Improve your Cyber Security Posture in 2022 with Cisco Umbrella

Improve your Cyber Security Posture in 2022 with Cisco Umbrella
Improve Cyber Security Posture with Cisco Umbrella banner

Cyber security expertise has become a hot commodity in the past few years. The emergence of several high-profile cyberattacks and widespread vulnerabilities has been damaging to many companies globally. Coupled with the fact that cyber security talents are at an all-time low globally, making it even more so in the Philippines. This issue affects both enterprise and SMB companies alike. However, the main difference, is that SMB companies do not have the resources nor the budget of enterprises. around 60% of small and medium businesses go out of business within six months of a cyberattack.

So what can SMB companies do to prevent being part of that chilling statistic? This is where security solutions like that can improve cyber security posture like Cisco Umbrella can help. Cisco Umbrella was awarded last year as the best SME Security Solution in the SC awards and is nominated again for this year. Cisco Umbrella helps businesses block threats before they reach the network, endpoints, and end users. It does this by monitoring the DNS requests of users and checks for any known malicious websites associated with the said URL link.  This allows for your team to monitor and enforce policies in a more central way. Written below are a few features in which you can improve your cyber security posture with Cisco Umbrella.

Preparing for Remote Work/Hybrid Setups

Improve Cyber Security Posture with Cisco Umbrella wfh

Whether your company is returning to the office or adopting for a hybrid or remote work setup, your business should always be ready to protect your users outside the office perimeter. As the past year has shown, we can always be put into a spot where we have to work outside the office perimeter. Keeping your users secure from malware and enforcing security policies anywhere at anytime is key to protected business data.

Cisco Umbrella can help filter out the content and enforce security protocols event outside your network. This can even be set on a timely basis to ensure that users are not disrupted from personal commitments and can be location based.

Strengthening Security Infrastructure to lessen Disruptions

Improve Cyber Security Posture with Cisco Umbrella disruptions

There has been many instances of network disruptions, outages, and downtime during the past years. While they may not be instances of cyberattacks, they are also a cause for concern in the business perspective.

Take for example the 2021 Akamai outage, many companies were crippled during this software configuration update. However, those subscribed to CISCO Umbrella were able to leverage the unique DNS logging system included in the DNS-layer security. This kept them connected to their critical cloud tools despite the provider outages.

Security at no cost to Performance

Your security within your company should not hinder your network’s performance for end users. If users start experiencing slow downs due to your security solution, you effectively sacrificed performance for security. This in the long run can end up costing your company a significant amount of profit and might encourage users to use backdoor applications for convenience.

Cisco Umbrella works seamlessly behind the scenes to ensure that your users don’t even know it’s running in the background. In fact, Cisco Umbrella can also help your performance with some SaaS applications with its secure connection to some of the leading SaaS applications.

We will be covering this topic in-depth in a later article to further discuss the capabilities of Cisco Umbrella. If you would like to learn more now however, you may contact us at so we can set a customer meeting with you at your convenience!

Cisco Meraki: Your First Year is on Us

Cisco Meraki: Your First Year is on Us

Are you thinking of switching or experiencing the simplicity of the Meraki Dashboard? Or are you a current Meraki user looking to expand your Meraki lineup?  You’re in luck! For a limited time only, Meraki will be running a “First Year on Us” promo.

For a limited time only, any customer that purchases a new Cisco Meraki cloud management license for 3 years or more will get an additional year added at no extra cost! The extra 365 days are added automatically in the dashboard. No further steps required.

First Year On Us is available globally. License renewals do not qualify for this promotion.

Why Cloud Networking and the Meraki Dashboard

Meraki is a powerful tool that businesses can use to manage their network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. It provides a user-friendly interface that enables IT administrators to monitor and control their network from anywhere, at any time.

One of the main benefits of using Meraki is its ease of use. The dashboard is designed to be intuitive and straightforward, with a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to configure and manage network devices. This means that even non-technical staff can quickly learn how to use it.

Another advantage of using Meraki is its scalability. It is designed to work with networks of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises. As your business grows, you can easily add new devices and expand your network without having to worry about compatibility issues or other technical challenges.

