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Securing Your Network Before BYOD or IoT

If you’re a network engineer or have been following some of the recent trends in network security space, you may have come across terms such as “erosion of trust”, “zero trust ecosystem”, “the increased attack surface” and “new attack vectors”. What this means for a network engineer is that as application migrate from on-prem to cloud, and trends like mobility and IoT vastly expand the scale of assets and forms of access to be secured, traditional network security, which historically was centered around securing the perimeter of your network, is no longer sufficient.

Anatomy of Data Breach

I was recently reading the Symantec Internet Security Report. This report has been quite appropriately themed as “2013: Year of the Mega-Breach”. In particular, the Point-of-Sale type of attack, mostly prevalent in the retail segment of the market, is a great indicator of the anatomy of a typical breach. So I’ll use that as an illustrative example for the purposes of this post.

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The Network After 25 Years of Cisco Live!

#clus1A lot can change in 25 years. At the first Cisco Live (then known as Networkers conferences) in 1989, 200 geeks gathered for the inaugural event. Fast forward to three weeks ago, when we welcomed a whopping 25,000 attendees into the arms of our namesake, beautiful San Francisco.

We heard there was some interest in how the network performed at the show, so I wanted to share some of the interesting statistics about the network at Cisco Live! I shudder at the thought of the ancient network from 25 years ago. So here we go:

Wi-Fi Client Devices

This year we saw 30,705 unique devices, with 7000 in the theater for John Chambers’ keynote.

# of Unique Clients

# of Sessions

# of Unique Users

# of Unique APs

Avg Users per AP

30705

1396239

30705

859

33.64

Max. Concurrent Connected Wi-Fi Devices

There was a peak of 14216 concurrently connected device at SF this year.

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How A School District Prepares for PARCC and More

CreepyKidIndian Prairie School district, the third largest school district in Illinois, conducted an in-depth investigation to develop an execution plan to adopt Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium guidelines and meet the Common Core State Standards head-on. Their execution plan took them beyond the basic requirements of online testing to providing a secure, borderless learning environment for a variety of devices, over wired and wireless.

Not only was this a great opportunity for them to upgrade their network to meet the state and national testing standards, but also to lay the foundation for any future requirements as technological advances are rapidly changing the education landscape.

Requirements: 

  1. Meet the computer-based testing requirements under PARCC
  2. Provide a borderless learning environment through mobile and online learning
  3. A stable infrastructure that can meet the dynamic network demand
  4. Prepare for the growing importance of technology in classrooms, wired and wireless, with trends such as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) as well as an increased use of district-owned devices.

 

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Why Upgrade Campus & Branch Switching & Wireless Infrastructure?

Many of the existing switch and wireless infrastructures that were deployed 5 or more years ago were not designed for BYOD, pervasive mobility, advanced security, SDN and more. Let us look at these trends and the benefits of upgrading the network infrastructure to the latest switching and wireless products.

BYOD and Mobility

There are multiple dimensions in which BYOD and mobility are pressuring the existing network.  An average user now has 3x more devices. A company of 1,000 users seems like a company of 3,000 users. And, Internet of Things devices like sensors, CCTVs, and building automation are being connected to the network. Yesterday’s network cannot sustainably handle the exponential growth of these devices and applications.  Upgrade to the latest switches and wireless infrastructure will give you more performance in terms of higher switching capacity, converged wired-wireless access & more processing power to handle the growth of devices/apps. The benefits are network can scale easily to support the influx of mobile & connected devices and their applications and your users get the same excellent experience whether wired or mobile. Read More »

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High-Tech Hotel Receives Cisco Upgrade and “Powers Up” Guest Experience

Traveling can be stressful – for business or leisure – and hoteliers do their best to make sure that the hotel in which you choose to stay during your time away from home provides the best worry-free conveniences available.  High-tech hotels are taking steps in the right direction by offering in-room automation, loyalty perks, mobile check-ins and more to enhance the guest experience.

But even luxury, high-tech hotels need upgrades sometimes.  To validate this point, we look back at Boston in March 2012 at an event referred to as the ‘Back Bay blackout.” Unfortunately, an electrical fire in Boston left thousands without power. I imagine the scene was a little chaotic without lights, phones and Internet. The Mandarin Oriental, Boston and its guests were also left without access to phones or Internet during this power outage. Read More »

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