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Mobile Security: Actions Speak Louder than Words

Mobile security is a top concern for IT and business leaders. This guest authored blog series with Dimension Data explores how organizational leaders can work together to mitigate concern and implement clearly defined policies to achieve mobility goals. We are pleased to introduce our guest author Darryl Wilson, Director, Enterprise Mobility for Dimension Data Americas, as the first in this series – Darryl will address how a balanced approach to security can yield better business results. 

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By Guest Contributor Darryl Wilson

Director, Enterprise Mobility for Dimension Data Americas

Darryl Wilson has more than 15 years of experience overseeing large scale network communications projects both from a technical delivery and pre-sales perspective. Wilson’s areas of expertise include unified communications, network performance, troubleshooting and optimization.

 

The evolution to a mobile-centric workforce has been relatively short, thanks to an explosion of innovation and emerging mobile and cloud technologies. Just a few years ago, BYOD was a hot topic of conversation and mobile device management (MDM) solutions offered a simple way to secure an influx of devices and users.

However, today we are seeing that the tactical implementation of MDM solutions is not enough to control a multi-device, multi-vendor, and multi-OS mobility landscape. In fact, most of the companies I work with are using solutions that have not been optimized or customized for today’s ever-changing mobile world. In addition, security concerns have left many organizations feeling like they need to choose between control and truly reaping the business value mobility offers.

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For example, in a recent Dimension Data Secure Mobility Survey Report, 79% say mobility is a top priority for their organization. However, the report indicates that a much smaller segment of those IT leaders’ actions back it up. Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed believe data is the greatest concern pertaining to mobility, yet only 55% have a mobility roadmap in place. If securing company data and successfully implementing a mobile policy is of such importance, why aren’t more IT leaders taking strategic action?

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The Need for a New IT Model: Fast IT and the Convergence of Mobility and Cloud for IoE

Guess what? Convergence is happening again, and it’s happening at a faster pace with more profound implications than I have never seen before.

Those of us who’ve been in the industry a long time have seen convergence happen over the years across various technologies and areas of IT. This time, we’re talking about convergence across the infrastructure—in wired and wireless, in physical and virtual, in collaboration and social, and in on-prem and off-prem resources. Convergence brings together the applications and infrastructure in new and more flexible ways, opening up new opportunities.

Getting this convergence right is a big deal. And it’s a key to becoming an innovative enterprise. It’s clear that if you’re not innovating, you’re going to miss out on opportunities to be strategically valuable to your organization.

Convergence _ Are You Ready for the Future of IT? from Cisco Business Insights

 

This convergence is called different things by different people and firms. IDC calls it “third platform” while Gartner talks about ‘Nexus of Forces.’ In any case, they’re all talking about technologies, such as cloud, mobility, data and network programmability, which are blurring and blending. And in addition, the combination of these technologies is collectively making the Internet of Everything possible.

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Wearable to Aware-able: Contact, Connection, Context

This two-part blog series discusses the future of wearables and mobility in an #InternetOfEverything world.

Since the dawn of time, humans have been motivated by an innate desire to be connected to each other and to information. Today, we are seeing this need satisfied as the Internet of Everything (IoE) evolves to connect more people, process, data and things than ever before. An essential part of the growth of the Internet of Everything will depend on how mobile devices, connected things and wearable technology adapts and develops to become more aware and intelligent.

Today, the wearable device market is a nascent, but growing market. There are about 160 unique wearable devices on the market, and IDTechEx predicts wearables will grow to a $70 billion market in the next ten years. However, despite its growing market share, many still have limited views of what a wearable is and the innovation these devices will encourage in our mobile-led IoE world.

In this post, I’ll share some thoughts I presented at the recent Wearable Technology Conference that explores how we will soon see wearables move from being just wearable to becoming aware-able through increased contact, connections and context.

Let’s Start at the Beginning…What is a Wearable?

There is a lot of confusion in the industry about what a wearable is and the role it plays in our lives.  For example, advances in exoskeletons for military applications and sports define a wearable as more than just a device for your wrist.

And it’s not just for humans.

Osaka University and the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) co-developed a fuel cell that is expected to be used for forming a wireless mesh networks with cyborg insects in emergency situations. In this case, insects can be used for wirelessly transmitting various sensor signals in areas that humans simply can’t go – such as disaster areas or for search and rescue efforts. It may seem a bit crazy now, but connecting these flying sensor insects to the network can create a very interesting, new capability that will challenge our definition of what a wearable is over time.

Why Now – and what’s all the Hype About?

