Stay Safe & Secure In A Wireless World
Posted on 27/06/2013
Segmentation is one of the best solutions in the wireless network world – boosting security and enhancing performance. Kevan Sproston from Nimans says SME companies run the risk of damaging their reputation due to a poor internet experience.
“The biggest driver in this sector is the home market where people are spending a lot of money on tablets for themselves and their children. They will likely have a smartphone and laptop from work and will be streaming a lot of data from the comfort of their own home. Wireless and BYOD is being driven massively by the speeds that people expect at home,” he pointed out.
“Companies need to really have two separate networks. One for everyday business use and one for BYOD. The challenge is to get these two to operate alongside each other. There’s potential for cross contamination.”
Kevan, who spearheads Nimans’ dedicated data infrastructure division, continued: “One of the biggest benefits of wireless is that you have the ability to segment each individual network to launch separate applications such as Outlook. Each wireless network has its own proprietary identification – perhaps restricting internet and a few other services, maybe non critical and not database related. You could also assign certain people passwords that can be locked down and relate to specific devices as well. To segment things wirelessly is a lot easier process than trying to do it physically. Once a user plugs a cable into a business network they generally have access to everything around a building which is more expensive and much harder to control. In addition wireless access points and controllers offer more of a complete solution with built-in levels of security.
“I think the consumer is used to a fast service at home which is expected in the workplace. People go to a business and almost borrow the internet the same way they would use another utility service such as a drink of water or using the toilet. Expectations are driving the market. With a standard connection you can achieve up to a 20 meg download at home – watch online TV without freezing or buffering etc. You can also have four or five devices connected and the speed doesn’t slow otherwise you’d complain to the provider. In the workplace you tend to wait when things slow down. There’s a massive expectation that companies get judged on – so the internet is now so important.”
Kevan says people tend to be familiar with just one device as they find it easier to work off. “Obviously one of the biggest risks is that not everyone is technically savvy. Their network at home could be completely unlocked and dragging in all sorts of nasty surprises. Equally children could be downloading lots of game apps. These are constantly updating themselves via the internet which is not ideal in a business environment.
“These are just some of the issues resellers need to be aware of as the biggest risk is obviously security. If you allow staff to bring in their own devices you’ve also got visitors from other companies and the internet is the hub for everything. It tends to be IT VARS that control the pipe but any service attached by a comms reseller has to be secure.
“You wouldn’t buy a used car if it was dirty and it’s the same with slow communication; it can damage the reputation of a business and create a negative perception. Equally with more home workers out there there’s more pressure put on the network. The ability to segment it is crucial to maintain peak performance.”