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Discover What Consumers Want from Wi-Fi and Mobile

Consumers have a true love of mobile devices, as evidenced by recent Cisco mobile consumer research.  Significant percentages of respondents reported using everything from laptops, smartphones, and tablets to eReaders and mobile gaming devices. Americans now own an average of three mobile devices each, up from 2.6 devices in the 2012 Cisco mobile consumer study.  Perhaps more significant, our findings show that the number of smartphone users has grown by 21 percent in just one year, now reaching 68 percent of the population, at the expense of basic phones. Most remarkable is that the number of tablet owners has expanded by over 90 percent in just one year, with close to four out of ten consumers possessing one of these new devices.

The insatiable demand for mobile devices and new applications that use large amounts of bandwidth is generating staggering volumes of mobile data. In parallel, the use of Wi-Fi for Internet access is exploding, as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and must, play a significant role in helping them avoid clogged networks and unhappy customers. Many service providers are now constructing extensive networks of public Wi-Fi hotspots for use by their mobile or home broadband customers. The networks allow mobile offload and help enhance and differentiate their offerings. In addition, service providers are struggling to understand new business models for making money from Wi-Fi.  However, very little is currently known about how consumers are actually using public Wi-Fi and how they view the overall experience. Nor is there much information about mobile users’ appetite for these new services, their willingness to use them, or their privacy or security concerns surrounding these data-based services.

To learn more, Cisco conducted a survey of 620 U.S. mobile users to understand their needs and behaviors, use of devices, applications and mobile access technologies, and how they have changed since our 2012 mobile consumer study.

Top 10 Research Findings Read More »

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Curious About Cisco and Facebook’s Partnership for Wi-Fi?

More and more organizations across industries are realizing that providing simple, easy Wi-Fi for customers, guests, visitors, and more is becoming a basic expectation. Consumers are used to their always-on, always-connected lifestyles, so naturally their checklist for any venue they step into will now include “Wi-Fi” as a top priority. Good thing Cisco has not one but two simple ways for organizations with venues to provide easy Wi-Fi access for their consumers. One is CMX Connect, which you read about in the MSE blog series. The other is CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi.

We announced our partnership with Facebook last October to help connect businesses with their consumers at Interop New York. This Wednesday, January 22nd, we are having a special live webinar to give our customers a deeper dive into the Cisco and Facebook Wi-Fi solution.   Register to join us at 10am PST!

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Cisco and Facebook speakers, as well as a special guest customer, to learn more about our joint-solution. Hear how CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi can help boost recognition for your brand, foster stronger relationships with customers, and promote your business by connecting you directly to customers through Facebook.

Click here to register.

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How Aligned Are Business and IT Priorities?

Are Business and IT Groups Innovating Together -01.17.14

Innovation is critical to the success of every organization. According to a recent Cisco survey, 84% of business leaders agree that technology innovation is a critical or very important strategic differentiator for their companies. However, this survey also revealed that technology investments made by business and IT leadership are not always aligned. So how can business and IT work better together to deliver more innovation and business impact?

To address this challenge, we recently conducted the first phase of the Cisco Business and IT Priority Survey, which asked 1,800 business leaders globally about how their business and IT priorities are linked, and how these groups manage their innovation processes and technology investments. The good news is that 70% of business leaders indicated that their priorities and IT’s are aligned.

However, 67% of business leaders also said IT will influence less than half of the business technology budget next year. This means that two thirds of all organizations have an opportunity to better align IT and business technology spending, and deliver more innovation and business impact in the process.

Furthermore, this opportunity is growing as business’ investments in technology increase faster than IT’s. More than half of business leaders expect their technology budgets to increase up to 25% next year, and 11% expect their tech budgets to grow more than 25%. These business technology budget increases also vary widely by country – see the next installment in this series for details on our survey results different countries, industries, and business roles.

So how can business and IT better align their technology investments to deliver more IT innovation and business impact?

  1. Simplify – align and map technology and business priorities at every level. Then innovate with integrated solutions that map to more of your business priorities now – and longer term. For example, Fredericksberg Commune in Denmark reduce IT helpdesk incidents by 90% by integrating wired, wireless, routing and security technologies.

    Using SDN and automation capabilities, there are also many new ways to simplify IT and free up resources to fuel more innovation – across your entire network. See our upcoming CiscoLive! Milan announcements for more details on how to dramatically improve IT productivity.
  2. Unify – breaking down technology silos can yield huge ROI and, in turn, spur innovation. Two Cisco solutions that exemplify this principle of unity are Unified Access and Intelligent WAN. Unified Access, where policy, management and networks all work better together as one, can deliver orders of magnitude more capacity and performance than independent wired and wireless point products that may be deployed as separate initiatives. For example, the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan recently deployed an integrated wired/wireless solution, and plans to grow revenues by 15 to 20% by offering new guest services in addition to the outstanding guest experiences they’re already providing.

    Similarly, combining MPLS, Internet and 3G/4G-LTE into one Intelligent WAN can reduce overall costs by more than $500,00 annually for companies with 100 sites, and dramatically improve performance, security, and reliability in the process.
  3. Multiply – with the right network, you can add many innovative new services and applications, as well as capacity and performance more quickly to reach business goals sooner. For example, Copenhagen Airport is transforming passenger experiences by integrating wireless, mobility and location services in new ways.

