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300-215 Conducting Forensic Analysis and Incident Response Using Cisco CyberOps Technologies (CBRFIR) test |

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Exam Code: 300-215 Conducting Forensic Analysis and Incident Response Using Cisco CyberOps Technologies (CBRFIR) test January 2024 by team

300-215 Conducting Forensic Analysis and Incident Response Using Cisco CyberOps Technologies (CBRFIR)

Exam Number: 300-215

Exam Name : Conducting Forensic Analysis and Incident Response Using Cisco CyberOps Technologies (CBRFIR)

Exam Duration : 90 min.

Number of Questions: 60

Exam Description

Conducting Forensic Analysis and Incident Response Using Cisco Technologies for
CyberOps v1.0 (CBRFIR 300-215) is a 90-minute exam that is associated with the Cisco CyberOps
Professional Certification. This exam tests a candidate's knowledge of forensic analysis and incident
response fundamentals, techniques, and processes. The course Conducting Forensic Analysis and
Incident Response Using Cisco Technologies for CyberOps helps candidates to prepare for this exam.

Course Outline

20% 1.0 Fundamentals

1.1 Analyze the components needed for a root cause analysis report

1.2 Describe the process of performing forensics analysis of infrastructure network devices

1.3 Describe antiforensic tactics, techniques, and procedures

1.4 Recognize encoding and obfuscation techniques (such as, base 64 and hex encoding)

1.5 Describe the use and characteristics of YARA rules (basics) for malware identification,
classification, and documentation

1.6 Describe the role of:

1.6.a hex editors (HxD, Hiew, and Hexfiend) in DFIR investigations

1.6.b disassemblers and debuggers (such as, Ghidra, Radare, and Evans Debugger) to
perform basic malware analysis

1.6.c deobfuscation tools (such as, XORBruteForces, xortool, and unpacker)

1.7 Describe the issues related to gathering evidence from virtualized environments (major
cloud vendors)

20% 2.0 Forensics Techniques

2.1 Recognize the methods identified in the MITRE attack framework to perform fileless
malware analysis

2.2 Determine the files needed and their location on the host

2.3 Evaluate output(s) to identify IOC on a host

2.3.a process analysis

2.3.b log analysis

2.4 Determine the type of code based on a provided snippet

2.5 Construct Python, PowerShell, and Bash scripts to parse and search logs or multiple data
sources (such as, Cisco Umbrella, Sourcefire IPS, AMP for Endpoints, AMP for Network,
and PX Grid)

2.6 Recognize purpose, use, and functionality of libraries and tools (such as, Volatility,
Systernals, SIFT tools, and TCPdump)

30% 3.0 Incident Response Techniques

3.1 Interpret alert logs (such as, IDS/IPS and syslogs)

3.2 Determine data to correlate based on incident type (host-based and network-based

3.3 Determine attack vectors or attack surface and recommend mitigation in a given

3.4 Recommend actions based on post-incident analysis

3.5 Recommend mitigation techniques for evaluated alerts from firewalls, intrusion
prevention systems (IPS), data analysis tools (such as, Cisco Umbrella Investigate, Cisco
Stealthwatch, and Cisco SecureX), and other systems to responds to cyber incidents

3.6 Recommend a response to 0 day exploitations (vulnerability management)

3.7 Recommend a response based on intelligence artifacts

3.8 Recommend the Cisco security solution for detection and prevention, given a scenario

3.9 Interpret threat intelligence data to determine IOC and IOA (internal and external

3.10 Evaluate artifacts from threat intelligence to determine the threat actor profile

3.11 Describe capabilities of Cisco security solutions related to threat intelligence (such as,
Cisco Umbrella, Sourcefire IPS, AMP for Endpoints, and AMP for Network)

15% 4.0 Forensics Processes

4.1 Describe antiforensic techniques (such as, debugging, Geo location, and obfuscation)

4.2 Analyze logs from modern web applications and servers (Apache and NGINX)

4.3 Analyze network traffic associated with malicious activities using network monitoring
tools (such as, NetFlow and display filtering in Wireshark)

