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Cisco Roundup: Cybersecurity Report 2018, Trade War Impact

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Trade war concerns have escalated since President Trump said he intended to charge a hefty tariff on imported steel and aluminum. But Cisco set aside those fears and also presented the Cisco Cybersecurity Report 2018

Cisco Cybersecurity Report 2018

Cisco CSCO recently released its annual cybersecurity report. Based on a survey of 3,600 chief security officers and security operations leaders from all over the world, the report talked among other things, about the increased sophistication of malware/ransomware attacks.

For one, these malware can spread across a network like worms without the need for any human action like opening email, downloading, etc.

Also, cyber criminals are using encryption to mask command-and-control activity. The researchers noted a 3X increase in encrypted network communication used by inspected malware samples over 12 months. Around 70% of the 400,000 inspected malicious binaries from the last five months used encryption.

Moreover, they are using legitimate Internet services to more easily attack users (in the cloud computing era, it is more difficult to cut off major services like Google and Dropbox).

The report also cautioned against companies adopting IoT devices too quickly without adequately securing them. As they rapidly deploy IoT devices, companies often lose track of the number of end point devices on their networks, which increases their vulnerability to attack. IT departments are also relaxed in their approach to end point security and often don’t take action until catastrophe hits.

The details are paywalled, so this is via Patrick Moorhead of Forbes.

Cisco Not Concerned About Trade War Yet

Naveen Menon, president of Southeast Asia at Cisco, is not yet worried by the prospect of a trade war between the U.S. and southeast Asian countries, notably China. Cisco is seeing very strong growth in the region with each local market growing at least double the rate of growth in GDP (some markets are growing at 4X-5X), indicating infrastructure buildouts. Naturally, this is good for a company like Cisco.  

"If infrastructure spending is up, then people are investing in automation and investing in new technologies. Which is a great thing for us as a company," he said at CNBC's Squawk Box at the YPO Edge conference in Singapore. "The macroeconomic or the geopolitical landscape does not worry me at this point in time," and “Our customers, the public sector or the government or the large companies, are not necessarily impacted directly by that."

Trade war concerns are related to President Trump’s recent declaration of a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% tariff on imported aluminum although he has indicated that there is room for negotiations.



Other news-

Cisco and Arista ANET have been in each other’s hair ever since a former Cisco employee, Jayshree Ullal fell out with the then CEO John Chambers and moved out to join Arista, a company established by former Cisco employees. Over the past few years, Cisco has been filing patent infringement cases against Arista not too successfully, with the court setting aside Cisco’s claims in nine out of 14 cases.

Cisco also tried to prevent Arista from importing products based on its technology, but Arista always managed to design workarounds and continue importing them. All this has costed Cisco because Arista has lapped up its fair share of cloud revenue from customers like Facebook FB, Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) and Microsoft MSFT. Considering the path taken by the companies, it isn’t surprising that the United States District Judge Jeffrey S. White of California's Northern District is now calling for a joint status report from the two companies: "The Court has not received a status report on the investigations and when the parties expect that the stay may be lifted or the case dismissed,"

Cisco has introduced the Cisco SD-WAN vAnalytics to provide IT departments with greater visibility into the WAN, facilitate forecasting for applications and bandwidth planning and offer actionable recommendations. It also launched the Cisco Meraki™ Insight tool that improves end user experience by speeding up WAN-related trouble shooting and problem fixing.  Almost 3 out of 10 organizations consider network outages to be a top WAN concern says an IDC report quoted by the company PR. The IDC report also talks about the need for better visibility and analytics for application management and WAN performance.

Cisco Systems has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can also see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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