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Interference Detection and Mitigation with Cisco CleanAir

The previous blog on CleanAir went in depth on how MSE uses CleanAir information to locate interferers and the impact zone for each interferer. This blog takes a step back and gives an overview of the CleanAir technology.

How Interference Affects Your WiFi

802.11 devices operate in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz unlicensed bands. These are unregulated and experimental bands. As such, there are way more non-802.11 devices, including but not limited to cordless phones, video cameras, microwave ovens, Bluetooth headsets, DECT phones and even X-Boxes. Now even more devices are coming out that emit in these bands. These devices interfere with your WiFi network since they don’t work cooperatively with 802.11 devices, causing reduced network capacity and coverage, poor quality of voice and video, and link failures.

When an 802.11 device is ready to transmit and it senses interference, it will hold off transmission until it is finished.  If it is in the middle of a transmission where it has sent a packet and never receives an acknowledgement, then it will try to send the packet again. Issues like these  impact the throughput and capacity of your Wireless Network. An interferer like a microwave oven, which emits interference on a 50% Duty Cycle, will reduce the throughput by 50 percent. In the case of an interferer like a video camera, which emits interference at 100% Duty Cycle, when seen at Access Point above CCA threshold will stop the Access Point from beaconing. Due to this clients will not attempt to associate. Read More »

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The Fourth Step to Enterprise Mobility: Create an App Checkpoint

This is the fourth post in a blog series featuring Vine-format videos focusing on the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility”. The first blog post discussing how to build a mobile structure can be found here. The second blog post highlighting the benefits going virtual can be found here. The third blog post focused on preparing enterprises for the division of devices can be found here.  

For today’s app-centric mobile workforce, it’s no longer enough to provide basic security features for devices. Gone are the days where security for mobility is “all or nothing” where virtual private networks (VPNs) gave you access to all corporate network resources, or you had very limited email and calendaring access.

Today, enterprises are managing public and private mobile applications that require a shift in security practices and a new application strategy. Here’s a short checklist to guide enterprises as they create app checkpoints to meet new security demands:

Step 4

To watch the video, see: http://youtu.be/dpQ5_n6FoX4

1. Look for a rapid, reliable, and secure vetting process for applications. 

IT security teams are usually directed toward securing the network and the devices connected to it, versus securing the applications that run on those devices. Many organizations lack the resources to evaluate an application’s ability to handle sensitive information throughout its lifecycle.

Companies rarely have the resources to monitor sites that could breed malware, nor do they have the ability to maintain heuristic algorithms to identify such sites prior to infection. And those that decide to secure mobile apps themselves might end up having to prioritize remediations, leaving them vulnerable. Read More »

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Register to Learn About Cisco’s Policy Enforcement Solution

In his blog last week, Daryl Coon announced how there’s going to be a webinar this Thursday talking about Cisco’s leading One Policy solution driver, the Identity Services Engine (ISE) and its newest enhancements—now available with its 1.2 release.

During this free event, you will learn about the new features that provide increased scalability, reliability, and ease-of-use for guest access and BYOD on-boarding. You will hear from customers who have already deployed the 1.2 release. And we will discuss how the enhancements provide significantly greater capabilities than solutions available from competing vendors.Whether you need to support BYOD work practices, or provide more secure access to your data center resources, the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) can help. With this all-in-one enterprise policy control platform, you can reliably enforce compliance, enhance infrastructure security, and simplify service operations.

Read more at http://blogs.cisco.com/borderless/ciscos-policy-enforcement-solution-delivers/

Already sold? Join us for the free webinar, Thursday Sept 5 at 10am PST to learn more.

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[Summary] How Secure Is Your Mobile Worker?

Let’s start with how well do you know your mobile worker?  Understanding the mobile worker’s perceptions and behaviors will offer a better view on the potential security implications your organization must manage.  Cisco just released new global research (white paper) , Cisco Connected  World International Mobile Security study, that explores the mobile worker’s view points on working remotely, connecting to corporate and their sense of security.  Some of the findings are worth reflecting on to help you set the course for your mobile security efforts.

There is no question; the movement for mobile personal devices in the workforce has been well recognized.  A recent response to this trend includes employers (almost half) offering to fund workers buying their own devices.  Allowing “chose your own” device will attract and retain talent and reduce costs (see recent IBSG BYOD research)—but what are the security implications?

There were a couple striking data points to call out:

  • 63% download sensitive data on their device …and the frequency significantly increases in some countries—
  • Most believe remote access is a privilege—yet in some countries they believe it’s a right as a worker—
  • Most are diligent when a pop up appears and read through the details on what it really means. Yet, some workers from select countries tend to be generally less careful.
  • 60% admit to engaging in risky behavior on a device  (personal or company-owned), connected to corporate resources,

So, who really owns the mobile security issue—mobile workers do not take full responsibility for a safe device–as expressed in their high confidence in their IT with over 84% believing that IT will protect them from threats no matter what device.  Read more on http://blogs.cisco.com/security/how-secure-is-your-mobile-worker-2/

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Third Step to Enterprise Mobility: The Division of Devices

This is the third post in a blog series featuring Vine-format videos focusing on the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility”. Be sure to read the first two blogs and watch the videos – First Step to Enterprise Mobility: Build the Mobile Structure and  Second Step to Enterprise Mobility: Go Virtual.

In this blog series, we’ve discussed two important steps enterprises can take unleash the power of enterprise mobility. We’ve covered how building a mobile structure can arm enterprises with the appropriate architecture to increase efficiency and revenue. In addition, we highlighted how enterprises can go virtual by implementing desktop virtualization.

Our third step – preparing for the division of devices – relies on both structure and a mobile workforce. How can enterprises enable and support the proliferation of employee-owned devices without burying their IT department and putting corporate data at risk? Here’s a quick checklist to help make it happen:

mobstep11. Use a unified network infrastructure that facilitates secure, virtual workspace delivery across wired, wireless, VPN, and cellular networks.

As wireless access becomes more pervasive, performance and reliability expectations are the same as what is expected from a wired network. Features such as reliable connectivity, application response times and voice, video and real-time collaboration solutions all depend on a seamless delivery for both wired and wireless devices. This fundamental shift demands that IT monitor and have a unified solution in place  (i.e. a single physical infrastructure) for both corporate wireless LAN (WLAN) and wired LAN. This converged infrastructure will enable the right quality of experience for users, independent of their devices.

A unified network infrastructure can also make sure that IT is able to identify each device connecting to the network and authenticate the person using it.

Read More »

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