Do You Want CybSec With Your Cookies?
Mar08

Do You Want CybSec With Your Cookies?

This week’s cybersecurity threat report from SonicWall doesn’t hold any real surprises from every other cybsec alert that frequents my inbox — i.e. the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report — but it does reinforce the key themes: cybsec threats are bad, and growing worse (it was called the ‘greatest concern’ at last month’s Senate threats hearing). “We tend to view the world as a cybersecurity arms race… the good guys make advances and the bad guys make advances,” John Gordineer, Director of Product Marketing, SonicWall, tells IT Trends & Analysis. The cybsec vendor said cyber attacks are becoming the number one risk to business, brands, operations and financials, and it identifies almost 500 new previously unknown malicious files each day, which makes this one of the hottest IT — and business — markets. MarketsandMarkets states the data protection market is expected to grow from $57.22 billion in 2017 to $119.95 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 16%, while the total cybsec market will grow almost as quickly, from last year’s $137.85 billion to $231.94 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 11%. While the SonicWall survey found that the number of attacks was down, the variety of attacks is increasing, which he attributed to several factors, especially in ransomware attacks, he said. First, companies that paid their ransoms did not get their data back; more effective protection is being deployed; and data backup and recovery solutions make companies less likely to become a victim or need to pay ransoms. As a result, the bad actors are scrambling to retool their ransomware to be more profitable, since they are catching fewer victims, said Gordineer. “We’re curious to see where that goes in 2018. One of the things we’re seeing is ransomware as a service.” Key findings of the SonicWall survey included: -9.32 billion total malware attacks in 2017, an 18.4% year-over-year increase; -ransomware attacks dropped from 638 million to 184 million between 2016 and 2017; -ransomware variants increased 101.2%; -the company collected 56 million unique malware samples in 2017, a 6.7% decrease from 2016, but the total volume of unique malware samples in 2017 was 51.4% higher than 2014; and -the average organization will see almost 900 file-based attacks per year hidden by SSL/TLS encryption. Cisco’s results offered similar dire news: -32% of breaches affected more than half of respondents’ systems, compared with 15% in 2016; -more than half of all attacks resulted in financial damages of more than $500,000, including, but not limited to, lost revenue, customers, opportunities, and out-of-pocket costs; -complexity is growing: in 2017, 25% of security professionals said they used products from...

Read More

Cisco And …Business, Sustainability And Diversity

One of the things that caught my eye this month was that Cisco ranked 1st in Barron’s sustainability study. They ranked 3rd in Corporate Knights’ similar ranking announced in 2017, they dropped to 7th in 2018 but still are the top ranked US company in that world ranking. It is also fascinating that while Barron’s report had several tech companies in the top 10, Corporate Knights was far more diverse and, other than Cisco being in the top 10 in both, there was little additional correlation between the reports. One reason for this is that the Corporate Knights report looks at companies internationally, but Barron’s only looks at the US, but even taking that into account, it is fascinating that only Cisco, as a tech company ranked highly in both reports. What I also think is fascinating is that both reports look at far more than what we normally group under sustainability. In both cases the judging organizations also look at diversity, management competence and performance, and other items that we more normally connect with good governance than we typically connect with sustainability. But, I think, this approach is right because sustainability makes no real sense if the company is poorly run, inefficient or unlikely to survive. Sustainability should not only mean strong ecological focus and execution, but strong execution in general operations because, if the firm doesn’t survive then neither will their environmental efforts. More importantly, firms emulate other successful firms, and being both successful and good for the environment should create a multiplicative impact on the market as other firms emulate Cisco for economic benefit. The message is that Cisco isn’t successful despite their sustainability and diversity focus, but because of it. Let’s look at a couple interesting aspects of Cisco’s focus and recognition. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More
HCI: A Cure For IT Complexity?
Feb08

HCI: A Cure For IT Complexity?

