global recession. However, there are encouraging signs that increased collaboration is hindering the development and growth of attacks and helping to identify criminals. The Cisco 2009 Mid-year Security Report outlines the most recent threat landscape and offers recommendations for protecting against some of the newer attack types.
Download the Cisco 2009 Mid-year Security Report here.

Mixed Vendor Networks Drive Complexity & Opex Up

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July 20th, 2009

nicklippis.jpgMixed vendor network environments increase complexity and complexity is not reliability’s best friend. In the following 3-minute Lippis Report podcast, Nick Lippis discusses network complexity and the disruptive outcomes it creates via two examples: the US Customs and Border Protection Agency at Los Angeles Airport and global Skype VoIP service.

Cisco Seeks To Add Visibility and Control to Electrical Systems via a Smart Grid Communication Infrastructure

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July 20th, 2009

inbar.jpgThe system that provides electricity transmission, commonly called the electrical grid is under intense scrutiny to make it smarter. Today’s electrical grid was designed decades ago without optimization and information flow of electricity consumption beyond local utilities, leaving businesses, homeowners and utilities blind to how electricity is being consumed. The Smart Grid adds intelligence from energy source to consumption end- points so that businesses and homeowners can view their consumption and control their usage while utilities can better manage electricity demand and delivery. The building of the Smart Grid is an estimated market of $20 B/yr over the next five years with governments passing legislation, mandates and partial funding to build it. For perspective, Smart Grid networks have the potential to be much larger than the Internet! The building of highly scalable and secure IP networks is Cisco’s core competency, making them uniquely qualified to supply it. I talk with Inbar Lasser-Raab, Senior Director, Network Systems and Smart Grid Solutions at Cisco about Cisco’s Smart Grid.

Mixed Vendor Networks Drive Complexity & Opex Up

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July 13th, 2009

Nick LippisMixed vendor network environments increase complexity and complexity is not reliability’s best friend. In the following 3-minute Lippis Report podcast, Nick Lippis discusses network complexity and the disruptive outcomes it creates via two examples; the US Customs and Border Protection Agency at Los Angeles Airport and global Skype VoIP service.

Lippis Report 129: The Gestalt Approach To IT Security Takes Shape

July 6th, 2009

Nick LippisToday’s Enterprise IT defenses against malware or exploits are built by deploying a set of security appliances that mitigate specific threats. This appliance approach was very effective during the 1990s when dominant threats were hackers attacking corporate IT assets via the Internet. As hackers were joined by cybercriminals an economic motive to target personal data and create greater havoc materialized along with increased exploit sophistication. In fact, most of today’s threats are blended, meaning that an exploit might enter a corporation through e-mail, then pass through the web which ends up having botnet traffic that eventually infects a client and phones home to a botnet server. An exploit could use three or four different vehicles before it launches a full-scale attack, bypassing legacy or siloed security tools. These blended attacks result in the all-too familiar consequence of security breaches including company image damage, personally-identifiable information (PII) theft, service downtime, cleanup and remediation costs, compliance penalties, and corporate liability. So how do security leaders defend against these assaults? The solution lies in the fact that the more IT security defenses can view the better control defense they enjoy. Enter the Gestalt approach to IT security.

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Unique Uses Cisco Network Virtualization at Zurich Airport to Realize Business Revenue Outcome

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July 6th, 2009

Our podcast guestUnique is the operator of Zurich Airport and offers a broad service portfolio to about 180 other companies, which also reside in the airport. Zurich Airport offers work for about 20,000 individuals and transports approximately 18 million passengers annually. Airport applications like air-traffic control and tower communications demand the highest uptime and need to be separated from operations like baggage distribution, business administration, video surveillance, and public WLAN traffic. Peter Zopfi, head of Communication Engineering for Unique was confronted with building a network with tunable attributes that were as varied as the businesses that relied upon it. In this podcast Peter discusses what worked and what didn’t and how a LAN-based MPLS VPN Cisco Network Virtualization strategy was key to delivering business value to all businesses and operations at Zurich Airport. It’s a fascinating discussion that you don’t want to miss. Enjoy, Nick.