4.4 Recommend next step(s) in the process of evaluating files based on distinguished
characteristics of files in a given scenario

4.5 Interpret binaries using objdump and other CLI tools (such as, Linux, Python, and Bash)

15% 5.0 Incident Response Processes

5.1 Describe the goals of incident response

5.2 Evaluate elements required in an incident response playbook

5.3 Evaluate the relevant components from the ThreatGrid report

5.4 Recommend next step(s) in the process of evaluating files from endpoints and
performing ad-hoc scans in a given scenario

5.5 Analyze threat intelligence provided in different formats (such as, STIX and TAXII)

Conducting Forensic Analysis and Incident Response Using Cisco CyberOps Technologies (CBRFIR)
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Conducting Forensic Analysis and Incident Response
Using Cisco CyberOps Technologies (CBRFIR)
Question: 51 Section 1
Refer to the exhibit. Which determination should be made by a security analyst?
A. An email was sent with an attachment named "Grades.doc.exe".
B. An email was sent with an attachment named "Grades.doc".
C. An email was sent with an attachment named "Final Report.doc".
D. An email was sent with an attachment named "Final Report.doc.exe".
Answer: D
Question: 52 Section 1
A security team received reports of users receiving emails linked to external or unknown URLs that are non-returnable and non-deliverable. The
ISP also reported a 500% increase in the amount of ingress and egress email traffic received. After detecting the problem, the security team
moves to the recovery phase in their incident response plan. Which two actions should be taken in the recovery phase of this incident? (Choose
A. verify the breadth of the attack
B. collect logs
C. request packet capture
D. remove vulnerabilities
E. scan hosts with updated signatures
Answer: DE
Question: 53 Section 1
An organization uses a Windows 7 workstation for access tracking in one of their physical data centers on which a guard documents
entrance/exit activities of all personnel. A server shut down unexpectedly in this data center, and a security specialist is analyzing the case.
Initial checks show that the previous two days of entrance/exit logs are missing, and the guard is confident that the logs were entered on the
workstation. Where should the security specialist look next to continue investigating this case?
A. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
B. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
C. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Winlog
Answer: A
Question: 54 Section 1
An engineer received a report of a suspicious email from an employee. The employee had already opened the attachment, which was an empty
Word document.
300-215.html[8/4/2021 2:52:25 PM]
The engineer cannot identify any clear signs of compromise but while reviewing running processes, observes that PowerShell.exe was spawned
by cmd.exe with a grandparent winword.exe process. What is the recommended action the engineer should take?
A. Upload the file signature to threat intelligence tools to determine if the file is malicious.
B. Monitor processes as this a standard behavior of Word macro embedded documents.
C. Contain the threat for further analysis as this is an indication of suspicious activity.
D. Investigate the sender of the email and communicate with the employee to determine the motives.
Answer: A
Question: 55 Section 1
An engineer is analyzing a ticket for an unexpected server shutdown and discovers that the web-server ran out of useable memory and crashed.
Which data is needed for further investigation?
A. /var/log/access.log
B. /var/log/messages.log
C. /var/log/httpd/messages.log
D. /var/log/httpd/access.log
Answer: B
Question: 56 Section 1
Refer to the exhibit. An employee notices unexpected changes and setting modifications on their workstation and creates an incident ticket. A
support specialist checks processes and services but does not identify anything suspicious. The ticket was escalated to an analyst who reviewed
this event log and also discovered that the workstation had multiple large data dumps on network shares. What should be determined from this
A. data obfuscation
B. reconnaissance attack
C. brute-force attack
D. log tampering
Answer: B
Question: 57 Section 1
300-215.html[8/4/2021 2:52:25 PM]
Refer to the exhibit. A company that uses only the Unix platform implemented an intrusion detection system. After the initial configuration, the
number of alerts is overwhelming, and an engineer needs to analyze and classify the alerts. The highest number of alerts were generated from
the signature shown in the exhibit.
Which classification should the engineer assign to this event?
A. True Negative alert
B. False Negative alert
C. False Positive alert
D. True Positive alert
Answer: C
Question: 58 Section 1
Refer to the exhibit. After a cyber attack, an engineer is analyzing an alert that was missed on the intrusion detection system. The attack
exploited a vulnerability in a business critical, web-based application and violated its availability. Which two migration techniques should the
engineer recommend? (Choose two.)
A. encapsulation
B. NOP sled technique
C. address space randomization
D. heap-based security
E. data execution prevention
Answer: CE
Question: 59 Section 1
An organization recovered from a recent ransomware outbreak that resulted in significant business damage. Leadership requested a report that
identifies the problems that triggered the incident and the security team's approach to address these problems to prevent a reoccurrence. Which
components of the incident should an engineer analyze first for this report?
A. impact and flow
B. cause and effect
C. risk and RPN
300-215.html[8/4/2021 2:52:25 PM]
D. motive and factors
Answer: D
300-215.html[8/4/2021 2:52:25 PM]
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Cisco Technologies test - BingNews Search results Cisco Technologies test - BingNews Best IT Certifications for 2024