Simply put, the size of technology is shrinking. Technology shrinks every decade about a 100-fold, so while in the mid-80’s we were carrying around a separate music player, telephone and calculator, today we carry all those capabilities into one device: our smartphone. Couple this trend with ongoing advances in microscopic sensors and computers the size of a grain of sand and it’s clear we are just beginning to understand what’s possible for new IoT connections and mobile innovations.

Wearable 2.0: From Wearable to Aware-able

While most wearables on the market today are built to capture WHAT we are doing, they don’t tell us HOW we are doing. We are seeing an evolution of wearables that will focus more on HOW we are doing, and capture insights that can change our lives. For example, while today’s wearable bracelet or watch can tell me my body is moving, it cannot tell me anything about my biological processes – such as my glucose levels or blood pressure.

For this evolution to occur, wearable devices – or aware-able devices – require three things:

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  1. Contact with your body
  2. Connections with the world
  3. Context by providing relevant information

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these “Three Cs.”

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Bring Out Yer Dead: 5 Steps to Eliminate 802.11b From Your Networks

Now that US tax day is over, we in the wireless field can get back to focusing on P1: optimizing and maintaining network performance. Keeping your network in good shape is like gardening: if you don’t pull out the weeds, it’ll never look as good as it could. My friend Jim Florwick detailed the gory bits of the 802.11b penalty with its awful lag in efficiency and absolute waste of spectrum. I write today to help give you the steps to act on Jim’s order to stop the madness.

I liken this process to a memorable scene from Monty Python: You must “Bring out yer dead.” However much the first standard insists it’s still alive, let’s all be honest with ourselves: 802.11b is dead.

In memoriam of the first amendment to the IEEE 802.11 wireless networking standard hailing all the way since 1999, 802.11b was superseded by 802.11a and g in 2003 which are much more efficient.  802.11n was available in draft form in 2007 and was ratified in 2009 while 802.11ac was ratified last September. A few years from now we should be planning the wake for 802.11a and 802.11g as well.

Now is the right time to bury 802.11b and reduce the drag on your network. Let’s be real: there is a reason cyclists are not allowed on the freeway, and an 802.11b device will slow everyone down. Here are 5 easy steps for eradicating your network of 802.11b and getting on your way towards higher speed wireless:

STEP    1.         Identify any 802.11b devices on your network

All of the latest Wi-Fi connecting devices are 802.11a/b/g/n capable. So how do you hunt down the 802.11b-only devices? You’ll be looking for older laptop and mobile clients (mostly before the year 2005).

Cisco Prime Infrastructure makes this easy for you with a report on clients by protocol. It will look like this:

prime1 Read More »

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Connected Healthcare: How Mobility Drives Better Care and a Healthier Society

As advancements in mobility continue to accelerate across all industries, one area that appears poised for some of the deepest transformation is healthcare.

Already, we are seeing how mobility adoption in hospitals — along with new personal health-monitoring devices — is enabling better patient care and a healthier society. And all of these breakthroughs dovetail into the revolution that we call the Internet of Everything (IoE) — the explosion in connectivity among people, process, data, and things that is transforming our world.

A great example is Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Sergipe, which is utilizing telehealth technology to provide patients with specialty healthcare. In the United States, nearly 70 percent of surveyed healthcare leaders say that clinicians at their organizations use mobile technology to view patient data, according to a new survey from HIMSS Analytics.

It’s also estimated that more than 17 million wearable bands will ship this year, putting new health-monitoring tools directly in the hands — or on the wrists — of patients. And with the deployment of strong wireless networks, such as the one used by Miami Children’s Hospital, hospitals are supporting a holistic mobile-enabled patient-care experience that is providing strides in electronic health records. Another intriguing breakthough involves devices such as the Scanadu Scout, which makes the handheld medical “tricorder” of Star Trek fame a consumer reality. Such advances are helping doctors, nurses, and patients reduce errors in miscommunication, while cutting costs.

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It isn’t about just becoming more mobilized; it’s about improving patient care and individual well-being. As Addison McGuffin, vice president of business technology innovation at Health Care Service Corporation, said, “Some of the things we’re looking at is a trend toward technology that is helping patients toward health performance and improvement on a daily basis.”

These examples show how mobility is reshaping the healthcare industry. Yet, according to a recent Forbes article, many hospital administrators perceive a “double-edged sword” when balancing the need to invest in technology with regulatory constraints. This topic also drove conversation at the recent HIMSS conference. At Kaiser Permanente’s booth, they asked the question: “Is Health IT Really Worth It?” With advancements in mobility shaping IT strategy and investments, I’d take Kaiser’s question a step further by asking, “Is Mobility in Healthcare Really Worth It?” Read More »

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