Category Archives: UC Security Posts

Network Programmability and Automation – Reviewing was Fun and Learning!

In my last post on tech editing of Network Defense and Countermeasures , I shared that it was a refreshing experience tech editing a pure play security book.

I tech reviewed / edited a new cadre of book – Network programmability and automation late last year. This is the book by O’Reilly. I’ve reviewed a few reports earlier by O’Reilly however, this was first manuscript that I got to review so it was beyond just a few pages.

So, what’s different from other titles I reviewed? Simple, this book is all about automation and programmability of Networks to automate mundane tasks and let scripts do things for us. Yes, it is very different and while I have decent experience in using scripts with cloud platforms, it was also a learning opportunity with various languages and frameworks explained in the book. This is s good read for those trying to build up on automation and scripting side of things.

Here’s few glances of the book.

Look forward to do more automation with SDN platforms, public cloud and otherwise in upcoming months; of course alongside securing the unsecured.

Happy reading.


Network Defense and Countermeasures – Tech Edited!

The third edition of Network Defense and Countermeasures is out on shelf. And it was really fun tech editing it. The book is really comprehensive from basics to advance topics. It’s available on Amazon

I just got my copy in mail and it was exciting to see something printed (yes on real paper; not Kindle) with my name to it.

Yes, it’s a very refreshing change from looking at ebooks and such.

More to come in following months 🙂

Happy reading!

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Posted by on April 27, 2018 in UC Security Posts


My CCIE 10th Year Anniversary Plaque

My CCIE 10th Year Anniversary Plaque

Today’s a special day. Just got my CCIE 10th Year Anniversary Plaque. In all it’s glory – shining like nothing has ever shined! 7th Dec 2007 was the day when I achieved my first CCIE and then in Feb 2009 the second one. Been a decade and still the memories of that era never fade; and for good.

CCIE 10th Year Anniversary

This plaque is something that reminds me of the grits and guts I put in 10 years ago. A sweet memoir of days when I used to slog day in and day out in preparation of my greatest personal battle – that of achieving the highly coveted CCIE title. It was my love, my life and I adored it not just once but twice – doing my Double CCIE.

“Nostalgia at its best!”

Proud and humble to be one of a few thousand CCIEs across the globe. Good to remember what I stood for and feels even better to keep doing what I love – my passion for technology and zest to learn has only grown with time.

Thank you dear god, my parents, my family and my friends for your love, support, and blessings.


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Posted by on February 2, 2018 in UC Security Posts


2017 – Year in Review and Looking Ahead from Cyber Security Standpoint

It’s been a while that I’ve posted however, it is because my new job and regional profile. I’ve been traveling a fair bit and being kept on the toes  🙂

Not keeping away from facts, 2017 was a year of (cyber)security incidents. From ransom ware for example  Petya to breaches at Equifax and Uber (and so many more), the year was pretty eventful from security perspective. Not just we witnessed big names getting breached and user data ex-filtrated, there was a mass momentum from bad guys to target and bring down key industry players in no time.

In response, security vendors were swift and came out with workarounds and fixes. Moreover, industry became aware of the fact (yet again) that humans are the weakest link in the scheme of cyber security. Vulnerabilities and exploits were introduced by virtue of weak security construct, policies, and configuration.

To sum it up – 2017 was an eventful year and a handful for security analysts and advisers alike. Looking forward – 2018 has had a big bang start with Meltdown and Spectre exploits. We’ll see how 2018 turns out from cyber security perspective however, I have a strong feeling it will be a step up as dark net continues to grow and flourish and the bad guys continue exploiting the connected systems.

Happy New Year to everyone!

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Posted by on January 14, 2018 in UC Security Posts


Third Time is a Charm!!! Upcoming CIPTV1 and CIPTV2 Books

It’s said that third time is a charm. Looks like it is indeed the case when it comes for me to author books.

After the first two books – Securing Cisco IP Telephony Networks and CCIE Collaboration Quick Reference, I’ve yet again conjured my author spirit and have co-authored two more Cisco Press books.

