Tag Archives: Cisco

BT to lead creation of 2017 Cyber Security Challenge UK Masterclass

Cyber security experts from BT, Airbus, the National Crime Agency, the Bank of England, Cisco, McAfee, Checkpoint, De Montfort University’s Cyber Technology Institute and 4PumpCourt have announced that they will stage “the most advanced Cyber Security Challenge UK Masterclass ever” on 12-14 November in London.

Spanning two-and-a-half days, Masterclass is the culmination of a year’s worth of nationwide face-to-face and online competitions designed to unearth and nurture new talent for the cyber security industry and address a critical skills shortage that affects Government, businesses and the public.

Led by BT in partnership with Airbus, the competition will see dozens of the UK’s top cyber enthusiasts face each other in a battle that will test their capabilities to deal with cyber attacks and their understanding of business know-how. The challenges will evaluate contestants’ technical, business and soft skills, in turn mirroring the different ways in which professionals communicate today.

This year’s Masterclass will demonstrate how cyber security can be an accessible career choice that has a number of different facets and pathways. BT recently identified 87 different roles in the cyber security industry, each requiring a different skill set, which will be reflected in this year’s competition.


Highly experienced professionals from Government as well as public and private sector organisations across the country will judge the contestants for a number of aptitudes that will rank their suitability for jobs in the sector. The best performing candidate will be crowned Cyber Security Challenge UK Champion.

Thousands of pounds’ worth of career-enabling prizes will be issued to those who take in the finale including training courses, tech equipment and even a fully paid-for Master’s degree sponsorship at De Montfort University, allowing one lucky contestant the chance to study for an MSc in Cyber Security.

Over the years, more than half of the contestants in the Challenge’s face-to-face and Masterclass competitions have moved into jobs in the industry after demonstrating their skills in front of assessors.

Competitions like this are crucial for identifying top quality recruits that could reduce the skills deficit. Industry association (ISC)2 predicts the skills gap will reach 1.8 million unfilled positions by 2022, leaving a lack of professionals able to defend our infrastructure from hackers.

Nigel Harrison, acting CEO at Cyber Security Challenge UK, said: “This year’s consortium of sponsors is working on taking Masterclass to the next level, adding new dimensions and levels of game-play that we’ve yet to see in our competitions to date. We’re always trying to match our challenges to the way in which industry is evolving and ensure that they test for the skills industry requires. We look forward to seeing how the finalists fare in a modern cyber security scenario.”

Rob Partridge, head of BT’s Cyber Academy, added: “Filling the cyber security skills deficit is immensely important for the long-term safety of the UK’s digital economy. We need to make sure that industry and Government are collaborating such that young people are engaged and switched on to the breadth of roles in cyber security and the various career paths available to them. These competitions are vitally important for unearthing hidden talent and helping to develop the next generation of UK cyber talent to the standard being set in many other countries.”

Kevin Jones, head of cyber security architecture and innovation at Airbus, explained: “In order to continue protecting vital UK infrastructure and businesses from both current and future cyber threats, it’s particularly important that we address the skills shortage. Competitions such as Cyber Security Challenge UK help to provide a safe and representative environment for contestants to gain experience and learn from industry experts, which in turn will help them understand the variety of skills needed and the careers available within the cyber security sector.”

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Cisco unveils industry’s first threat-focused next generation firewall

Cisco is changing the way in which organisations protect themselves against sophisticated threats with the introduction of the industry’s first threat-focused next generation firewall. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services provides the full contextual awareness and dynamic controls needed to automatically assess threats, correlate intelligence and optimise defences to protect all networks.

By integrating the proven Cisco ASA 5500 Series firewall with application control, and the industry-leading Next Generation Intrusion Prevention Systems (NGIPS) and Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) from Sourcefire, Cisco is providing integrated threat defence across the entire attack continuum – before, during and after an attack.

Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services is an adaptive, threat-focused next generation firewall that delivers superior multi-layered protection, extending its capabilities far beyond legacy solutions.

