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Mitigating Wireless Threats with Cisco Adaptive WIPS

Controlling the wireless network can some times feel like trying to stop a river.  Employees, customers and vendors have their favored mobile devices and they want to be able to use them for work and play. The momentum for this trend is strong and the promise of productivity high so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to fight this trend. As a result, companies are opening their network to guest traffic.

As you well know, this new openness isn’t without risk. The devices that people bring may not always be productive. And sometimes those devices become rogues that can impact network performance and security.

Let’s be clear that not all rogue devices have evil in mind. In fact, many employees innocently bring their own IP cameras and personal hotspots to “help expand” the capabilities of the network. At a minimum, these rogue devices can cause interference that degrades overall network performance or prohibits critical devices from connecting to the network.

The greater danger is that these rogue devices are the weak link that enables a hacker to breach network security. A hacker can tag onto a tethered personal hot spot for easy entry into the network or can sit outside the venue to gain access.

Whatever the intent of the rogue device, it’s critical that you have a solution that leverages location information to identify and mitigate these rogue devices before they compromise your network.

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Omaha World-Herald, one of William Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway companies, uses the location capabilities of Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) to ensure rogue devices don’t derail its many offices. Using Cisco’s location and adaptive WIPS capabilities, Omaha World detects rogue devices in real time, determines their location, and mitigates the threat. Read More »

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Quick Look Analytics

One of the many great attributes of Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX ) is that it offers a rich location analytics solution. With advanced capabilities like Path Analysis and Correlation, zone-based reporting relies on a minimum of three or more access points which seamlessly detect and report the received signal strength (RSSI) of a client. In simplistic terms we can say that CMX triangulates the location of a client.

Unfortunately (and realistically) not all venues are equipped with 3 APs. Many of our customers, have a large number of satellite offices . Imagine a popular coffee chains or even well known financial institution, who have small branch offices or stores spread across the country. They too need insights into their customer’s behavior, even if they don’t have multiple AP’s

To address the needs of businesses with smaller sites and wireless deployments not designed for location accuracy, we’ve developed Quick Look Analytics, which provides priceless customer insights for businesses like those very coffee shops and financial institutions, earlier mentioned.

 

There are numerous facets of Quick Look Analytics, here are a few of my favorites:

  1. The Banner visually shares how effectively the business is performing and reaching targets. It provides, if you will, a sort of Key Performance Indicators.

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  1. Key Insights provides a clear look into business peak hours, days, weeks, and months.

Read More »

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MSE and CMX: What’s the Difference?

As you probably know, Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) enables businesses to develop engaging mobile experiences with personalized guest onboarding, engagement, and location analytics. CMX leverages Wifi network intelligence and provides IT departments the creative opportunity to produce new revenue-generating, end-consumer solutions.

But I’m often asked what the difference is between MSE & CMX. I’m likely to blame for some of the confusion since I use the terms “MSE” and “CMX” interchangeably. Let’s clear up the confusion once and for all with a breakdown of MSE and CMX.

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Creating a new guest Wi-Fi experience with CMX Connect

Guest Wi-Fi has become a must-have, not a nice-to-have requirement for our customers.  Today, let’s talk about building customer engagement through guest Wi-Fi and how CMX Connect creates a new guest Wi-Fi experience. We also have a special offer to share if you’re interested in trying out CMX (Connected Mobile Experiences) Connect.

Offering Guest Wi-Fi is a No-Brainer

Have you ever found yourself constantly checking emails on your phone, whether you are in the supermarket, a sport stadium or your doctor’s office? We live in a connected world so when people lose their Internet connectivity, they feel as uncomfortable as if they are walking in the dark. According to a Cisco report [1], one in every three college students and young professionals believes the Internet is as important as air, water, food, and shelter. At college games, fans often leave at half time if they cannot connect to the Internet to post photos or tweet comments [2]. Offering guest Wi-Fi has become a must, not an option, for most of our customers across all verticals such as retail, healthcare, sports and entertainments, and education.

Guest Wi-Fi is an opportunity to engage and delight your visitors

So you’ve decided to offer guest Wi-Fi at your venue, but how do you make the most of it from a business standpoint? According to a Hotels.com 2013 survey, the first thing hotel guests try is the quality of guest Wi-Fi, before the quality breakfast or even the comfortable bed [3]. So guest Wi-Fi is a perfect opportunity for you to engage your visitors and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. With a seamless one-click mobile-first onboarding experience, visitors can check-in on your business Facebook page, or provide email information for future promotional campaign. Since you also know the context and location of your visitors, you can offer personalized and relevant information to visitors. For example, first-time parents connect to the hospital’s guest Wi-Fi in the Maternity ward can be served a video on changing a newborn’s diaper .

CMX Connect is built to address these use cases

We have made significant improvements in the CMX 10.1 release and will continue to partner with our customers in this journey. So how does CMX Connect help you improve your business?

  1. We have a modern and intuitive user interface so IT managers can work with the marketing team to create guest portals, collect visitors’ information, and customize promotional offers by location. You don’t need a user guide or need to write any code to create guest portals. Figure 1 shows an example of the simplicity in building a portal page. Figure 2 provides examples of guest portals built by our tool.

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Figure 1. Example of the portal builder tool.

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Figure 2. Example of custom guest portals Read More »

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MSE 10 at Mobile World Congress 2015

Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experience (CMX) solution employs data from the Wi-Fi network to generate information about devices visiting a venue, which in turn can be used by businesses to gain greater insight into the behavior of their customers and improve customer experience.  At the center of the CMX product is the Mobility Service Engine (MSE), version 10 of which was announced at Cisco Live! Milan.

Mobile World Congress 2015 was another great opportunity to demonstrate the scale at which MSE 10 can now operate. The MSE 10 installation for MWC 2015 was entirely cloud-based and the week’s visitor data was captured using only a single box setup.

In the this blog, we’ll show how MSE 10 was used to generate custom reports during the event to give some interesting insights into how the conference unfolded.

Registration area

Day 1 of MWC begins at 9:00am, when the main doors open for the first time. People begin arriving well before then and waited patiently to be allowed into the halls.  We were able to witness this using a custom report focused on the registration area showing a graph of the number of visitors increasing as opening time approached (Figure 1)

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This was also reflected in the heat map report, where a bright red spot can be observed representing the increasing number of visitors waiting to gain entrance (Figure 2) Read More »

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