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Minimize Threats from Non-Corporate Mobile Apps

November 14, 2014 at 7:18 am PST

Our customers are continuing to feel the pain of having to increasingly support off-premise mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The critical need to rapidly onboard these devices to connect to corporate services and applications pretty clearly provides business with a  competitive advantage (Cisco Enterprise Mobility Landscape Wave II Study – April 2014) in improving workforce efficiency.

Consider the sales person who needs to check a customer order from his corporate- sanctioned tablet in the customer’s lobby.  Look at the contractor with their personal smartphone who needs to access project emails from home.

What is the big problem? The rush to provide access to these off-premise devices means we have reduced or even discarded needed security controls when it comes to remote connectivity for mobile devices. Offering access from any device, any location, anytime, opens the door to potential security threats.  The mobile endpoint is a threat vector with 68% of organizations saying their mobile devices were targeted by malware in the last 12 months (Ponemon Research.)

What if I secure these devices using VPN technology in the same way as laptops? While, ”Turning On” VPN on any endpoint means that all traffic and applications (personal and enterprise) are all transmitted over the same VPN channel to access corporate networks.  This co-mingling of corporate and user apps allows the possibility of un-compromised user applications polluting corporate infrastructure and increases the risk of threats to the network.

So now what? I don’t want to enable VPN every single time I try to look up a document or use salesforce.com or access email. That increases the complexity for the user and gives them a reason to either find a way around the process or nullifies the efficiency business want to promote with their mobile workforce.

The answer lies with the introduction of Cisco AnyConnect 4.0 offering  customers the ability to deliver per-application secure access for only approved corporate applications in way that is seamless to the user.  By just clicking on the registered corporate application I want to use, I can automagically create a secure connection for JUST that application each time. This means I don’t mix access to corporate resources between authorized applications and potentially infected user applications. It even reduces bandwidth and IT resource usage since user applications do not get tunneled back to corporate and has to go through user networks (mobile or WiFi).

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Enterprises want to empower their mobile users to work from anywhere while IT wants a simple way to control and secure enterprise access consistently across any device whether on or off-premise.   AnyConnect continues to evolve to provide integrated and flexible security and access control for any remote and/or mobile endpoints.

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To learn more how to better secure your remote endpoints, check out Cisco AnyConnect

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Where’s Waldo? Getting Past “Go” with Mobile Workers

Organizations today face many challenges when it comes to providing an optimum work environment. How can you turn your office space into a next-generation workplace? The answer is collaboration technology. Collaboration technology enables you to create workspaces that meet the changing needs and preferences of your employees. You can connect the unconnected, improve employee engagement, and address the realities of an increasingly virtual work environment.

In my experience, keeping pace with rapidly changing employee preferences and aligning technology requires organizations to update network infrastructure design. They need to expand employee capability and flexibility while strengthening overall network security. As more devices come online through the Internet of Everything (IoE), the workplace must evolve. And evolve in a way that meets employee needs and encourages collaboration, especially across global teams.

Business Challenges

Our organizations face many challenges when it comes to providing optimal work environments, including:

  • Enhancing employee collaboration within geographically dispersed teams
  • Encouraging more efficient work
  • Minimizing the cost and disruption of deploying new IT hardware and applications
  • Retaining the best employees

As I covered in a previous post, I think it’s important for Read More »

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Take Advantage of Mobile Cloud. What Are You Waiting For?

September 23, 2014 at 8:00 am PST

As organizations seek ways to maintain real-time connections with their workforce and customers in an increasingly digital and mobile-centered world, the growth of mobile cloud will be a major force in shaping the business landscape and future tech decisions. The first blog post in this series, by Padmasree Warrior, explores how the convergence of mobility and cloud will deliver unprecedented transformation for all organizations. The second blog post in this series, by Sujai Hajela, answers the question of what mobile cloud really is and how it continues to provide new business opportunities. In the third post, Joe Cozzolino looks at what mobile cloud means for service providers and enterprises. In the fourth blog, Michael Fuhrman discusses the need for end-to-end security in a mobile cloud environment. And finally, this post will discuss actions that CXOs should take concerning cloud technology.  