Until now, next generation firewalls have focused on policy and application control, and have been unable to address advanced and zero-day attacks. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services changes this dynamic, adopting a visibility-driven, threat-focused and platform-based approach.

• Visibility-driven: Delivering full contextual awareness of users, mobile devices, client-side apps, virtual machine‐to-machine communications, vulnerabilities, threats, URLs and other important telemetry. The enterprise-class management capabilities provide users with dashboards and drill-down reports of discovered hosts, suspect applications, threats and Indicators of Compromise (IoCs) for comprehensive visibility
• Threat-focused: Incorporating leading NGIPS for comprehensive protection from known and advanced threats, as well as AMP to combat zero-day and persistent attacks. Big data analytics, continuous analysis and Cisco Collective Security Intelligence (CSI) work together to provide detection, blocking, tracking, analysis and remediation capabilities protecting against the full spectrum of attacks – known and unknown
• Platform‐based: Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services combines proven firewall functionality and application control, leading NGIPS capability and advanced breach detection and remediation in a single device. The integration provides organisations with better protection while also reducing operating costs and complexity. This new solution simplifies an organisation’s security architecture and reduces its network footprint with fewer security devices needed to manage and deploy and an ability to license subscriptions as well as extend functionality

Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services is an adaptive, threat-focused next generation firewall that delivers superior multi-layered protection

Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services is an adaptive, threat-focused next generation firewall that delivers superior multi-layered protection

Reducing times from breach to recovery

Given shifting business models and the fast-changing threat landscape, an organisation’s approach to reducing the time from breach to recovery needs to be truly integrated and threat-focused.

With mounting concern at the executive level regarding the threat of lost intellectual property and compromised customer information and confidence, organisations require broad coverage across all potential attack vectors that can rapidly adjust and learn from new attack methods and then implement that intelligence for protection.

Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services provides that integrated threat defence to truly help businesses address their biggest security risks — advanced and zero-day threats.

Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services provides superior visibility and continuous analysis to detect advanced, multi-vector threats and streamlines and automates responses for both known and unknown malware. It also offers holistic, actionable IoCs that speed threat investigation and retrospective remediation, along with integrated incident response scoping and automated detection policy updates.

All of these innovations are supported by an enterprise-class firewall, VPN, advanced clustering and granular application layer and risk-based controls that evoke tailored NGIPS threat detection policies to optimise security effectiveness.

Open source security integration with Snort, OpenAppID and ClamAV further allows end users to easily customise security and address new or specific threats and applications as quickly as possible.

Customers can gain the benefits of the solutions in two ways:
• Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services (customers can purchase ASA 5500-X Series and ASA 5585-X Series firewall products with a bundled FirePOWER Services license)
• FirePOWER Services for Cisco ASA (customers can enable FirePOWER Services on existing ASA 5500-X Series and ASA 5585-X Series firewall products)

Along with its partners, Cisco also provides professional and technical security services to help accelerate migration from customers’ current security environments to the integrated threat defence of Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services. With deep expertise, proven processes and tools and global resource availability, Cisco’s security services help organisations migrate quickly and with minimal disruption.

Industrialised hacking and sophisticated cyber crime

“In today’s climate of industrialised hacking and sophisticated cyber crime, we’ve entered an era in which legacy next generation firewall solutions are simply not enough to thwart attackers,” said Christopher Young, senior vice-president for the Security Business Group at Cisco.

“Now more than ever, organisations need to be able to implement dynamic controls to manage the pace of change of their environments and address security incidents. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services is a major step forward for the next generation firewall market, empowering customers to deepen their protection from the data centre through the network to the endpoint with the agility to identify, understand and stop advanced threats both in real-time and retrospectively.”

Kevin Kerr – CISO at Oak Ridge National Laboratory – added: “Like any high profile organisation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory must be diligent about its security strategy because the sad reality is that every organisation is the target of an attack. We saw this at first hand in 2011. We cannot afford another surprise malware attack to disrupt our operations, which is why we’re looking at the next generation of protective tools. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services is among some of the tools we are considering to help us defend the Lab.”

Further information about Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services is available at: http://www.cisco.com/go/asafps

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