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Mobility: No Longer a Risky Business?

Risk. It’s not just a strategic board game; in business it’s the analysis that determines the potential for loss.CiscoSecurity

In today’s organization, the consumerization of IT has led to groundbreaking developments in the mobility space. The broad deployment of BYOD, coupled with the availability of corporate data and applications, have challenged how we define security. And with recent news reports citing the rise of mobile hacking and network threats, the security of mobile technology and the data it carries seems to be at risk.

Fortunately, all is not lost.

Mobility gives employees and providers options for the workplace and creating a mobile experience that is efficient and innovative. It is also helping businesses save and make money. Today, employees in any place on any device can access any application across any network in any cloud. As a result, there are challenges associated with implementing a comprehensive BYOD policy that encompasses a proliferation of devices connecting to a network.

Even though mobility can cut costs and increase productivity, 60 percent of IT professionals recently surveyed believe mobile devices in 2013 present more of a risk to their organization than they did in 2012. And even with the growing concerns over mobile security, it still appears that only 60 percent of organizations require security technology for mobility plans. Why isn’t that number higher? After all Android Malware grew 2,577 percent in 2012 alone.

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Advanced Wireless Functionality for a Fraction of the Price

Since launching Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) – Cisco’s innovative solution that turns the network into a platform for delivering location-aware, in-venue services – customers have been intrigued. However, CMX could not exist without the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE), a location-aware network appliance to provide location-aware capabilities as well as deep wireless security.

Before I get into the new pricing details, here’s a quick recap of what the MSE can do:

The MSE is a network appliance that takes your wireless network and turns into a platform for delivering cool and innovative location-based services that provide unique business value through online, onsite and social analytics. For example, you can now leverage your wireless network to see how many customers are visiting your store? Are they new or repeat customers? Are long wait times at checkout hurting my business? With the MSE, organizations can even communicate directly with visitors in their venue through their mobile devices. You can now provide wayfinding (indoor GPS) and push relevant content such as offers or coupons directly to your visitors, which in turn can drive revenue gains for the venue.

The MSE does more than location based services – it also has a rich set of network security tools (known collectively as wIPS – wireless intrusion prevention system) that help protect the network from all kinds of attacks.  The MSE can not only tell you that there is an attack taking place, but it will tell you which type of attack (“honeypot”), where the attack is coming from, and will also enable the network fight back against the attack (“flood the attacking device with traffic making it impossible for him to do anything”).

We wanted to make this great functionality more accessible and affordable for our customers, so I am happy to announce that we are offering a new pricing promotion for MSE licenses starting now until April 2014.

Here are the basics of the promotion: Read More »

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month

This month, we are marking the tenth anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). The goal is to raise awareness and educate Americans about the importance of cyber security. Agencies and organizations are holding events and driving initiatives to engage Americans in a discussion about how to establish safer practices.

NCSAM sheds light on the most pressing topics in security, including mobility, education, cyber crime and critical infrastructure.  In alignment with NCSAM’s mission, we are sharing our own cyber security best practices, advice and resources.

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Small Cells Summit in Dubai: 5 things you should know

lgarzaBy Lisa Garza, Service Provider Mobility Marketing Manger

The annual Small Cells event for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) took place this week. It featured regional innovators like Saudi Telecom, Etisalat, Zain and du, in addition to the global small cell pioneers like AT&T and SoftBank. Here’s what we took from the event

1. Mobile data growth and reducing cost-per-bit is a global challenge
The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) shows that mobile IP traffic in MENA region is set to grow 10x over the next four years. Revenues are not set to grow at anything like this pace.  Service providers are responding to the capacity challenge by augmenting macro networks, by adding new spectrum and by introducing more efficient cellular technologies like LTE.  But these steps alone will not povide all of the capacity required, and some, like LTE introduction, will accelerate data usage by encouraging video consumption. The big capacity gains come from reusing cellular spectrum and by offloading to Wi-Fi – that’s what small cells are all about, and they’re a hot topic because the capacity they add comes at a fraction of the cost-per-bit of traditional radio technologies.1

2. Small cells are becoming central to network transformation strategies
These small cells conferences are a barometer of service provider, analyst and vendor thinking.  This year, Read More »

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As Mobile Social Usage and Constant Connectivity Increases, Security A Top Concern

Survey results from an IDC study recently revealed that people are relying more and more on their smart mobile device as their primary tool for communication and connecting.

The study, sponsored by Facebook, highlights some compelling insights about mobility including:

  • Half of the total US population uses smartphones
  • A “sense of being connected” is the strongest sentiment for driving mobile social usage
  • The most popular activities on smartphones are email (78%), Web browsing (73%) and Facebook (70%)

alwaysconnectedEveryday we are seamlessly integrating mobility features into our daily lives. We use mobile devices for tasks such as email, mobile shopping and making social connections. According to the IDC study, nearly 80 percent of us reach for our phone within 15 minutes of waking up for the day – I am part of this statistic!

It’s clear that mobility and the increasing use of social media creates new ways for us to interact and connect, but it’s also creating new security concerns. With the influx of personal data on our social media news feeds and our purchasing habits sitting in our smartphone’s browsing history, how can we make sure our personal information is secure? In addition, as the lines between personal and work devices blur, how can enterprises make sure employee-owned social networks aren’t opening the door for the latest network threat? An essential part of our mobile future will depend on enterprises and individuals developing a comprehensive approach to protecting sensitive data and privacy. Read More »

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