Our recent mobility landscape study showed that organizations are looking for ways to maintain real-time connections with their workforce and customers in an increasingly digital and mobile-centered world.  The growth of mobile cloud is a major force in shaping the business landscape and future tech decisions. This blog series explores how the convergence of mobility and cloud will deliver unprecedented transformation for all organizations.

In this final post, Hans Hwang outlines two case studies where clients have used the reach of mobile cloud to improve customer interactions using real-time technology and results and speaks directly to business leaders on how to achieve the results they desire from mobile cloud technology.

In this series, we have covered a lot about what mobile cloud is and its capabilities, but can mobile cloud give you a return on your investment? As a Services leader, I see a lot of opportunity for you to get going with mobile cloud as a differentiator for your business. I’d like to close by talking about business outcomes. What is it you’d like to achieve? Increased efficiency? Reduced operating expenses? More revenue? A better experience for your customers? Or is it all of the above?

Let’s face it: your customers and your boss don’t care what particular technology you use to deliver results. They only care that you get there fast with minimal risk – and without extra funding. Investing in mobile cloud could be just your ticket, so let’s talk about business outcomes.

Mobile Cloud #5 8.4.14

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What Mobile Cloud Means for Service Providers and Enterprises

In an increasingly digital, mobile and connected world, organizations need new ways to maintain real-time contact with their employees, customers and partners. And mobile cloud will be a major force enabling these ubiquitous connections and reshaping the business landscape. The first post in this series, by Padmasree Warrior, explores how the convergence of mobility and cloud will deliver unprecedented transformation for all organizations. In the second post, Sujai Hajela answers the question, “What exactly is mobile cloud?” In this post, Joe Cozzolino looks at what mobile cloud means for service providers and enterprises.

Be sure to listen to a new Future of Mobility podcast featuring Cisco’s Joe Cozzolino and Sujai Hajela about the power of mobile cloud. Download or listen via iTunes.

The value of mobile cloud is embodied in our 21st century nomadic, hyper-mobile lives. We no longer think in terms of boundaries – between home and office, between laptop, smart phone and an ever-expanding array of devices. We have no patience for latency. Our offices are wherever we are at the moment we need to connect with a colleague or customer, and the device we use is whatever is at hand. Making that happen is no mean feat for mobile service providers.

Imagine having the power of your office in the palm of your hand no matter where you are. Your business applications, your files, directories and chat logs. Everything when you need it, where you need it. It won’t matter what device you’re using or what type of network you’re on. You will move seamlessly from 3G to 4G to WiFi.

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So there you are at the airport, waiting for your flight and you get a call from an important customer. She wants to review the past month’s reports with you, share a file and bring in some colleagues via TelePresence. It has to be now, it has to be secure – and you have to board your plane.

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Securing Mobile Data in the Event of Device Loss or Theft

September 4, 2014 at 6:00 am PST

As a business or technical leader, you know you need to protect your company in a rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem. However, threats are not always obvious. As malware and attacks become more sophisticated over time, business decision makers must work with technical decision makers to navigate security threats in a mobile world.

This blog series, authored by Kathy Trahan, will explore the topic of enterprise mobility security from a situational level and provide insight into what leaders can do now to mitigate risk. To read the first post focused on securing device freedom, click here. The second post, available here, focused on the risks that come with mobile connections. Kathy’s third post outlined three top considerations leaders must consider when examining their current mobile data security plan. The fourth post in this series highlights how security compliance is necessary for real-time mobile data access. – Bret Hartman, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Cisco’s Security Technology Group

Many of us have experienced that panicked “oh no!” moment when we’ve misplaced a mobile device or worse, found out it was stolen. The stakes are raised even higher when a lost or stolen device is company issued, or a personal device an employee uses for business purposes and contains sensitive data.

According to a recent report, more than 3.1 million smart phones were stolen just in America last year alone. This same report revealed that 34% of people took no security measures at all to protect sensitive information – not even a simple four-digit password. 51% of end users use their smartphone to perform daily business activities.

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