Earning specialized certifications is a surefire way to advance your career in the IT field, regardless of industry or current career level. The right certification validates your skills and knowledge, which makes you more desirable to future employers who want to attract and retain the best employees. Below, we’ll explore the top IT certifications and share how to examine your goals to choose the right path forward. 

We’ve narrowed IT certifications into specific categories to help IT professionals assess what’s available and pursue the best certifications to show their willingness to learn and develop the in-demand career skills employers want.

Best database certifications 

Database platforms have changed greatly over the years, but database technology remains important for various applications and computing tasks. Available certifications for IT professionals include those for database administrators (DBAs), database developers, data analysts and architects, business intelligence, and data warehousing specialists, and other data professionals.

Obtaining database certifications demonstrates an understanding of database concepts, design, implementation, administration and security. This can boost your credibility in the job market and show potential employers that you have the skills needed to work with databases. The best database certifications include the following:

Best SAS certifications 

SAS is one of the world’s leading firms for business analytics, data warehousing and data mining. Today, the SAS Global Certification Program offers 23 credentials across categories including foundation tools, advanced analytics, business intelligence, data management and administration.

SAS programmers remain in high demand, with a quick search of job boards showing thousands of open positions. Obtaining SAS certification shows employers that you are proficient in the company’s popular suite of tools. Some of SAS’s certification programs include the following: 

Many professionals earn certifications to help navigate their career paths. According to the IT Salary Report, 92 percent of information technology professionals have at least one certification.

Best Cisco certifications 

Cisco Systems is a market leader not only in networking and communications products, but also storage networking and solutions for data centers. Cisco offers a variety of certifications for IT professionals, ranging from entry level credentials to expert-level exams. 

These certifications prepare professionals for Cisco-related careers. A search of job boards reveals thousands of open positions for Cisco experts, underscoring the continued relevance of these skills. Some of Cisco’s certifications include the following:

Best Dell certifications 

Dell Technologies remains one of the world’s leading computing companies. In addition to its well-known hardware lineup, Dell also offers solutions for networks, storage, servers, gateways and embedded computing, as well as a broad range of IT and business services.

Becoming certified in Dell products can help make IT professionals competitive in engineering roles for server, virtualization, networking, systems, integration and data security. Additional roles include consultants, account executives, system administrators, IT managers and deployment managers.

Best mobility certifications 

In the mobile era, it has become increasingly important for network engineers to support local, remote and mobile users, as well as provide proper infrastructure. The focus on application and app development now leans more toward mobile environments, requiring security professionals to thoroughly address mobility from all perspectives.

Due to the fast-changing nature of mobile technology, not many mobility certifications have become widely adopted. However, a few of the top mobility certifications can help IT professionals stand out in this rapidly evolving field. 

