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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.

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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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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.

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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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Cisco Bonjour helps make beautiful music at University of Nevada, Las Vegas

February 28, 2014 at 4:36 pm PST

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), founded in 1957, is located in the heart of showbiz industry in Las Vegas. The school offers higher education programs ranging from business, engineering, fine arts and music, and science, and professional schools such as dental medicine and law.

The school’s mascot, Hey Reb, was recently featured on Hulu’s “Behind the Mask,” and you may recognize the Southern Gym during the dance scene between Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret Olsson in the movie Viva Las Vegas.

With over 24,000 unique WLAN users per day, 1.1 gigabytes of throughput per second, and more than 50 wireless access locations across campus providing WLAN coverage, this educational institute demands a massive Wi-Fi network.

In the previous blog, we highlighted some of the Bonjour enhancements of the 7.5 software release and the deployment of Bonjour at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, a K-12 school. In this blog, we will describe details about UNLVs WLAN deployment, how they use Bonjour services, and give you an insight into rapid pace of innovation necessary to support this technology in the education arena. Read More »

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