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Thankful for…the privacy of my patient data

If you happened to have your Thanksgiving meal last week with a person of Greek heritage, you may have heard them toast “Yia mas”, that literally means “to our health”. And that is exactly what I am thankful for each day, my family’s health.

I am also thankful for the health of our wireless business, which is going great thanks to professionals such as doctors, and nurses that want to want to use their personal devices (smartphones and tablets) at work.

At Cisco we have long been talking about how we enable this proliferation of devices in the workplace and how we make it easier for IT to onboard and troubleshoot these “un-managed” devices. We also provide a robust wireless infrastructure that enables these professionals by providing the best possible mobile experience. But the trend of personal devices in the workplace does pose a valid concern: “As more and more doctors start using their personal iPads at work, will my patient data be secure?”

Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to look at some data over the long weekend to better understand how healthcare data breaches occur. This is by no means a scientific analysis, I just crunched some data I downloaded from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website (hss.gov), so the findings are not conclusive, but rather indicative of what is happening. The data represents HIPAA breaches of 500 or more records per incident over the past 2-year period.

Here is what the data says: Read More »

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Mobile Device Flexibility More Important Than Salary [INFOGRAPHIC]

At Interop New York last month, Cisco’s Sujai Hajela, VP/GM of Wireless Networking Business Unit, said “people are falling in love with their mobile devices,” during his keynote. He was right. People are so in love with their mobile devices that they’ll choose mobile device flexibility over salary.

Consider this. According to the second chapter of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, one in three college students and young employees under the age of 30 would prioritize device flexibility and social media freedom over salary in accepting a job offer. In fact, 40 percent of college students and 45 percent of young employees said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more device flexibility and social media access, than a higher-paying job with less flexibility. Wow!

People are so in love and attached to their mobile devices that half of college students and young employees said they would rather lose their wallet or purse than their mobile device, according to the study. And their mobile devices are multiplying – 77 percent of employees have multiple devices and one in three employees globally uses at least three devices for work.

Their attachment to their mobile devices goes a step further. More than half of college students and young employees want to use their own devices to access corporate networks, and two in five consider it a critical function of their job to be able to connect to the network from any location at any time.

So, what does this mean for businesses? People will want to continue their love affair with their mobile devices at work, so it’s better to be prepared to support employee-owned devices as the “bring your own device” trend is only becoming more prevalent.

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Securing the Mobile Experience Made Simpler

It is no longer a question of “if” your organization will face the new reality of mobile device proliferation, just an ever closer “how soon.” Users expect the network to enable trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and they aren’t just using smartphones and tablets to be more productive, they are falling in love with them. For businesses, simply allowing access isn’t the answer. It’s a question of relevant, secure access across the entire network, while protecting corporate assets and delivering an optimal user experience. Cisco focuses on exactly that -- how to enable a simple and secure mobility experience, with a consistent end-to-end architecture across wired, wireless and VPN access.

As a cornerstone of this wired-wireless access architecture, the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) has already been helping customers like Whittier Union High School, San Antonio Water System and BlueWater Communications Group apply consistent security across the entire network through a centralized, single policy source.

Whittier Union High School District, a California high school district serving more than 13,600 students, was facing the challenge of mobile devices. Both faculty and students were bringing their personal devices on campus, many for educational apps and tools.

“It’s becoming increasingly critical to provide employees, students, and visitors access to our network and extensive educational resources given the growing expectations of our tech-savvy population,” stated Karen Yeh, Director of Information Technology, Whittier Union High School District.

Whittier needed a way to apply differentiated policy across their student and staff populations, somehow managing access for both personal and corporate devices, all without increasing IT resources. Karen called Cisco, and two weeks later her team was deploying the Cisco ISE, implementing a single point of security policy for their networks across wired, wireless and VPN. Considering that Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the US went to Whittier High School, the flexible network access enabled by Cisco ISE may be empowering the next generation of leaders, scientist or artists. But, mobile devices aren’t confined to education. San Antonio Water System, a public utility owned by the city of San Antonio, is seeing surprisingly similar issues.

Read More »

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Check your Spectrum!