If part of your job includes selling and implementing an IT solution, you may want to pursue the best sales certifications. You’ll show your organization that you’re willing to go above and beyond to reach sales targets.

Best computer hardware certifications 

As remote and computer-based work has become more common, it’s more important than ever that businesses and individuals be able to maintain their hardware. While discussions about potential computer-related jobs often revolve around software work and coding, jumping into the IT field by becoming a computer technician is an excellent starting point.

Today, thousands of hardware technician jobs are available across the country. Entering this industry becomes more accessible for those who acquire computer hardware certifications. These certifications can showcase your expertise and proficiency in the upkeep of computers, mobile devices, printers and other hardware components.

Best Google Cloud certifications 

IT pros with solid cloud computing skills continue to be in high demand as more companies adopt cloud technologies. Today, Google Cloud is one of the market leaders in the cloud computing space. 

Regardless of where you are in your IT career, engaging with certification programs can demonstrate your willingness to keep on top of rapidly evolving cloud technologies. To that end, Google has introduced a host of certifications for its cloud platform, including the following: 

Best evergreen IT certifications

In the fast-changing world of technology, it can help to focus on certifications that have stood the test of time. “Evergreen” refers to certifications that remain popular year after year. 

The top evergreen certifications are based on recent pay surveys in IT, reports from IT professionals about certifications they want or pursue the most, and those that appear most frequently in online job postings. Obtaining these credentials is one step toward ensuring that your skills remain relevant for a long time: 

Best IT governance certifications 

IT governance provides structure for aligning a company’s IT with its business strategies. Organizations faced with compliance rigors always need experienced IT pros who can see the big picture and understand technology risks. This means certified IT governance professionals are likely to remain in high demand.

Earning one of the following certifications proves a commitment to understanding the role of IT governance and its position in a company’s current and future success. Getting certified can validate your expert knowledge and lead to advanced career opportunities.

Best system administrator certifications 

An IT system administrator is responsible for managing and maintaining the information technology infrastructure within an organization. The position demands sought-after career skills, ranging from configuring and maintaining servers and clients to managing access controls, network services, and addressing application resource requirements.

If you’re in charge of managing modern servers, there’s a long list of tools and technologies that system administrators must master. Obtaining some of the most prominent system administrator certifications can demonstrate your mastery to potential employers. 

Best ITIL certifications 

ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, was developed to establish standardized best practices for IT services within government agencies. Over the ensuing four decades, businesses of all types embraced, modified, and extended ITIL, shaping it into a comprehensive framework for managing IT service delivery. 

The ITIL framework remains the benchmark for best practices in IT service and delivery management, offering certification programs that cater to IT professionals at all levels. These training and certification courses ensure that IT professionals stay well-prepared for the ongoing evolution in IT service delivery management. There are four certifications in the ITIL certification program:

Best enterprise architect certifications 

An IT enterprise architect is responsible for designing and managing the overall structure and framework of an organization’s information technology system. Enterprise architect certifications are among the highest that an IT professional can achieve; fewer than 1 percent ultimately reach this level. 

Enterprise architects are among the highest-paid employees and consultants in the tech industry. These certifications can put IT professionals on a path to many lucrative positions. The average worker earns over six figures annually. Some top enterprise architect certifications are listed below:

To become an enterprise IT architect, you’ll need knowledge of systems deployment, design and architecture, as well as a strong business foundation.

Best CompTIA certifications

CompTIA is a nonprofit trade association made up of more than 2,000 member organizations and 3,000 business partners. The organization’s vendor-neutral certification program is one of the best recognized in the IT industry. Since CompTIA developed its A+ credential in 1993, it has issued more than two million certifications.

CompTIA certifications are grouped by skill set and focus on the real-world skills IT professionals need. Armed with these credentials, you can demonstrate that you know how to manage and support IT infrastructure. 

