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Summary: 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.

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.

Here’s a brief look into the where, the why and the how of embracing a secure approach to enterprise mobility and what it means for business leaders.

Cisco_NavigatingSecurityMobileWorld

Where are security threats? Today’s organizations are facing a greater attack surface as advanced mobile devices and public cloud services foster new attack models and increasing complexity within networks. To cover the entire attack continuum, organizations need to address a broad range of attack vectors with solutions that operate everywhere the threat can manifest itself: on the network, on traditional endpoints, on mobile devices, and in virtual environments.

How can threats be thwarted? The best approach is a proactive one, rather than a reactive one, especially when many organizations may not know when they are under attack. Business leaders must work with IT teams to institute a formal program for managing mobile devices and to ensure that any device is secure before it can access the network.

Why does a balanced approach to mobile security matter? In a recent blog post, I discussed the need for organizations to deploy a balanced approach to mobile security. This approach should focus more on protecting the network and proprietary data and less on implementing overly broad restrictions. IT needs to approach security with a user experience mentality. After all, if you overly manage devices, your adoption will be low and so will your return on investment (ROI). This approach can lead to greater opportunities to align threat intelligence and security best practices.

To learn more about this balanced approach to mobile security, read the full blog: Navigating Security Threats in a Mobile World.

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Cisco Mobility Services Engine with Enhanced Wi-Fi Location Accuracy and Analytics: Best of Interop 2014 Finalist

Cisco has been placing a lot of emphasis on delivering solutions that provide insights and understanding on how customers, patients, visitors and communities interact with their physical environments. Mobility and leveraging mobile devices in the environment has revealed itself as a very powerful way to gather critical business intelligence. This business intelligence is highly impacted by the resolution of the location-data and the demand to improve resolution and accuracy is increasing quickly.  Apparently, this has not been missed by UBM. This year Cisco is honored to be selected as a Best of Interop Finalist for the Wireless award category for our innovations in improving location data resolution calculations.

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It’s an honor to be recognized for our innovation and technological advancements in wireless, and we wanted to share a bit more about our submission with you.

What are Location Data Resolution Calculations?

Many systems acquire location analytics by relying solely on the probing that occurs from a mobile device to an access point. Unfortunately, this approach is delivering diminishing returns. It puts location analytics at the mercy of the mobile device vendors. What I mean by this is that as mobile device manufacturers look to improve mobile devices in regards to OS, drivers and battery life they are reducing the frequency of the probing from the mobile device. In addition, different mobile device manufacturer use different probing intervals. The need to do this makes sense from the mobile device manufacturer perspective, but it has an impact on the accuracy of the data acquired when representing movement of end users in the physical environment. If a user is recognized when they walk in the environment and then is identified a minute later, there is a lot of movement that can occur in that time.  But the analytics only sees two data points and draws a straight line. Not a very accurate representation.

Cisco is leveraging what we know best, the network, to supplement the device probing. Bringing in network data allows us to gather higher data resolution regarding mobile device movement, equating to a more accurate representations of end user movement in the environment.

Why is This Important? Read More »

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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.

Read More »

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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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