October 3, 2011 at 10:28 am PST

Lately I had been spending a lot of time in the office rather than on the road.  Which isn’t all bad, as it gives me some semblance of a routine rather than living out of a suitcase.   It has also has given me some spare time to come up with another blog topic, which actually stems from some of the work I have been doing for customers lately.

Typically when a site survey is being done, we will do spectrum analysis work as well, part of my job entails creating and reviewing documents from this work, prior to delivering them to customers, which means I have been watching a lot of  spectrum analysis lately.   Most of the customers I have worked with recently have been with CleanAir APs, so they will be able to monitor their environment in real time, once the WLAN is up and running.  However it’s always a good idea to perform some spectral analysis while you are walking around doing a site survey.  And really why not?  If you are there and you have a few minutes, fire up the old spectrum card and get a capture of whats going on with your RF.   This helps make sure there aren’t any major layer 1 surprises when you go to install the new WLAN.  It doesn’t mean things won’t change, and they often will, due to the dynamic nature of RF.  It’s an ever changing environment, so what wasn’t there on Monday, might show up on Tuesday and be gone again by Wednesday.

Before jumping into particular types of interferes let’s talk about some of the data that Cisco Spectrum Expert can show you.  Two of the things I like to look at when looking at the RF in Cisco Spectrum Expert, are Real Time FFT and Duty Cycle plots, as pictured below.

The Real Time FFT is showing you is the RF energy in real time measured in dBm, so how loud or quiet the device is.  The next is the FFT Duty Cycle, which simply put it’s how utilized the RF is. Let’s say you have a device that is being captured as having a 1% duty cycle.  This means it’s using a very small amount of the available ‘air time’ to transmit its data.  Conversly if there is a device that is showing a 100% duty cycle it is using up all the ‘air time’ and not allowing other devices to use the RF medium to transmit.

Two other views I find helpful are the Spectrogram views.  These display the same info as the plots above, but are plotted out over time.  I use them in a few of the examples below.

Read More »

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Developers, Developers Developers! Cius Developer Program and Droidcon London 2011

In a classic performance, captured here on Youtube, Steve Balmer does a pretty good job of illustrating his feelings on the importance of developers. We share his enthusiasm.

You have probably already heard that we have an enterprise tablet, the Cius, with corporate telepresence, baked-in security/encryption, VXI, docking stations, display out and a bunch of other features that make it the ideal corporate citizen. One of those features of particular note to developers is the enterprise app store, AppHQ. The AppHQ makes it easier for Cius owners to find apps, while providing an easy route to market for developers. Of course, things like the AppHQ are far more interesting when well stocked with interesting apps, which brings us to the next point…

Cius Developer Program

Speaking of developers, Cisco has a substantial developer network, not surprisingly called the Cisco Developer Network. Better yet, part of that larger effort is the Cius Developer program. We make it easy. Cius uses the popular Android OS, the apps you write will appear in the Cisco AppHQ (if you charge for your apps, you get 70%) and we will help you along the way, with forums, extensive documentation including a solid API reference, and sample code and apps. By the way, did you know what 85% of the Fortune 500 use Cisco Unified Communications?

Droidcon

To help get the word out on the Cius Developer program, Cisco will be at Droidcon London. Participate in our “Crack the Code” breakout session with Marcus O’ Sullivan, Business Development at Cisco on the first day at 2:40 PM in room two. Then, have a drink on us; we’ll be sponsoring drinks later in the exhibit hall. On the second day, Tim Stone, Cisco Business Development Director will give a key note on the insights on enterprise mobility strategies first day at 9:35 AM in the auditorium.

If you miss some of these events, that’s okay, you can always drop by our booth, [booth number] any time—you wouldn’t be able to miss it. Bring some ideas, we’ll be glad to chat with you about the possibilities that are out there for you.

We are also giving away two Cius tablets at Droidcon—just drop your business card off at one of the events or at our booth and we will pick two winners!

So, if you can, please join us at Droidcon – we look forward to hearing from you. If you can’t make it to Droidcon, we certainly encourage you to join the Cius Developer Program.

Remember, there are lots of ecosystems out there but the good ones all have one thing in common…

Developers, developers, developers!

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