Best Oracle certifications 

A longtime leader in database software, Oracle also offers cloud solutions, servers, engineered systems, storage, and more. The company has more than 430,000 customers in 175 countries. 

Today, Oracle’s training program offers six certification levels that span 16 product categories with more than 200 individual credentials. Considering the depth and breadth of this program — and the number of Oracle customers — it’s no surprise that Oracle certifications are highly sought after. 

Vendor-specific certifications address a particular vendor’s hardware and software. For example, you can pursue Oracle certifications and Dell certifications to become an expert in those companies’ environments.

Best business continuity and disaster recovery certifications

Business continuity and disaster recovery keep systems running and data available in the event of interruptions or faults. These programs bring systems back to normal operation after a disaster has occurred.

Business continuity and disaster recovery certifications are seeing a healthy uptrend as new cloud-based tools grow in popularity. While business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning have always been essential, they’re becoming more critical than ever — and IT certifications are following suit.

Tue, 02 Jan 2024 09:59:00 -0600 en text/html
Partnering for Sustainability: Cisco’s Collaborative Approach

Published 21 hours ago

Submitted by Cisco Systems, Inc.

A person seated on a tall rock overlooking a winding river.

Embracing sustainability and reducing our environmental footprint has been a longstanding priority at Cisco. For almost two decades, Cisco has set transparent, publicly declared objectives as benchmarks, diligently tracking our progress and holding ourselves accountable. Additionally, we’ve developed comprehensive programs to empower customers to achieve their sustainability goals.

We understand that sustainability is a collaborative effort, and success requires leveraging our extensive partner network. Collaboration is essential, and it’s through working with our partners that we foster innovation and gain support across the value chain. To this end, Cisco has developed several sustainability-focused programs that enable partners to offer customers end-to-end solutions designed with sustainability in mind, while also enhancing deal profitability.

Net zero by 2040

Cisco has embarked on an ambitious journey towards sustainability, aiming to achieve net-zero status by the year 2040. This goal has not been mere words but supported by continuous improvement and innovation across our entire business landscape. Our primary focus has been on delivering tangible, data-validated advancements that lead us closer to the realization of all our sustainability goals, ultimately culminating in our net-zero goal.

These efforts have not gone unnoticed. The approval of our net-zero goal by Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) stands as a testament to the robustness of our plan, the allocation of resources, and the soundness of our strategic approach. This validation confirms our determination to truly meet these targets, helping to forge a path towards a more sustainable future.

As for our partners, whether you are just starting this journey or already investing, there are four key Cisco programs to consider, through which we work together to meet our sustainability objectives.

Earn Your Cisco Environmental Sustainability Specialization

Launched in 2022, the Environmental Sustainability Specialization (ESS) equips partners with Cisco-specific sustainability knowledge. It covers key sustainability terms, the technology behind our Sustainable Solutions, Cisco’s commitment to a circular economy, and supporting programs. Only one person in the company needs to complete this training and exam. For others in the partner organization, we have additional efforts to educate partner sellers on these topics. If you’re not the one going through formal training, we’ll summarize the partner programs you should leverage in this blog.

Leverage the Cisco Takeback & Reuse Program Plus Incentive

Cisco’s Takeback and Reuse program is integral to CEO Chuck Robbins’ commitment to reclaim 100% of customer gear at no cost while providing partners with discount incentives. This program is an important step towards a circular economy, ensuring the responsible end-of-life management of returned equipment, with a remarkable 99.9% material recycling or reuse success rate.

Partners benefit from this initiative through a stackable discount of up to 7% on Refresh deals, applied to new equipment when replacing older gear. To learn more, visit our Takeback and Reuse Program page. Please note that this incentive is exclusively available to partners with ESS certification and program enrollment, so ensure your company is specialized to take advantage of it.

Strategically Position Cisco Refresh

With Takeback products, we seize the opportunity to remanufacture gear based on their life stage, making them available through the Cisco Refresh program. This refurbished gear supports the circular economy, meeting rigorous quality and performance standards, and is readily available with no lead times. It’s cost-effective and environmentally friendly, and has a lower carbon impact than purchasing newly manufactured products. Explore available products on the Cisco Refresh list – the more we take back, the more we can offer!

