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MHETAB: Students more dense…

…In terms of the density of number of devices that will proliferate University networks in the near future. During the Mobility Higher Education Technical Advisory Board (MHETAB) several representatives from colleges and universities across the United States echoed this sentiment.

There is a common concern amongst higher education IT professionals who are trying to determine the best course of action as students, faculty and administrators introduce new smart phones, iPads/iPods and laptops to the university wireless network.  Several of the representatives also stated that even though they are still trying to tackle the older requirement to have campus wide coverage these density challenges are looming.

Why do these challenges exist? As wireless networks evolve to a necessity from a “nice to have” it is critical for higher education organizations to find new ways to manage access while at the same time support a greater scale of devices with the same resources and budgets as they had when the user to device ratio was one to one. To face the onslaught of device proliferation these organizations are looking towards solutions to provide new and unique approaches to providing students, faculty and administrators the ability to have wireless access all the time, throughout the campus from multiple devices.

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PCI Base 2.0 – Don’t Leave Rogue Detection Up in The Air!

I have been preparing for the PCI DSS 2.0 draft released on October 28th, 2010 which is to be ratified in January of 2011. PCI DSS 2.0 clarifies requirements in many areas.

The draft 2.0 released yesterday has shown that there is little change in wireless recommendations around detecting the presence of rogue wireless access points. Actually the draft adds a little more room for interpretation.

In PCI DSS Draft v2.0, requirement 11.1 states that to be compliant organizations are required to “Test for the presence of wireless access points and detect unauthorized wireless access points on a quarterly Basis.” With a note that states, “Methods that may be used in the process include but are not limited to wireless network scans, physical/logical inspections of system components and infrastructure, network access control (NAC), or wireless IDS/IPS. Whichever methods are used, they must be sufficient to detect and identify any unauthorized devices.

As we examine this statement it seems to lend itself to more than one option. Perform a quarterly scan with a handheld scanner, rely on physically inspecting connections or implement an always-on wireless IDS/IPS solution.  I vote for the latter.  Why?

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The Cisco Connected World Report: Mobility’s Role in Workplace Flexibility

As part of Cisco’s ongoing focus to help customers, we often conduct studies around the world that give us real-life insight into how businesses are evolving and how end users themselves are driving many of those changes with their behavior and technology expectations.

After all, understanding what employees expect from their IT organizations to perform their jobs better is integral to delivering the right solutions to our customers.

This week, Cisco announced the results of a comprehensive, global study that analyzes employee lifestyles and the level of importance workers place on being able to use various devices to access applications and information – both corporate and personal – inside and outside of the office.

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Educause 2010 Proves Learning is (Going) Mobile

“The Future of Learning is Mobile”. That is how I closed each of my 8 presentations at the Cisco booth at Educause 2010 this week.  What I should have said instead though is “Learning is Mobile”.

Mobility in Education is not a future trend; it is happening right now all around us.  And I should have known better since Higher Education has been a very early adopter of wireless networking and our customers are constantly interested in the latest technology.

I had less than an hour to walk the expo floor, but during that time I had multiple discussions that proved just how mobile education already is. Here is a quick summary of those discussions:

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Cisco Borderless Networks Demos at Interop New York Oct 20 and 21

Next week on October 20-21 I’ll be at Interop New York in booth #121 demonstrating Cisco CleanAir technology.  For those of you who can’t be there for a live demonstration of the Cisco Aironet 3500 Series, you can watch this CleanAir Demonstration Video to get a preview.   Stop by the Cisco booth to see why Borderless Networks technology is so exciting. Here are highlights of other exciting  demos we’ll be showcasing.

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