The first to hit the shelves in late Mar to early Apr 2016 is Implementing Cisco IP Telephony and Video, Part 2 (CIPTV2) followed by Implementing Cisco IP Telephony and Video , Part 1 (CIPTV1) which is set to be released in Jul 2016. These are part of the new CCNP Collaboration exam and are absolutely revamped from earlier avatars.

CIPTV1 addresses CCNP Collaboration Exam 300-070 while CIPTV2 addresses exam 300-075.

Both books are available for pre-order (both e-book and paperback) at following links:

Addressing CUCM architecture to design to deployment, Cisco VCS, Cisco Telepresence based Video Conferencing, Cisco Expressway, and many more topics – these books pack a punch!!! Of course, they’re aligned with the CCNP Collaboration exam blueprint so they are go to reference material to pass CIPTV1 and CIPTV2 exams with flying colours.




I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I enjoyed writing them 🙂


P.S. More stuff to follow including webinars, excerpts, reviews and much more shortly.

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Posted by on March 14, 2016 in UC Security Posts


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Cisco IP Phones Cannot be Turned Into Listening Devices! – By Aurus

I was requested to post this topic by Aurus, a Cisco Solution Partner that develops software solutions on top of Cisco UCM, UCCX/UCCE and TelePresence. Remember the funtenna story? If you didn’t hear about it or missed it, I have it posted in one of my earlier blogs. Nevertheless – Enjoy this post 🙂

Disclaimer: This post is written/edited by Aurus and represents their thoughts and products/services. The blog author makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this post. The blog author will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information.


Hello Everyone,

And thanks the blog author for posting this. Here is the story…

We’re Russians. For several years we develop apps which add extra features to Cisco collaboration solutions and some of them are used to improve the enterprise security (call recording, paging, secure conferences etc). Every month we receive a request from some Chief Security Officer asking whether its possible to turn the Cisco IP-Telephony into the network of microphones.

Ok, we are used to hear that question from Russian CSOs but last year we went global and started selling worldwide. Guess what? Yes, the same requests from other countries.

So, to all security chiefs in the world. With all respect to your job, please note…
You can:
• Record CUCM calls,
• Monitor (listen in real time) calls,
• Barge-in and “whisper”.

You can NOT:
• Turn on the IP phone external mic remotely to hear to what’s happening in the office WITHOUT indication on the phone (the yellow speakerphone led and the icon on the IP phone display)

You’re welcome to:
• Try our products,
• Discuss how to improve the corporate security with UC apps.

You’re NOT welcome to:
• Ask us to hijack the Cisco firmware,
• Ask us to turn the speakerphone led off.

Comparing to other major UC vendors Cisco provides the most powerful official developer tools allowing Cisco’s technology partners to build UC apps, including those improving the collaboration security:
• Call recording – total and on-demand,
• Text and audio paging – to the desktop and mobile phones,
• Cisco IP phone lock – to prevent its abuse when the phone owner is away,
• Protecting audio-conference with PIN or Caller ID,
• Extension Mobility Single-Sign-On.

More apps and case studies are available at Aurus website

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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in UC Security Posts


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A Book Edit I did and wasn’t aware of!

Yes, the title says it all – a book for which I was invited to be a contributing editor alongside my dearest / my better half – Kanika Behl. It’s so easy to do some quality work and forget about it amidst all the other usual and hectic work and non-work related chores and errands.

So how I came to know about it? I happened to browse Amazon looking for organizational dimensions on legal and technology aspects and amongst many other titles; came across this title: Organizational, Legal, and Technological Dimensions of Information System Administration (Advances in Systems Analysis, Software Engineering, and High) reading the content through which I saw my and my better half’s names in the Editorial Advisory Board.

the book we reviewed formatted

What!? I remember we did this sometime back but whoa – never knew it was already published and was available on Amazon.

Anyways, happy to see our contributions being called out and would like to wish the authors of the title best with the same.

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Posted by on June 9, 2015 in UC Security Posts