Boardroom
Cisco Systems

Jeff Platon
VP of Product and Technology Market Management
Security Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO)


SecurityStockWatch.com: Please give us an overview of your background and your role at Cisco.

Jeff Platon: I am the VP of product and technology marketing efforts as they pertain to security. SecurityStockWatch.com: Cisco's "security" capabilities include the "Self-Defending Network".

Would you kindly give our audience an overview of how Cisco's Self-Defending Network is designed to identify, prevent, and adapt to threats.

Jeff Platon: The first phase of the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy involved integrating security capabilities directly into network elements including routers, switches, wireless access points, and standalone network appliances. The second phase, which includes the industrywide Cisco Network Admission Control (NAC) effort, enables security-enabled network elements to communicate with one another in a collaborative manner, while extending security capabilities to individual user devices that connect to other networks and might infect a corporate network. Adaptive Threat Defense is the next phase and helps to further minimize network security risks by dynamically addressing threats at multiple layers, enabling tighter control of network traffic, endpoints, users, and applications. It aims to protect every packet and every packet flow on a network. With the introduction of Adaptive Threat Defense, Cisco has announced more than ten new product and technology innovations to help provide ubiquitous, layered protection and improved operational efficiency of business processes and applications.

SecurityStockWatch.com: "Phishing" and "Pharming" threats seem to be growing in number and sophistication, yet, many people are still unfamiliar with what these terms actually mean and how these threats actually work. Would you please give us an overview of "phishing" and "pharming" scams and what consumers and businesses can do to guard against these threats. What resources are available at Cisco.com to help consumers and businesses guard against cyber threats?

Jeff Platon: Phishing and Pharming are among the array of Internet threats impacting businesses today. Phishing attacks use 'spoofed' e-mails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames and passwords, social security numbers, etc. By hijacking the trusted brands of well-known organizations, phishers are able to convince a certain percentage of recipients to respond to them. Pharming is the exploitation of a vulnerability in the DNS server software that allows a hacker to acquire the Domain Name for a site, and to redirect that website's traffic to another web site. DNS servers are the machines responsible for resolving internet names into their real addresses - the "signposts" of the internet. If the web site receiving the traffic is a fake web site, such as a copy of a bank's website, it can be used to "phish" or steal a computer user's passwords, PIN number or account number. Note that this is only possible when the original site was not SSL protected, or when the user is ignoring warnings about invalid server certificates. Cisco offers products, architectural "best practices" known as our Cisco SAFE blueprints to help protect from these threats, and is also involved with the standards bodies such as the development of an E-Mail Authentication Proposal DomainKeys Identified Mail Submitted to the IETF for Consideration as a new E-Mail Standard to Address E-Mail Forgery and Phishing Internet Industry Leaders Including Alt-N Technologies, AOL, Brandenburg Internetworking, Cisco, EarthLink, IBM, Microsoft, PGP Corporation, Sendmail, StrongMail Systems, Tumbleweed, VeriSign and Yahoo! Teamed to Develop DomainKeys Identified Mail

SecurityStockWatch.com: Cisco and Boeing recently announced a business alliance to create and deliver joint solutions for the projected $200 billion global market for network-centric defense and security operations. What solutions will this alliance bring to the marketplace and what are the respective roles of Cisco and Boeing. Any other key strategic relationships you care to mention?

Jeff Platon: Building on a successful 15-year business relationship, Boeing and Cisco signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding documenting their intention to extend their non-exclusive business alliance to create and deliver joint solutions for the projected $200 billion global market for network-centric defense and security operations. The 10-year alliance unites Boeing, a leader in network-centric operations, with Cisco, the leading provider of open-standards-based, commercial networking technology and services to federal and global governments. Both companies intend to invest resources in defining, creating, integrating and deploying industry leading network centric solutions that help military and government agencies deal with complex and time-sensitive missions. Other strategic relationships in the area of security include Cisco's alliance with IBM and Microsoft. Another key industry initiative which Cisco spearheaded is the Cisco Network Admission Control (NAC) program, which includes over 20 partner companies, and is a Cisco Systems sponsored industry initiative that uses the network infrastructure to enforce security policy compliance on all devices seeking to access network computing resources, thereby limiting damage from viruses and worms. Using NAC, organizations can provide network access to endpoint devices such as PCs, PDAs, and servers that are verified to be fully compliant with established security policy. NAC can also identify noncompliant devices and deny them access, place them in a quarantined area, or give them restricted access to computing resources.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Please give our audience an overview of a Cisco success story in the large enterprise market and the government market.

Jeff Platon: Both ReserveAmerica and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are customers using Cisco security solutions

SecurityStockWatch.com: Can you give us an overview of the Government mandates and new legislation which are driving public and private sector enterprises to improve the security of their networks such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

Jeff Platon: Many of these legislative compliance efforts are clearly driving security funding and purchases, and some of this spending is helping drive refinement of policies and product deployments that heretofore weren't necessarily acknowledged as much in the past. However, organizations are likely realizing challenges in the interpretation of some of these regulations, and generate some confusion and lead to decisions that don't necessarily mean you are deploying a more secure infrastructure.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Thanks, Jeff.
 







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