All-in-one computing, or IT in a box, is experiencing huge growth under the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) label, but while it has quickly moved from hype to mainstream, it still has a long way to go before the software-centric architecture – that integrates compute, storage and virtualization resources in a single system, typically x86 hardware – becomes the preferred way to build your IT infrastructure. HCI first showed up on the Gartner Hype Cycle in 2015, paired with Integrated Systems and taking its initial step of its Hype journey, Innovation Trigger, with the expectation of reaching the Plateau of Productivity in 5-10 years. Just a year later, in Gartner 2016 Hype Cycle For Storage Technologies, HCI was poised atop the very Peak of Inflated Expectations, with an estimated mainstream adoption of less than two years. On Tuesday Gartner released its inaugural Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure, which placed Nutanix, along with Dell EMC, VMware and HPE in its Leaders category. Honorable mentions went to: Cisco, Huawei and Pivot3 (Challengers); Stratoscale and Microsoft (Visionaries); and Scale Computing, DataCore and HTBase (Niche Players). The research giant predicts that by 2020, 20% of business-critical applications currently deployed on three-tier IT infrastructure will transition to hyperconverged infrastructure. According to the latest numbers from IDC, converged systems market revenue increased 10.8% year over year to $2.99 billion during the third quarter of 2017 (3Q17), but hyperconverged systems sales grew 68.0% YoY to $1 billion (33.5% for the total market). Dell was the HCI leader – $306.8 million in revenue and a 30.6% share – followed by Nutanix in second place, with $207.4 million in revenue and a share of 20.7%. IDC’s list of key players included Atlantis Computing, Cisco, Fujitsu, Gridstore, HPE, SimpliVity, Maxta, Nimboxx, Pivot3, Scale Computing, NetApp, DataCore and Vmware. Another company with HCI aspirations is Microsoft, which entered the HCI space in late 2016 when it made its datacenter OS, Windows Server 2016, generally available. “Hyperconverged infrastructure is a key part of our Windows Server 2016 software-defined strategy spanning software-defined compute, storage, network and assurance,” noted Siddhartha Roy, principal group program manager for high availability and storage in Windows Server. “The converged systems market expanded on multiple fronts, most notably within hyperconverged solutions,” said IDC’s Eric Sheppard, research director, Enterprise Storage & Converged Systems. “While hyperconvergence is not the sole source of market growth, it has undeniably driven an expansion of this market into new environments at a very rapid pace.” 451 Research predicts the HCI market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41% through 2020 to just under $6 billion, while Technology Business Research estimated that the...

Read More
Has Cisco Got The Right Stuff?
Feb01

Has Cisco Got The Right Stuff?

John Chambers, who handed control of Cisco to Chuck Robbins in July 2015, was bumped further upstairs a month ago when he became Chairman Emeritus, while his successor took over his role as Chairman of the Board, but more than a change in leadership, the turnover represents a new — and hopefully — improved networking, server and security vendor. The company, which has been struggling with the cloud and commodity hardware and software-based competitors for the last decade, looks poised for new life — and growth — as it hosts this week’s Cisco Live EMEA 2018, in Barcelona, Spain. Reinventing Cisco is not new. “We’re probably reinvented ourselves five or six times literally in the last two decades alone,” said Chambers shortly after moving up to the board. In an industry famous for it’s what-have-you-done-for-me-next philosophy, networking has been battered by explosive demands, increasing complexity and flat budgets, with the results that Cisco’s market domination has been mired in commodity hell. In Q3 its Ethernet switching business grew 7.4% year-over-year to $6.75 billion (56.7% market share), while the router market climbed 3% to 41.4%, up slightly sequentially (40.8%), but down year-over-year (44%). While networking accounts for the bulk of Cisco’s revenues, it’s been doing pretty well in the datacenter market with its server portfolio (i.e. UCS and HyperFlex), statistically tied with IBM for third place in 3Q17, with 5.8% of the market ($992 million), behind HPE (19.5%) and Dell (18.1%). Cisco also did very well in the converged systems market, and while it’s a much smaller segment, $2.99 billon vs $17 billon in Q3, the company held down second place between Dell (48.3%) and HPE (10.3% share, down 41.9% from a year-ago’s 18.1%), and grew its marketshare 56.4% YoY to $485.5 million. Security is another market where Cisco is growing strongly. Cybersecurity spending is expected to soar from last year’s $137.85 billion to $231.94 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.0%. According to ESG cybersecurity guru Jon Oltsik, “Cisco is one of only a handful of $2 billion-plus cybersecurity vendors that can grow its security revenue to over $5 billion by 2020.” At 4% of total revenues, the company’s security business is never going to be more than a wagging tail, but it grew 13% YoY in 2016, and 12% in the first nine months of 2017, which is way better than the switch and router business. A week ago Cisco expanded its cybersecurity portfolio with the acquisition of Skyport — a privately held company that has secured approximately $70 million in funding — whose core product platform is SkySecure Server, a physical server...

Read More

Cisco Moves Virtual Assistant into The Office

Well it was due to happen. First we had Siri and Cortana on our phones and PCs, then Alexa invaded our homes and now Cisco is pushing their Spark Assistant into offices and I’m kind of surprised why it took so long. We are about to be up to our armpits in digital assistants, but that isn’t a terrible thing. You see—up until now—we have largely been forced to learn how to communicate with the computers and systems we interface with. But what digital assistants do is they start to bring these systems back towards us. In short, this is the beginning of machines learning how to work with us. I think you could argue that having to learn how to work with someone else puts them in a superior position, the same goes for machines. This past practice kind of made us their servants, where it should have always been the other way around—or, at least more of a peer relationship. This is a major step into creating far better human/machine interfaces and a major step toward a far higher level of efficiency and customer satisfaction with the products we will interface tomorrow. Let’s chat about that this week. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More