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Tag Archives: wireless networks

Your WLAN Is Widely Dispersed, But What About Your Analysis Capability?

Let’s say you’re a growing business that’s run out of space on the floor you currently occupy in your office building, so you choose to expand your operations to available space on the floor below. Now that your users and equipment are more spread out, you need a way to ensure they all remain connected to your network.

Wi-Fi solves that problem easily and, before you know it, your WLAN stretches to both floors.

While you’re celebrating your success, however, it’s important to remember that a high-speed dispersed WLAN can be difficult to monitor. Or at least it used to be, right up until WildPackets launched its Omnipliance WiFi Analysis & Recorder Appliance.

As the only wireless network analyzer capable of capturing and storing wireless data at multi-Gbps speeds, the Omnipliance Wi-Fi Analysis & Recorder Appliance offers network engineers a new level of visibility for IT engineers. The device can conduct roaming, voice or multi-channel analysis, as well as detect and analyze trouble anywhere on the network, 24 x 7. Using the data captured directly from your AP, IT engineers can:

  • Troubleshoot network performance issues, that occurred minutes, hours, or days earlier
  • Find proof of security attacks, including data breaches, suggested by alerts raised by other security tools
  • Support critical applications like email, VoIP or Voice over Wi-Fi (VoFi).

If you’d like to learn more about how you can improve the way you manage and monitor your Wi-Fi network, click here for the Omnipliance Wi-Fi data sheet.

The State of 802.11ac Adoption

The move to the next generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ac is picking up steam quickly, seeing an increase of 540 percent in the last year. However, there is still much work to be done when it comes to client devices that support the new standard. Many organizations are still running clients that can only handle traffic from older standards like 802.11n or 802.11g. In order to truly realize the efficiencies gained from 802.11ac, 802.11ac client devices need broader adoption in the enterprise.  Although the number of 802.11ac client devices is still small, this number is growing rapidly, with most new cell phones, tablets and laptops supporting 802.11ac. When this question is asked again, we believe the number of 802.11ac clients will be approaching critical mass, and organizations will be very happy that they upgraded their wireless infrastructure to 802.11ac so they are capable of handling the increased throughput.

To illustrate the rate of enterprise 802.11ac adoption, WildPackets commissioned a survey across the enterprise and various industries. More than 200 individuals completed the State of 802.11ac Adoption survey. Respondents came from organizations of various industries and sizes. Here are some of the key findings from the report:

Who Responded?

  • More than 20 percent of respondents work in organizations with more than 10,000 people
  • Almost 63 percent of respondents work in organizations with less than 1,000 people
  • 40 percent of respondents lie within three main industries: High Technology, Manufacturing, and Education

Rate of 802.11ac Adoption

  • 23 percent of respondents have already deployed 802.11ac
  • 29 percent of respondents have no plans to deploy 802.11ac

Client Devices Supporting 802.11ac

  • 41 percent of respondents said that less than 10 percent of their organization’s current client devices supported 802.11ac. 25 percent did not know

To find out more about the state of 802.11ac gigabit Wi-Fi adoption, download the full survey report

Security Series Part 4: Five Crucial Strategies for BYOD Security

The upside to the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and laptops is that they allow your employees to access important work-related information from just about anywhere, improving collaboration and productivity in the process. Personal mobile devices can also save your business money because you won’t have to lay out cash for company-specific mobile tools.

The downside to the bring your own device (BYOD) trend, however, is that anywhere, anytime access can create significant security concerns for both you and your customers. Efficient mobile communications are a necessity in today’s global marketplace. At the same time, companies must always be cognizant of what information employees are accessing on-the-go and how they are viewing it.

Fortunately for companies with dispersed workforces there are strategies and solutions that can severely limit BYOD risks. Let’s take a look at five critical ways companies can ensure their BYOD policies are as strong as possible:

  •  Go beyond device security: It’s important to maintain security protocol at the device level. It’s equally important to have visibility into the data traffic from these devices.  Effective Network monitoring tools give engineers a high-level view, along with their associated traffic patterns, of every node on the network at all times.
  •  Run a pilot program: There is no way to fully anticipate the problems you’ll run into when you launch a new protocol. That’s why running a trial program is crucial. Pilots allow your company to encounter and solve actual issues as they crop up, rather than just hypothetical scenarios.
  •  Invest in training: Employees can’t be expected to abide by BYOD policies they don’t fully understand. Nothing will prepare your workforce for the rigors of remote work quite like teaching them exactly how your company would prefer they use their devices, as well as covering what should remain off-limits.
  •  Involve all company departments and stakeholders: Network security affects every department, from billing to HR to customer service. A data breach in any of these divisions can wreak havoc across an entire organize. Employees in these departments need to understand that network security is everybody’s job, not just IT.
  •  Consider all industry requirements: As mobility proliferates, many regulations are continually put in place to keep it a safe space. Ensuring your company is up-to-date on the latest requirements will stave off many future issues. It’s especially vital that companies also understand their own verticals and the regulations—like HIPAA laws for healthcare, for instance—with which they must remain compliant to avoid fines and penalties.

Even when your company is on top of all these issues, it can never hurt to have a helping hand or a second set of eyes. For this reason, companies like WildPackets, who specialize in troubleshooting and wireless network forensics, can bring peace of mind to even the most forward-thinking organizations.

Click here to download WildPackets’ whitepaper on BYOD security for mission critical applications.