Cisco Anyconnect 4.0 – Whats New – Why Consider – Free Migrations

AnyconnectLogo1Cisco released Anyconnect 4.0 this past November (more on the announcement HERE). Here is a really good video summarizing Anyconnect HERE.

Anyconnect is Cisco’s flagship VPN solution providing users access to internal sources from anywhere, on any device regardless of physical location. Anyconnect has many bells and whistles such as “always on” meaning auto-connecting when off network yet turning off when on a trusted network, throttling apps that eat up bandwidth, checking the posture of devices prior to permitting connectivity (anti virus, system updates, etc), security for selective apps and many more. Cisco’s old VPN client IPsec is end of life (more HERE) so hopefully those using IPsec have migrated. Continue reading

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Splunk Cisco Security App – Expanding Cisco Security With Centralized Reporting and Multi-Vendor Alerting

There are many SIEM solutions available however I was extremely impressed with recent innovations from Splunk regarding a free Application that can be used to centralize security data from multiple cisco solutions. By definition, a security information and event monitoring system aka SIEM is typically just that; either a good information sorting tool or solution that helps identify and react to events.

One of Splunk’s key market differentiators is their extensive application library developed by customers and Splunk engineering. These applications turn the traditional SIEM into a business enabler to meet specific use cases. Splunk has developed cisco applications in the past however recently face-lifted the cisco Security Application to include Cisco access control (ISE), email security (ESA), web security (WSA), Cisco firewalls, and even SourceFire (both network and only SIEM as of today to support malware aka AMP). This application can link findings with other vendor data such as taking ISE context (IE Joey’s windows 7 laptop on port 1/0/14) and matching it to any captured log by Splunk (For example a McAfee IPS event). This provides a true centralized view of data across a network.

Splunk1 Continue reading

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Identity Services Engine ISE 1.2 – Updated First Look

I recently posted about the new release of ISE 1.2 HERE. I finally got a new server and configured my lab. Here are some comments to build on my last ISE 1.2 post

Main interface: I really like the new look. The homepage and tabs at the top are cleaner.

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 2.48.22 PM Continue reading

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Cisco ISE helps achieve at least half of SANS 20 Critical Security Controls

Aman Diwakar did a great post on how Cisco ISE aligns with the SANS 20 Critical Security Controls. The original post can be found here

Also, Lancope offers more ways to meet the SANS 20 Critical Security Controls. More on that can be found HERE

digital-globe Continue reading

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How to build a basic Cisco Identity Services Engine ISE home lab

I’ve posted about configuring Cisco Identity Services Engine ISE for a few use cases however have had requests to explain the steps to setup a basic lab. This post serves as a guide to get a basic ISE lab running to test LAN or Mobile devices. My lab uses an Apple Macmini as an ESXI 5.1 server hosting the ISE virtual machine (explained HERE).  See the configuration guides for details on configuring a lab.

Virtual Machine Setup: Download the latest ISE .ISO file from cisco.com. Access the ESXI GUI and select New Machine. The recommended specs for a custom New Machine:

  • Virtual Machine version 7
  • Linux 5 32 bit
  • 2 virtual CPU
  • 4 gig of memory
  • 60 gig of space – thin provisioning (I find thick isn’t necessary for a lab) Continue reading
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Post NAC: Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) and Lancope StealthWatch for Total Access Control

Controlling who and what access your network is a critical element to keep your resources safe from malicious threats. Network Admission Control (NAC) solutions like the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) can police who and what is permitted network access as well as enforce policy for those devices. Examples would be permitting an administrator with a government furnished Windows 7 laptop access to VLAN 10, which holds internal servers, while provisioning a marketing professional’s iPad with VLAN 20 access, which is limited to Internet and email through the use of ACLs. Continue reading

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Installing Lancope StealthWatch on a Mac mini for Small Lab

Lancope enables visibility for security and network performance. Security capabilities focus on identifying insider threats such as botnets, malware and data loss using non-signature network wide correlation of all traffic. Pretty much anything touching the physical or virtual network leaves a footprint known as NetFlow that is investigated for malicious intent and performance statics.

Lancope offers a virtual and physical appliance option for the StealthWatch technology making it easy to build a lab. This post will explain how to build a simple Lancope lab integrated with Cisco ISE 1.2 beta using an Apple Mac mini server hosting vSphere ESXI 5.1 with ASA 5505 firewall. Continue reading

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Situational Awareness For Cyber Threat Defense

Aamir Lakhani did a great post on Situational Awareness. The original post ca be found HERE

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Illustration by Kekai Kotaki

Problem

Cisco Systems in their Cyber Security Threat Defense white papers outlines how the network security threat landscape is evolving. They describe how modern attacks are stealthy and evade traditional security perimeter defenses. Continue reading

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