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Navigating Security Threats in a Mobile World

Security plays an important role in the success of mobility implementations worldwide. We assume security threats are always present; however, it’s not always apparent where threats may arise from. Being aware of these potential risk areas is crucial.

Since mobility solutions offer users the ability to use devices on a range of networks and in a wide array of places, threats may come in unsuspected ways, or be inadvertently introduced into your enterprises network. For example, one recent study reveals that 80 percent of corporate security professionals and IT leaders recognize that “end user carelessness” constitutes the biggest security threat to an organization.

In addition, information from the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report sheds light on the persistent security attacks that enterprises face. From hackers to malicious malware, it’s clear that security threats arise from unsuspecting places.

Given this knowledge, business decision-makers must gain insight into where these breaches are occurring. They should also understand why it is important for them to care, and how they can be aided by technical decision-makers to solve these issues moving forward. In this post I’ll discuss the where, the why and the how of embracing a secure approach to enterprise mobility and what it means for business leaders.

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Achieving New Wi-Fi Heights

When it comes to the mobile internet at Cisco, there has been a great deal of coverage lately around the need for and advances in small cells to offer spectrum in places hard to get to from a cell tower, on ways to optimize the macrocell radios with SON capabilities, and even some ground breaking advances we’re doing with some of the world’s leading SPs on Hotspot 2.0 to enable a seamless mobile experience. In fact, this topic of Wi-Fi  deserves attention.  Not just because, according to Cisco Mobile VNI, by 2017 more traffic will be offloaded from the mobile network than will be on it, but also because it will be the primary way for many to get access to the network in the first place.  That was certainly the case a couple of weeks ago for many of the tens of thousands attending Mobile World Congress.

As the world’s mobility industry descended upon Barcelona for a week, a number of people (myself certainly included) wanted to avoid roaming data charges which could quickly add up – so we turned to Wi-Fi.  And this year, Cisco was proud to be able to help the staff of the Fira, the convention center which hosts MWC, deliver it free to all attendees, while offering Wi-Fi services to exhibitors.  The Fira selected Cisco Wi-Fi equipment last year,  and given the anticipated demand, we brought some of our experts to the event to help manage what ended up being one of, if not, the world’s largest single Wi-Fi deployment ever staged in a venue, even surpassing our stadium deployments during championship games.  Here are just a few of the stats that attendees and exhibitors generated: Read More »

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Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to the 7.4 MD Software Release

As the famous saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait”. Delayed gratification -- person’s ability to forgo a smaller reward now for a larger reward in the future -- has been linked to better life outcomes as demonstrated by the often cited Stanford Marshmallow experiment and others. In most cases though, it requires a degree of self-control not easily achievable in today’s fast paced, ever-changing world with new mobile devices, protocols and technologies.

If you are one of the Cisco Wireless customers currently deploying Release 7.0 MD and waiting for the next Cisco Wireless Software Maintenance Deployment Release, the wait is over!

Release 7.4.121.0 has achieved Maintenance Deployment (MD) status.

Release 7.4.121.0 is the recommended MD release for all non-802.11ac deployments. For 802.11ac deployments, Release 7.6.110.0 (Release 7.6 Maintenance release 1) is the recommended release.

For additional details on Software Release Recommendations and Guidelines, see Guidelines for Cisco Wireless Software Release Migration

Below are top 10 reasons (in no particular order) to upgrade from the current 7.0 MD release to the latest 7.4MD Release.

10. FlexConnect (improved and rebranded H-REAP) with efficient AP upgrade across WAN, BYOD policies support, Flex ACLs and split tunneling. Read More »

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Unlocking the Connected Guest Experience

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal featured a hotel that will soon be using mobile technology to bypass the check-in process. Guests will have the option to check-in through their smartphone and also use their smartphone as their room key.

The benefit of this new check-in and room key innovation is two-fold: the hotel guests will benefit from the pure convenience of it and hoteliers can help maintain a secure property.

Antonio Connected Guest Keyless_futureMobility_2 25 14

However, automated check-in and the ability to use mobile devices as a key to the room is only one aspect of the entire technology stay. This is just one component of what’s possible and what’s going to be expected by guests visiting hotel properties in the future.

There is a tremendous demand by the guests to simplify and enhance their interaction with the hotel. According to a recent HVS London study, more modern hotel guests value experiences and the feeling of “being connected” over traditional hotel luxuries. With this in mind, the future of a connected guest experience does not begin and end with new keyless door entry capabilities.

In fact, the new technologies happening in hotels are also happening across various industries. New mobile capabilities in retail, education and transportation are creating new ways for customers, students and citizens to receive engaging content that can transform their experience. Some examples include:

  • Retailers can offer shoppers mobile updates when they are in the store about new products and special sale items.
  • College freshman can receive turn-by-turn directions to landmarks, buildings and events – all based on the student’s schedule and current location on campus. Read More »

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Observations from Mobile World Congress 2014

I have just returned from a very interesting and jammed-packed week at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona. More than 75,000 people were estimated to have attended this year’s MWC, and its fabulous new conference facilities proved a great place to celebrate the industry’s accomplishments and catch a glimpse of its potential future.  Much has changed in the industry over the last year since I reported my observations of MWC 2013.  However, what is most remarkable is how the boundaries of mobility continue to expand and morph – everything now seems to be mobile?

The following are my personal observations and extrapolations from the show, based on my conversations with operators, customer meetings, analysts, and colleagues, as well as from simply walking the show floor: Read More »

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