Meraki also provides comprehensive network visibility and analytics. It allows you to monitor your network in real-time, so you can quickly identify and troubleshoot any issues that arise. Additionally, it provides detailed analytics and reports that can help you make informed decisions about your network infrastructure.

For more information about this promo, you may reply to this email or directly call us at 893-9515 and we would be happy to help!

*Terms and conditions will apply.

Cisco Umbrella: Camuto Group Case Study

Cisco Umbrella: Camuto Group Case Study

The Challenge

A US footwear and lifestyle brand company, the Camuto Group, has been thriving in their industry due to the unique designs that sets them apart from the competition.  However, the company’s creativity is also one of its IT’s main pain points when it comes to security.  With almost 100 employees working remotely and another 250 roaming laptop users, it makes it difficult for IT to allow the flexibility to access the wide range of edgy sites which many web filtering solutions block incorrectly.

Tom Olejniczak, Camuto Group’s network engineering manager says that they found the traditional approach to securing the web experience (Proxy servers) caused too many problems that needed manual resolution.  Meaning whenever someone could not access a site, someone from IT had to go to that user to help resolve the issue, which was not feasible for them given the multiple remote and roaming users.

They needed to find a network security solution that protected on and off-network devices which didn’t add to their latency that could help them as malware and social media started to cut into the productivity of the users.

The Solution

Tom says that the company has been following Umbrella as their first line of defense since it was still OpenDNS.  However, to test if there were better alternatives, they decided to try two similar products to Umbrella.  The result of the test was that Umbrella outperformed both products whether it was by malware protection and overall user experience.

This was achieved by deploying Umbrella’s virtual appliances.  This gave them the visibility to see if internal networks or Active Directory users were infected or targeted by attacks without the need to touch devices or reauthenticate users.  Users working out of the corporate network are protected via Umbrella’s roaming client which was simple to put in place as adding someone to a group in Microsoft Active Directory.

The Camuto Group saw immediate impact on the security, almost four hundred detections of malware were redirected on a daily basis.  The solution itself also was great for user experience as it is unobtrusive and even helped improve the speed of the internet slightly, about five to ten percent.

The ability to white and black list sites was one of the main concerns of the company that Umbrella helped solve quite easily.  Tom says that they are able to choose safe and HR-acceptable categories for content filtering fast, it would usually take them about 3 minutes make a change.

To learn more about the Cisco, you may check out our product page here or you can contact us directly at 893-9515 for more details!

University of Kansas Hospital: A Cisco Umbrella Case Study

University of Kansas Hospital: A Cisco Umbrella Case Study

The challenge: gaining transparency to secure sensitive data

Ranked among the nation’s best hospitals every year since 2007 by U.S. News & World Report, The University of Kansas Hospital is the region’s premier academic medical center. Physicians teach as faculty members at the KU School of Medicine and are at the forefront of medical discoveries taking place at the KU Medical Center, a research leader in cancer treatment and prevention, neurology and liver and kidney transplantation.

Like every hospital, University of Kansas Hospital prioritizes its IT security as to avoid threats such as malware from affecting or theft of its patient’s sensitive data.  This means that they have to safeguard every medical device that is connected to their network, any compromise to this could cause a life-or-death situation.  Besides this, as an academic hospital as well, they also deal with a lot of sensitive research data and intellectual property.

When the time ransomware was beginning to impact hospitals around the world, University of Kansas Hospital started to look for security solutions that would help deliver their commitment for the best possible healthcare experience.  This led them to realize that visibility was a major challenge and attacks were starting from DNS.

The solution: security that starts at the DNS layer

To start improving the existing security design, University of Kansas Hospital started to initially implement different solutions to help produce very basic information about the infected machines, however they lacked full visibility into the source of the infection.  Meaning that they could see the malicious sites being accessed but only trace the infection only till the proxy server, IP address, or their DNS server.

 “First we just pointed our external DNS requests to Cisco Umbrella’s global network, which netted enough information to prompt an instant ‘Wow, we have to have this!’ response,” Duong says. “When our Umbrella trial began, we saw an immediate return, which I was able to document using Umbrella reporting and share with executive stakeholders. Those numbers, which ultimately led to executive buy-in, spoke volumes about the instant effect Umbrella had on our network.”

