Firepower, ISE, and Duo: VPN Config

When it comes to a user’s Remote Access, Cisco’s AnyConnect has been a leader. It just works. That has been my experience as a user. That experience is also consistent for a user if their remote connection has a headend of an ASA or Firepower. However, one thing to note is that the backend administration and setup of Remote Access is different between the two. The ASA’s Remote Access setup has many bells and whistles that Firepower does not, but Firepower’s setup is pretty simple. We’re going to be setting up Remote Access using Firepower, but we are also going to leverage the Cisco Identity Services Engine for authorization policies as well as Cisco Duo for that extra layer of Multi-Factor Authentication protection. Continue reading “Firepower, ISE, and Duo: VPN Config”

Engineering Our Qualities

What is the most important thing you need to learn about in order to succeed in your IT career? Is it mastering a certain system? Is it programming like an expert? Is it creating the best disaster recovery plan? Maybe. Those can be individual accomplishments that can help open doors. However, once you have your foot in the door, how do you maintain a presence that can continue to elevate you in the workplace? It’s great to know everything, but if your attitude stinks your value drops. I put much more value on those humble techs and engineers who try their best, have good attitudes, and are there when their colleagues need them. It’s tough to show those qualities on paper, but they do get noticed by good leadership. I am going to bring up a few qualities that I believe are important to have for anyone that wants to shine in their role. Continue reading “Engineering Our Qualities”

Adventures in Troubleshooting: Chapter 1

To quote the late Bob Ross, “It’s hard to see things when you are too close. Take a step back and look.” When you are in the middle of those early morning troubleshooting sessions, it can be easy to panic. First, you are dealing with being woken up abruptly; everything is fuzzy. Then the person on the other end of the line might not be able to explain exactly what is happening. This combination usually leads to some fun times, sarcastically speaking. The best advice is to take that step back and look at the overall picture. No matter what your troubleshooting approach might be, the goal is to have one. The worst thing you can do is aimlessly wander around hoping to bump into the solution. In this entry I will dig into my mental ticket system of random issues I’ve ran into over the years, pull out three, and cover how those issues were resolved. Continue reading “Adventures in Troubleshooting: Chapter 1”

2021: Thinking Forward

Who doesn’t love to make plans and have goals? It’s January of 2021. Let’s not discuss what happened last year. Many of us accomplished different things and many of us did not. No matter what happened last year, I’d like to look forward to making plans for this year. However, making plans is not enough. Executing is what needs to happen. Sometimes our execution is derailed by many outside factors throughout the year. This will happen. I believe it is best not to thrust all of our worries on the things we cannot control. Let’s focus our energy on the what is within our reach. As a network engineer, there are a few goals I want to briefly write about. I am hoping writing it will help keep me accountable. Continue reading “2021: Thinking Forward”

2020 Cisco IT Blog Awards

I have been nominated as a finalist in the 2020 Cisco IT Blog Awards! I feel blessed to have something I started last year be selected. My main goal in my blog is to motivate others in their IT career. We are all in this together. I have been selected as a finalist for the Most Inspirational category. One thing is for certain, I love to write and I love to motivate.

My one ask as we close this year out is that you take a moment and vote. Look through all the blogs and follow all of the good talent out there in each category. The winners will be announced early next year.

You can vote and check out the entries here: https://www.ciscofeedback.vovici.com/se/705E3ECD2A8D7180

The Occasion for Segmentation

Today’s networks have security and visibility requirements that can warrant complicated designs. A proper routing design takes time. Implementing security takes some thought. Having a properly segmented network goes beyond tossing a bunch of VLANs on a switch. One of the goals in a segmentation design is to engage the business and find out the who, what, where and why of communication in the network. If you know those business purposes, you can design around it. You can implement routing and firewall rules to control who or what has access to certain assets. In this entry to the blog, I have implemented a basic segmented network using EVE-NG. Let’s take a tour! Continue reading “The Occasion for Segmentation”

DNS Security With Palo Alto

I blame DNS! Oh wait, that’s not what I am writing about. Domain Name Service (DNS) is a foundational piece to communication. Unless you know every IP address for every website you want to visit, you are going to need DNS. Users and services all over the world rely on DNS to seamlessly communicate. What a great opportunity for attackers to lead users to malicious destinations. DNS Security provides us a way to stop malicious requests from users’ devices from ever reaching those destinations. There multiple solutions out there to secure the DNS-layer. The focus of this entry is to explore Palo Alto’s solution to DNS Security. Continue reading “DNS Security With Palo Alto”

Study Tips for the Time Challenged

If you are reading this, you are probably trying to study and a very important question has come up: “How do I even make time?”. I look across social media and that is one question that seems to be a concern for many of us. Whether you are studying for a certification, class or even to acquire a new skill, time must be dedicated. If you can show up at every test without taking the time to study and you ace each test, there is no need to read further. However, if you are like the rest of us who often struggle juggling work, family, and everything else that comes behind it, the next few paragraphs will hopefully provide some encouragement. Continue reading “Study Tips for the Time Challenged”

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