Cisco signs on to provide connectivity solutions for Commonwealth Games

Cisco will provide the firewalls, routers, switches, and wireless access points needed to connect dozens of venues and tens of thousands of devices during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor
(Image: Cisco)

Cisco has announced that it will be providing the connectivity hardware and solutions for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast.

According to Cisco, it will enable a 1,900km-long "highly secure and intelligent network" stretching from Cairns to Coolangatta in Queensland, providing the connectivity from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) Technology Operation Centre.

Cisco will also provide scalable and high-speed network infrastructure across the 18 competition venues, 18 media centres, and 24 volunteer venues requiring connectivity.

"The Cisco network is predicted to connect 25,000 devices, providing operational Wi-Fi for 6,600 athletes and officials and 3,500 media, enabling the sharing of video, data, and information to run dedicated applications," Cisco said on Friday.

"Offering highly secure network hardware solutions behind the scenes, Cisco will provide foundational technology elements such as firewalls, routers, switches, wireless access points that will enable the media to broadcast the action around the world."

GOLDOC chair Peter Beattie said Cisco will have less than a year to effectively "upscale GOLDOC from a startup operation to a global enterprise" as it grows from 50 to 1,500 employees.

Earlier this week, Cisco also announced acquiring forensic security cloud service provider Observable Networks in an attempt to improve its threat-detection solution across its networks, with the acquisition set to complete in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.

"Observable Networks' technology is based on dynamic behavioral modelling of all devices on the network," Cisco said in a blog post.

"Observable Networks' solutions provide security analysts with the ability to gain real-time situational awareness of all users, devices, and traffic on the network, whether in the datacentre or the cloud."

Using Obervable Networks, Cisco said it will extend its Stealthwatch platform into the cloud, providing greater software security solutions following its unveiling of its new security-centric "network intuitive".

According to a blog post by Cisco senior VP and GM of Networking and Security David Goeckeler, the encrypted traffic analytics arm of the network intuitive solved "one of the biggest challenges in network security" by inventing technology that can identify malware in encrypted traffic without decrypting information and therefore risking a privacy breach.

"Encrypted traffic analytics ... is revolutionary innovation that's only possible through a combination of all the threat intelligence that we have with our TALOS security platform; the programmability of the silicon; 30 years of understanding packet flow dynamics; and the context that we see on the network," Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins added.

"Our team has launched encrypted traffic analytics with 99.995 percent efficacy that can determine when there's malware in encrypted traffic without decrypting it, really threading the needle between privacy and security."

Cisco's "network intuitive" is intended to enable the scale, complexity, and security required by the billions of devices to be added to the internet in future, Robbins said last month.

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