After they did an initial test of pointing their external DNS requests through the Cisco Umbrella global network, it provided enough information for them to immediately start a trial with Umbrella.  After beginning their trial, they were able to see immediate returns, which were then documented through Umbrella’s reporting and shared to their executive stakeholders.  This eventually led to an executive buy-in for Umbrella.

The result: Bolstered security and unprecedented insight

For University of Kansas Hospital, Deploying Umbrella was fast while also giving them an immediate time-to-value experience.  In just one hour of Umbrella going live, they saw a huge increase in visibility, protection, and blocked malicious traffic.  From their usual 100,000 hits against the network (20 to 30 percent of which were ransomware), they were able drop the number down to nearly zero with Umbrella.

Once they enabled AD integration as well to their Umbrella (which took only an hour), they were able to move from struggling to find attacks to being able to correlate users with events and trace every clock of their online journey.  This also gave them ways on how to investigate and understand each threat that was hitting their network to help better understand user behavior to help better mitigate them as efficiently as they can.

Cisco Umbrella has dramatically improved the incident response of University of Kansas hospital for the better, one incident before Umbrella would have taken 2 days now has been lessened by at least 75% or even can be done in 30 minutes.

To learn more about Cisco products, you can visit our Cisco Product Page here or you may call us at 893-9515 and we would be happy to answer your inquiries!

CT Link Partners with Kaisa for a “Train the Trainer” Program!

CT Link Partners with Kaisa for a “Train the Trainer” Program!

As part of CT Link Systems efforts to give back to the community, we have teamed up with Kaisa Heritage foundation, a non-profit organization advocating Filipino-Chinese cultural and community development, to set up a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program in which computer equipment was donated and sessions are being conducted to help the literacy of computer applications of the attendees.

There were many directions in which the program was headed during inception, however we decided that the best way to give back to the community was through sharing our knowledge that we have gained throughout the years.  The “Train the Trainer” program to expand the trainee’s computer competency, focused mainly on Microsoft Office 365 applications.  Our aim for the training sessions is to help improve the productivity of teachers who more often then not, use the Office 365 in their day to day life.  Another objective of ours was to introduce to them useful collaboration features in Office 365 that they may not be aware of due to the monotonous use of the traditional Microsoft Office suite.

Through the help of Kaisa Foundation, we were able to also partner with different educational organizations such as The Teachers Gallery, a non-profit organization that aims to offer learning opportunities related to inclusive education to both teachers and the broader education community, and AiHu Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting computer education for out-of-school youths.  These organizations provided the program with all of our participating teachers while our employee volunteers acted as the teachers and facilitators for the program.  Sharing the knowledge and skills through this training program has never been more rewarding for our employee volunteers knowing that what they shared will stream down to the teachers’ students.

As part of the CSR program, Kaisa has received 8 units of HP 280MT Desktops with Microsoft Windows 10 OS and HP N223v monitors.  Besides the computer equipment, other necessities were donated to the Angelo King Heritage Center to ensure that the CSR program would be able to be help in Kaisa such as Microsoft Office 365 (Business premium) subscriptions, Cisco Meraki MX64 firewall, Datto AP60 access point devices, 3COM PoE switch, and an internet subscription from Converge.  This was all made possible by the generous help from our vendor partners from HP Inc., Cisco and Microsoft who have helped us through the program.



Cisco Announces new small Business WiFi Solution, Meraki Go

Cisco Announces new small Business WiFi Solution, Meraki Go

Cisco, a global leader in networking solutions, has announced the launch of its latest innovation, Meraki Go, a small business WiFi solution. Meraki Go is designed to simplify the network for small businesses by offering an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution that promises to take their network to the next level. This innovative solution is set to revolutionize the way small businesses approach their network infrastructure.

With the launch of Meraki Go, Cisco aims to provide a solution that caters to the needs of small businesses. Small businesses have unique requirements when it comes to network infrastructure. They need a solution that is easy to use, reliable, and cost-effective. Meraki Go is designed to meet all these requirements and more.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes Meraki Go the ultimate small business WiFi solution.

What is Cisco Meraki Go?
Cisco Meraki Go is a cloud-managed WiFi solution that provides small businesses with an easy-to-use and cost-effective network infrastructure. Meraki Go is designed to be simple, reliable, and affordable. The solution is suitable for small businesses with up to 50 employees.