Utilize Cisco Green Pay

Cisco Green Pay, through Cisco Capital, offers a flexible payment plan for solutions designed with sustainability in mind, covering hardware, software, and services with a set contract term. At term’s end, Cisco reclaims the hardware to support the circular economy, helping support a more sustainable lifecycle. Cisco’s ownership guarantees gear return, providing a consistent refresh cycle and benefits akin to the Takeback program. All of this is offered to the customer, requiring minimal effort from partners. Plus, customers receive a 5% discount when opting for Green Pay.

Let’s Get Started Helping the Planet Together!

Ready to begin? First, become specialized under the ESS and enroll in the Takeback Program. Inform your Cisco team of your interest. We have partner sustainability specialists to assist you in integrating sustainability into your sales approach and boosting your confidence in discussing your customers’ sustainability goals. Prepare for these conversations by researching your customers’ public sustainability goals on their websites.

Although we’ve made progress in reaching our sustainability goals, we recognize that much more work needs to be done to ensure that people and ecosystems can thrive together on a livable planet. There’s no time like the present to get started.

For further information, visit our Environmental Sustainability Products and Solutions webpage or consult your Cisco team for specialist guidance.

View original content here.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 03:02:00 -0600 en text/html
Looking ahead to Cisco Systems’ prospects in 2024

It was an interesting year for the world’s largest networking vendor.

Cisco Systems Inc. put up record revenue and earnings despite a highly volatile macro environment affected by wars, social issues, inflation, rising interest rates and the like. The company also made the biggest acquisition in its history in September when it announced the purchase of Splunk.

And all this is while Cisco is going through the biggest retooling of its products ever. Despite all the changes, because of its cautionary outlook, Cisco stock exited the year only slightly higher than it entered.

Given all the product changes in 2023, this upcoming year should be one where the company sees an acceleration in revenue. Many macro-level uncertainties remain, but the product work is done in many areas. These are five themes I’m expecting to see from Cisco in 2024:

Security gets rolling

The revamping of the security business began when Cisco appointed Executive Vice President Jeetu Patel to run the business unit. He began the transformation of Cisco Security when he hired Raj Chopra to be the chief product officer for security and then added Ambika Kapur, Jeff Schaeffer and Tom Gillis.

Since then, the team has been busy revamping the entire security portfolio. Gone is the seemingly random collection of products, replaced by a Cisco Security Cloud comprising three security suites – Breach, User and Cloud protection. Earlier in the year, Cisco introduced its XDR solution, powered by its next-generation firewall.

This approach greatly simplifies the deployment and purchasing of Cisco technology and creates a “1+1=3” effect. Recently, I talked with Chris Konrad, vice president of global cyber at World Wide Technology, Cisco’s largest reseller, and I asked him about the shift from products to platforms. “Cisco has always had excellent products,” he said. “Duo, Umbrella and others are fine products, but there seemed to be no strategy around how they fit together. Now, with the suites, it’s much easier to articulate the Cisco value versus competing on a product-by-product basis.”

Given the fragmented nature of cybersecurity and the market’s overall size, this is the biggest needle-moving opportunity for Cisco. The product work is done, and good sales execution should lead to a meaningful, organic uptick in revenue.

All in on Webex Contact Center

Cloud contact center is another area where Cisco fumbled the ball in the past. Under previous leadership regimes, Cisco pushed private cloud stacks and Broadsoft as a “cloud.” Although this is definitionally correct, they were not true software-as-a-service-based offerings like those from all the companies in the leadership quadrant of Gartner’s CCaaS Magic Quadrant. Cisco could have acquired one of the many pure plays to jump into the market, but instead it spent the time to leverage the rebuilt cloud-native Webex platform and, in 2023, took the covers off Webex Contact Center.

