Cisco, Apple Join Group Providing Cyber-Security Services

Today’s topics include Cisco, Apple, Aon and Allianz partnering on cyber-risk management; Microsoft expanding its Azure cloud budgeting toolset; Layered Insight entering the container security market; and Lumileds using LEDs to light up Super Bowl LII.

Cisco along with partners Apple, Aon and Allianz announced a new cyber-risk partnership on Feb. 5 that will bring cyber-security services and insurance to organizations.

The effort includes a cyber-risk assessment service from Aon to help organizations understand and evaluate security posture, and Cisco’s security technologies to help enforce and protect against threats, specifically ransomware attacks. By combining Aon's assessment with Cisco technology and hardware from Apple, insurance provider Allianz will provide organizations with cyber-insurance coverage policy options.

David Ulevitch, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's security business unit, said, "We really want to help customers think a lot more holistically about security. We want to make sure that once companies have a more secure cyber-security posture that they are able to mitigate risk through cyber-insurance."

Microsoft is adding more transparency to the process of calculating and managing cloud costs for large Azure customers.

A recent study from Densify found that 75 percent of organizations can't precisely tally their cloud expenses or are spending more than their budgets allow. In response, Microsoft has updated its Azure Budgets API to add more granularity to the platform's cost- and usage-reporting capabilities.

Supported use cases include creating cost budgets for multiple resource groups in an Azure subscription or multiple resources within a resource group and subscription. IT organizations can also set budgets based on usage metrics pertaining to a resource group or subscription. Azure Budgets API also now supports Action Groups, enabling users to trigger notification actions when they are about to hit budgetary limits.

The container security technology industry is continuing to grow, with startup Layered Insight joining the ranks January 2015 and announcing its new CEO Sachin Aggarwal on Feb. 5. The company has not announced any funding yet, though Layered Insight does have a product in the market and more than two dozen customers as it aims to help organizations gain better visibility into and control of container environments.

The Layered Insight platform integrates multiple container security capabilities, including assessment, compliance and control features.

Aggarwal said the company provides insight into containerized environments including edge, internet of things deployments through a full software composition analysis and software fingerprinting.

Super Bowl LII was a great visual experience for TV viewers, thanks to images that were greatly enhanced through IT lighting from Lumileds. Lumileds makes LED and affiliated lighting solutions for a wide range of use cases.

Lumileds’ Kathleen Hartnett said, “Sports lighting is fascinating in how it’s evolved. … A lot of innovation from the lighting side comes from the properties of the LEDs and what you can do with LED technology that’s not been possible before.”

One of those items has to do with beam control. Hartnett said, “This has to do with the optical source size and the properties of the LED itself, so that the light goes where you want it and doesn’t cause glare or spill light into the surroundings.” LEDs enable beam control and have a lifespan and electrical efficiency several times greater than incandescent lamps, and are significantly more efficient than most fluorescent lamps. The LED lamp market is projected to grow by more than 12-fold over the next decade, from $2 billion in the beginning of 2014 to $25 billion in 2023.