Meraki Go provides a powerful WiFi network that is easy to set up and manage. The solution includes a range of access points that cater to the needs of different types of small businesses. The access points are designed to provide a strong WiFi signal throughout the business premises.

Meraki Go is managed through a simple and intuitive mobile app. The app provides small business owners with the ability to manage their network from anywhere. The app allows them to monitor the network, view usage statistics, and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Below is an introduction video for Meraki Go:

Currently Meraki Go is not available yet in the Asian market, it is currently available for purchase online on the western markets.  We will be posting an update as soon as we hear any new updates.  To learn more about Meraki go, you may visit their main site here or you may contact us at 893 9515 for more details!

New Vulnerability aLTEr Discovered by Researchers

New Vulnerability aLTEr Discovered by Researchers

Researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum & New York University Abu Dhabi have recently discovered three types of attacks/vulnerabilities for devices using Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network protocol that cyber criminals can use to steal your data.  The researched team has dubbed the attacks as “aLTEr”.  With LTE (a form of 4G) as a standard in the mobile communications industry, many of their users can be affected by these new attacks.  However, according to the researchers, the efforts in which to do these attacks are so high that they will most likely only target those of special interest like politicians or high-level management of corporations.

aLTEr attacks can either be passive or active in nature.  The passive attacks are considered so as they do not directly interfere with network connections, what they cyber criminals do are to release a type of tool in which they use to eavesdrop on the activities of the user.    This means that they can monitor your internet activities and collect information on the user’s habits on the internet and use it to their advantage.

An active attack on the other hand, makes use of the middle-man method.  Through the vulnerability found within the data layers, attackers are able to intercept your traffic with the network.  They are able to fool the network into thinking that they are the user and vice versa so that they may redirect you to a malicious website rather than the intended destination so that they may try to steal your data or infect your device without you nor the network knowing.

Although stated that this is not vulnerabilities which will affect the majority of LTE users, there are still those at risk.  The researchers have recommended the following steps you can take to avoid prevent these attacks:

  • Update the specification. A specification updates means that the implementation of all devices must be changed, which leads to a high financial and organizational effort. This is likely not feasible in practice.
  • Correct HTTPS configuration. Using correct parameters for HTTPS (especially HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)) helps to prevent the redirection to a malicious website. It can act as an additional layer of protection.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN). Using VPN tunnel with integrity protection and end point authentication helps to prevent the attack. The VPN tunnel acts similar to HTTPS as additional security layer.

For those interested in an extra layer of defense against attacks like aLTEr, Cisco Umbrella and Cisco AMP for endpoints are the solutions you are looking for.  Cisco Umbrella acts as your first layer of defense as it protects your endpoints from downloading malicious requests such as phishing attempts or infected websites trying to download in the background.  For threats that can’t be blocked by umbrella, such files downloaded by the user outside of the Umbrella network, there is Cisco AMP for endpoints.  Cisco AMP for endpoints can block malware using global data analytics, perform exploit prevention, uses machine learning, perform rootkit scanning, and has a built-in antivirus engine.

To learn more about aLTEr attacks you may read up on the official website.  To learn more about Cisco Umbrella and Cisco AMP for Endpoints, you may call us at 893-9515 for more information!


Ransomware Lunch & Learn With Cisco!

Ransomware Lunch & Learn With Cisco!

Ransomware is becoming more prevalent now as more companies are starting to have their networks infected with these disruptive malware.  With this in mind, Cisco has been improving their security portfolio to keep your IT infrastructure same from these malicious malware attacks.  Learn more about it from our Cisco experts on July 17, 2018 at Discovery Primea at our Ransomware Lunch & Learn event!  Get a chance to win a Smart TV and other goodies as well as you learn more about how you can stay safe from ransomware attacks.  To learn more about the event or how to register for it, please contact us at 893-9515!

About Cisco

Cisco is a multinational technology corporation that specializes in networking and communication technologies. The company is headquartered in San Jose, California, and has offices and operations in over 100 countries worldwide.

Founded in 1984, Cisco has become a leading provider of networking equipment and solutions for businesses and organizations of all sizes. The company’s products and services include routers, switches, wireless access points, security solutions, collaboration tools, and software-defined networking solutions.