    This potential value is in many current networks, but it’s even more important as the Internet of Things brings connectivity to billions of new devices and applications and previously unconnected things, changing business models in profound ways.

Because the alignment of IT and business priorities is so important for innovation and business outcomes, on January 27th, we’ll begin collecting and sharing these priorities on a global basis in the next phase of our Business and IT Priority Survey. With this intelligence, people can see how their priorities  compare to those of their industry peers, and we can all better understand how to drive business and IT together.

Our findings to date indicate that opportunities for innovation live in virtually every organization. Please join us in the coming weeks as we dive deeper into these results and show real-world innovation examples that will help your IT and business groups innovate and deliver more business impact than ever before.

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Cisco Multiples Impact at the World Economic Forum

 Profound political, economic, social and, above all, technological forces are transforming our lives, communities and institutions. New global social communication channels are shifting the way decisions are being made from a hierarchical approach to a networked approach, with more access regardless of age, gender, and location. Given these large scale global changes, how do world leaders develop the insights, initiatives, and actions necessary to respond to current and emerging challenges?

That is what Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers and a team of Cisco executives will discuss this week at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. They will join other business leaders to meet with 250 top political leaders and heads of international organizations to discuss how global governance can be improved through public-private cooperation. The theme of the event is “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.”

John will speak on a panel entitled “The New Digital Context: What societal, economic and technological forces are reshaping the digital landscape?” The panel will be moderated by George Cologny, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Forrester Research and also includes Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, and Gavin Patterson, CEO of the BT Group. You can watch the panel on the WEF website from 9 to 10 a.m. CET (12 to 1 a.m. PST) on Wednesday, January 22.

WEF 2014 logo

Cisco executives in attendance will be Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President , Corporate Affairs; Chris Dedicoat, President, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia; Chuck Robbins, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations; and Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer. Cisco attendees will share their insights on how information and communication technology (ICT) can drive continuous innovation and enable sustainable growth. They will also share information about Cisco’s leading corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, which use the Internet of Everything to deliver positive impact through public-private partnerships.

This video overview of CSR activities will be shown at WEF:

Tae Yoo is a table host at a discussion about Technology for Humanity moderated by Al Gore on Wednesday. Tae recently wrote a blog for the Cisco CSR-sponsored Impact X section of the Huffington Post called How Empowering Women in IT Can Spur Economic Development. CTO Padmasree Warrior is a well-known Twitter user.  You can follow the account of her activities at WEF at http//twitter.com/Padmasree.

John’s talk and the WEF twitter conversation (#WEF2014) will be shown live on the Cisco CSR website, csr.cisco.com. For more information about how to watch the public WEF sessions and follow the conversation, please refer to the World Economic Forum website.

 

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Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report: Cybercriminals Applying “Old” Techniques in New Ways

We know that as time goes on, the cybercrime network’s operations will only more closely resemble those of any legitimate, sophisticated business network. And like all enterprising businesspeople, those who are part of the “cybercriminal hierarchy”—which is discussed in the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report and illustrated below—look to increase their profits by continually innovating new products and improving upon existing ones.

This was certainly the trend in 2013: Cisco researchers observed cybercriminals applying several tried-and-true techniques in new, bold, and highly strategic ways. The Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report examines some of these actions and our associated research in detail, including:

  • Brute-force login attempts: There was a threefold increase in the use of brute-force login attempts just in the first half of 2013. Cisco TRAC/SIO researchers discovered a hub of data with millions of username and password combinations that malicious actors were using to feed these actions. Many brute-force login attempts are being directed specifically at popular content-management system (CMS) platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. (Read the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report to find out why CMS platforms are favored targets—especially for adversaries trying to commandeer hosting servers in an effort to compromise the Internet’s infrastructure.)
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks: Another oldie but goodie among cybercrime techniques, DDoS attacks have been increasing in both volume and severity since 2012. But today’s DDoS attacks aren’t just about creating disruption for businesses or making a political statement. There is evidence some attacks are now being used as smokescreens to conceal the theft of funds. The DarkSeoul attacks, examined in the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report and a big focus for our researchers last year, are an example of this strategy. Looking ahead, we expect DDoS attacks launched through DNS amplification to be an ongoing concern. (It’s not a big leap when you consider The Open Resolver Project reports that 28 million open resolvers on the Internet pose a “significant threat.”)
  • Ransomware: In 2013, we saw many attackers moving away from traditional botnet-driven infections on PCs and increasing their use of ransomware. This includes a new type of malware in this category called Cryptolocker, which our researchers discovered last fall. Ransomware prevents normal operation of infected systems until a prescribed fee is paid. It provides a direct revenue stream for attackers—and it’s hard to track.

The Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report also notes that while the tactics used by today’s profit-oriented online criminals are only growing in sophistication, there’s a shortage of security talent to help organizations address these threats. The bottom line: Most organizations just don’t have the people or systems to monitor their networks consistently. There’s also a clear need for data scientists who can help the business understand why cybersecurity needs to be a top priority, and how security and business objectives can (and should) be aligned.

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