Although this created a longer journey, it was the right approach, as now Cisco can bring all Webex’s advanced capabilities and AI features to contact center agents. Features such as background noise removal enable agents to work from home without worrying that customers can hear TVs, kids, dogs barking or other distractions.

Like security, the past few years have been about building the product, but now it’s ready to go, and, according to Cisco leadership, the company has seen many early wins. 2024 should be a year of momentum building as Cisco goes from a relatively new entrant to a mainstream vendor.

More ThousandEyes

During the pandemic, Cisco acquired internet monitoring company ThousandEyes. At the time of acquisition, ThousandEyes was considered the best internet monitoring company in the industry, but measuring and monitoring internet performance was primarily linked to SaaS apps.

Previous leadership was slow to leverage the product, but the current ELT has done a nice job integrating ThousandEyes into other Cisco products.

As an example, ThousandEyes is now natively supported on Meraki MX devices. It’s also one of the pillars of Cisco Full Stack Observability, or FSO. Another integration is with Webex, where ThousandEyes helps information technology pros better troubleshoot users and contact center agents working from home.

In the past, IT pros were only concerned with the private, corporate network and treated the internet as a black box. Now that companies have extended work from home indefinitely, ThousandEyes has become a critical troubleshooting tool for digital experience monitoring. I expect Cisco to continue expanding ThousandEyes integration’s footprint to include internet of things endpoints and perhaps some traditional competitors. More ThousandEyes in more places is good for customers, and I’m expecting Cisco to accelerate the reach of the product.

Get onto my networking cloud

If ever there was a product area that Cisco was successful in despite itself, it has been networking over the past decade. The company makes great products but puts so much burden on its customers to manage the various products through different dashboards. Meraki, Catalyst, Viptela and others all had their own management tools. Some were on-premises, and others were cloud-based. If you were a customer and wanted to know how the network was performing, you had to gather data from the various management centers, aggregate it and try to correlate it manually.

That strategy changed when Cisco appointed Jonathan Davidson as executive vice president of all networking products in August 2022. In one of my first meetings with him in this role, he promised the days of “swivel chair management” for Cisco customers were ending.

In 2023, the company announced the Cisco Networking Cloud, where, from a single cloud, customers can access Catalyst Switching, Wi-Fi, software-defined wide-area network, sustainability, AI and network assurance information. I’ve talked to many customers about the Networking Cloud, and they’re looking forward to having a single dashboard. Given the size of Cisco’s networking business, this was badly needed to shift from products to platforms.

One more note: If the strategy looks similar to the transition security went through, it’s because the two leaders, Davidson and Patel, worked closely to ensure Cisco Security and Networking can leverage each other to raise the Cisco value. Although there is minimal integration between the two clouds, this is an area of focus for 2024.

Sustainability takes center stage

Although ESG initiatives for all companies have been big for several years, particularly since the pandemic began, a switch flipped in 2023, where sustainability became a much bigger component of IT procurement. I conduct a chief information officer roundtable monthly, and early in the year, sustainability kept popping up as a top topic to care about, even in the U.S., where it has typically been further down the priority list. As the year went on, I realized the importance of sustainability had shifted and taken on a more important role in IT purchasing, with one CIO telling me it’s now 20% of his company’s request-for-proposal decision-making.

This was echoed by Cisco Global Innovation Officer Guy Diedrich. “If you asked me two years ago how many government leaders cared about sustainability, I would have told you zero,” he said in a conversation at the recent Climate Meetings in New York. “Today, it’s all of them.”

Cisco has a massive amount of data on sustainability that spans all its products. The data can help companies design networks with sustainability in mind, build eco-friendly hybrid workspaces, and understand the impact of data center refreshes. Most important, Cisco’s data can help customers measure their progress toward their sustainability goals, something few customers can do today.

Given the importance of sustainability, combined with the breadth of Cisco’s internal and customer-facing initiatives, it should be able to use this shift to separate itself from its smaller competitors.

