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Protect Mobile Devices, Protect Your Network

Reduce the risk of compromised company data by securing users’ smartphones

Once upon a time, a mobile phone was just a phone—you made and received calls on it, and that’s all. It posed zero risk to the security of your network or your business. Now, a mobile phone is so much more than just a phone. It’s a personal assistant, a portable game player, a digital camera, and most importantly, a full-fledged computer—and these smartphones definitely pose a security risk. Just like a laptop, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices can connect to your network, which means they could compromise your company’s data or leave your network vulnerable to attack from a hacker. You wouldn’t leave employees’ laptops unsecured, so why would you take chances with their mobile devices?

For the most part, the same security measures you ascribe to the computers on your network in the office should also be applied to mobile devices that have access to your LAN. Just like desktop PCs and laptops, all mobile devices need software protection to guard against malware and other attacks. Smartphones and tablets should have a firewall as well as antispam and antivirus software installed, such as the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Solution and Norton Smartphone Security offering.

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Ask Cisco: How do I improve collaboration among multiple offices and remote users?

Q: My company has been trying to figure out how we can do better at connecting our remote users to our main site, as well as making our other location seem like it’s right next door. Any advice?

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5 Considerations to Guide Your UC Decisions

Before you take the leap into unified communications, make sure your top choice will meet business and users’ needs

Despite its inception as enterprise technology, unified communications (UC)—with its convergence of voice, video, and data communications on a single IP-based network—offers small businesses several benefits. Users can easily make a call, send an email or instant message, or launch a voice or video conference through a single interface on their computers. In addition, UC can help- keep mobile workers more closely connected to the rest of your employees and enable better collaboration among everyone in your company.

Companies are recognizing these benefits and turning to UC more and more. In fact, according to research firm AMI-Partners, small to medium-size businesses in the U.S. are expected to double their spending on UC solutions by 2015.

If you’re among the many small businesses planning to add UC to your network, you may be shopping around for a solution right now. Before you decide, you’ll want to take these five considerations into account:

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Bypass Electrical Headaches with Power over Ethernet

Plug PoE devices into your network for easy, anywhere electrical power

Have you ever needed to plug in a new phone, but you were all out of electrical outlets? Or maybe you’ve tried to install a wireless access point close to the ceiling, but no outlets were nearby. When you first start building your small business network, powering up hardware is the least of your worries. But after you’ve laid some cables and maxed out even your power strips, you may find outlets a precious commodity. Power over Ethernet (PoE) is the easy way to get around wiring when you need electricity for new devices. PoE provides a way to deliver power over your network to a variety of network-attached devices.

PoE allows electrical power to pass over standard Ethernet cables along with data traffic. Hardware equipped with PoE can be plugged directly into the network for a power source—no wall socket necessary. There’s a wide range of these network-attached devices that provide PoE support, including switches, wireless access points (WAPs), IP phones, video cameras, point-of-sale devices, and more.

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Mythbusters: All Data Encryption is the Same, Right?

Many small businesses opt for wireless networks; they provide the connection you need and are easier and less expensive to set up than a wired network. But that convenience can cost your company in compromised security and lost data if the network isn’t appropriately encrypted.small_business, wireless, wireless network, WLAN, security

Although most wireless LAN (WLAN) equipment comes with many settings preconfigured, encryption isn’t one of them. In this latest installment of Mythbusters, we explain why the encryption protocol you choose—Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)—makes a difference.

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