WAN Advantage: New Thinking in Branch Office and WAN Edge Design plus Services

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July 6th, 2009

By Nick Lippis, Lippis Consulting

Along with a turbulent macroeconomic cycle comes business rationalization and in networking the wide area offers a unique opportunity to deliver value, both in terms of operational efficiency and business initiative alignment. Advances in network-embedded, software-based WAN Services such as security, unified communications (UC) and WAN optimization are starting to deliver the same type of application experience and management tools to control application performance that was once only available over the LAN. But the wide-area network has been pieced together, usually site by site, without a comprehensive plan. This lack of planning is most acute in branch-office-to-WAN and data center connections as geographically distributed branches are connected with inconsistent WAN Services and indigenous WAN transport. IT planners are being offered an opportunity to implement a common set of WAN Services embedded within routers such as UC, WAN optimization, security, etc., between branch, headquarter and data center sites which promises to lower operational spend, align business initiatives and policy while delivering Local Area Network (LAN) -like application performance. This paper presents a strategy for common WAN Services embedded in routers connecting branch offices to data centers and larger corporate sites that speed up workflow and business process for all employees independent of geographic location.

With so many of today’s threats being blended, meaning that an exploit might enter a corporation through e-mail, then pass through the web which ends up having botnet traffic that eventually infects a client and phones home to the botnet server, an exploit could traverse or use three or four different vehicles before it launches a full-scale attack.

Learn about WAN Advantage by downloading this white paper.

Cisco SAFE Security Architecture Poster

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July 6th, 2009

This poster provides a high-level architectural view of Cisco’s new series of validated design guides created to help businesses deploy an integrated security strategy across the network. SAFE is a modular-based set of free technical design and implementation guides for creating and deploying an integrated Cisco security strategy, leveraging the natural collaboration between Cisco’s security and network infrastructure solutions. SAFE module overviews, including products and threat defense strategies, included in this poster are Management, Campus, Data Center, WAN Edge, Extranet, Internet Edge, E-Commerce, Branches, Partner Sites, and Remote Teleworkers. The SAFE design guides provide fully tested reference security architectures that support solution development and offer designs for updating and expanding network security to meet evolving business and IT needs.
Download the poster here.

Cisco SAFE Reference Guide

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July 6th, 2009

By Cisco Systems

This 300+ page guide discusses the Cisco SAFE best practices, designs and configurations, and provides network and security engineers with the necessary information to help them succeed in designing, implementing and operating secure network infrastructures based on Cisco products and technologies.
To review this informative guide download it here.

Cisco SAFE Solution Overview

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July 6th, 2009

By Cisco Systems

The ever-evolving security landscape presents a continuous challenge to organizations. The fast proliferation of botnets, the increasing sophistication of network attacks, the alarming growth of Internet-based organized crime and espionage, identity and data theft, more innovative insider attacks, and emerging new forms of threats on mobile systems are examples of the diverse and complex real threats that shape today’s security landscape. Cisco SAFE architecture provides the security design guidelines for building secure and reliable network infrastructures that are resilient to both well-known and new forms of attacks.
To obtain an overview of SAFE download this white paper.

Cisco SAFE: A Security Reference Architecture The Changing Network and Security Landscape

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July 6th, 2009

By Cisco Systems

Innovations such as virtualization, cloud computing, and web-based access for employees, partners, and customers are bringing about a dramatic evolution in nearly every organization’s infrastructure. Many organizations are also transitioning from physical-based collaboration processes to collaborating across geographies by building distributed networks to gain a time-to-market advantage. Web 2.0 technologies, mobility, social networking and service-oriented architectures (SOAs) are creating new ways to work and collaborate, and to reach out to customers and partners.

From a security standpoint, these changes have brought with them new and complex challenges. Traditional point security tools are limited in their ability to support and secure this business transformation, either leaving critical new resources unprotected or preventing the deployment of new services as they do not secure new processes and protocols. At the same time, organizations are facing a host of new threats that target many of these new services and impact network and service availability.

Find out how to protect your organization without restricting use of new productive IT solutions by downloading this paper.