What about Splunk?

I’m sure many readers will wonder why I didn’t list Splunk as a top theme for Cisco in 2024. The primary reason is the deal won’t officially close until October, so the impact will be minimal.

One question I can speculate on is what group Splunk will report to. There’s an obvious tie-in to security, but there is also one with networking. Splunk also bolsters Cisco FSO and plays a key role in service engagements. The most likely scenario is that Splunk will report directly to Chief Executive Chuck Robbins, and the data will be used across every part of the Cisco portfolio.

2023 was an interesting year for Cisco in that it put up impressive numbers but finished the year with a negative tone, given its guidance. Product innovation can’t fix macro issues or buyers putting a hold on projects, but the current portfolio is in the best shape in a long time. Security, networking and collaboration have all had major shakeups, and the company is using adjacent products such as ThousandEyes and AppDynamics better. In 2024, particularly the back half, we should see an acceleration of growth for Cisco and networking.

Zeus Kerravala is a principal analyst at ZK Research, a division of Kerravala Consulting. He wrote this article for SiliconANGLE.

Image: Mehaniq/Adobe Stock

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  • Expo City Dubai is embracing a circular approach for COP28, collaborating with Cisco to repurpose hardware and infrastructure that was originally deployed for Expo 2020 Dubai.
  • Expo City is also taking part in Cisco’s Takeback and Reuse Program, which provides the opportunity to return hardware that has reached end-of-use, at no cost.

DUBAI – Cisco’s secure networking technologies are powering Expo City Dubai, the venue for the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

With more than 70,000 delegates expected, including heads of state and world leaders, non-government organizations, youth groups and more, Expo City Dubai is leveraging industry-leading IT infrastructure, while contributing to a circular economy.

Expo City Dubai is reutilizing more than 95% of existing hardware infrastructure spanning Cisco secure networking, data center and collaboration technologies, initially deployed for Expo 2020 Dubai, while introducing new wireless innovations and Cisco’s Customer Experience Consultancy Services to meet the unique connectivity requirements of the Blue and Green Zone areas at COP28. Expo City is also taking part in Cisco’s Takeback and Reuse Program, a zero-cost simple, secure and sustainable way to return end-of-use gear to Cisco, supporting a circular economy.

Eman Al Awadhi, Vice President – Network and Cyber Security, Expo City Dubai, said: “As the former site of the 2020 World Expo continues to evolve into a model for the cities of the future, the team at Expo City Dubai is managing the convergence of information technology and operational technologies with sustainable best practices. We are proud to continue this journey with Cisco, as we work together to ensure a safe, secure and connected site.”

Mary de Wysocki, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Cisco said: “Cisco led the transition into the digital age decades ago. Today, our world needs a new transformation where public and private sectors act to reduce emissions, support nature-based and technology-based carbon removal solutions, and transition to clean energy. Global forums, like COP28, that facilitate this collaboration are a key part in building a low-carbon society. We are proud to work with customers like Expo City Dubai who prioritize circular business practices.”

Reem Asaad, Vice President, Cisco Middle East and Africa, said: “We are proud to support COP28 and the UAE as the host country. As part of our collaboration, Cisco has provided professional and technical services to design, implement and support the network infrastructure at Expo City, enabling attendees and the host nation to connect seamlessly and securely.”

Asaad added, “Today’s announcement is another key milestone in our journey to support the UAE’s vision of unlocking the value of digitization in support of the country’s sustainability efforts.”

Cisco has a long-standing focus on sustainability with an ambitious goal to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 2040—a goal that is approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) under its Corporate Net-Zero Standard. Together with our customers and partners, Cisco is working to empower decisions now that can help bring about a more sustainable future.        

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that securely connects everything to make anything possible. Our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all by helping our customers reimagine their applications, power hybrid work, secure their enterprise, transform their infrastructure, and meet their sustainability goals. Discover more on The Newsroom and follow us on X at @Cisco.  

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.    

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