Cisco’s networking solutions enable businesses to connect their devices, applications, and data across local and wide-area networks, as well as the internet. The company’s products are designed to provide fast, reliable, and secure connectivity, with features such as Quality of Service (QoS), network segmentation, and advanced security protocols.

In addition to its hardware products, Cisco also offers a range of software solutions for network management, security, and collaboration. The company’s software-defined networking solutions provide a flexible and scalable approach to network management, enabling businesses to easily configure and manage their networks through a centralized dashboard.

Cisco’s collaboration tools enable teams to work together more effectively, with features such as video conferencing, messaging, and file sharing. The company’s security solutions provide protection against cyber threats, with features such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and endpoint protection.

Meraki Wireless Health is Now in Beta!

Meraki Wireless Health is Now in Beta!

Last January Cisco announced that they would be adding an exciting new feature for Meraki, the Meraki Wireless Health.  In essence, Wireless Health is a powerful heuristics engine which can promptly find errors which are affecting the end users experience across multiple stages of their connectivity, which includes association, authentication, IP addressing and DNS availability, then does a quick cause of analysis and response.

This helps IT administrators to quickly find out whether there are users who are able or unable to successfully access the wireless network and easily identify the problematic access points, clients, and failing connection stages that are the source of bad end user experience.  Being able to see all access points (AP) in a given network is a critical factor in having a successful end user experience by identifying and repairing problems to avoid lengthy and inopportune downtime and latency.

With this in mind, Cisco as recently announced that Meraki Wireless Health has become available to all existing MR customers at no additional cost or charge as a generally available beta feature.  To access it, you just need to navigate to Wireless > Wireless health in the Meraki dashboard.

To learn more about Meraki, you can visit our Product page here or directly contact us at 893-9515 and we will be happy to help you!

About Cisco

Cisco is a multinational technology conglomerate that specializes in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of networking equipment, software, and services. Founded in 1984, the company is headquartered in San Jose, California, and has a global presence in over 100 countries.

Cisco’s core business revolves around networking solutions, including routers, switches, wireless access points, and security appliances, which are used by businesses and organizations of all sizes to connect devices and share data. Additionally, the company offers a range of software solutions and services, including collaboration tools, analytics, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.

Cisco is also a major player in the development of new technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G mobile networks. The company has invested heavily in research and development, and has acquired a number of technology startups in order to stay at the forefront of innovation.

Wireless Big Data: A Tech Update with Cisco and Pure Storage

Wireless Big Data: A Tech Update with Cisco and Pure Storage

Wireless big data has the ability to provide in-depth information and analytics which allows operators to facilitate data-driven approaches for network optimization and operation. CT Link Systems, Inc. in partnership with MSI-ECS Philippines will be hosting a tech update on Cisco (specifically on Cisco Meraki) and Pure Storage this coming June 14, 2018 at M Cafe.  We hope to help further educate our attendees on how today’s businesses can benefit on the new innovations from both brands when partnered up with our CT Link business solutions.

To learn more about these solutions, you can email or contact us directly at 893-9515 to find out how you can register for this event!

About Cisco Meraki

Cisco Meraki is a cloud-based networking solution that provides a wide range of networking products, including wireless access points, switches, security appliances, and mobile device management tools. The platform is designed to simplify the deployment, management, and troubleshooting of enterprise networks.

One of the key features of Cisco Meraki is its centralized management interface. All Meraki devices are managed through a single dashboard that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it easy to deploy and manage networks across multiple locations without needing to physically access each device.

Another key feature of Cisco Meraki is its cloud-based architecture. Meraki devices communicate with each other and with the management dashboard over the internet, eliminating the need for on-premise hardware or software. This reduces the upfront cost of deploying a network and makes it easier to scale as needed.

Cisco Meraki also provides advanced security features to protect networks and data. Meraki devices can be configured to enforce policies such as content filtering, intrusion prevention, and malware protection. The platform also includes tools for threat detection and response, giving network administrators the ability to quickly identify and mitigate security risks.

In addition to networking and security products, Cisco Meraki also offers mobile device management tools. This allows organizations to manage and secure their mobile devices, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Meraki’s mobile device management tools include features such as remote wipe, device enrollment, and application management.