Wireless Mobility Solutions

By Paul Rummery, Securenet Consulting

Wireless Network offers a way to meet new network demands

Whether deployment is a campus, business, outdoor or smart cities wireless has you covered

High-performance, enterprise-class WLAN capable of handling all your voice / video / data traffic needs – scalable small and large deployments

With the latest Wi-Fi technologies including OFDMA, MU-MIMO, and software-defined dual 5 GHz radios, WiFi access points deliver uncompromising performance in the most demanding environments.

The Challenges

The rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets, combined with enterprise Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs in the workplace, has seen a dramatic demand for enterprise-grade Wi-Fi connectivity.

Broad adoption of wireless 802.11n has created a complex Wireless landscape with proliferating mobile devices and applications. It is no longer sufficient to treat all wireless users and applications alike.

BYOD means employees and people bringing non-controlled devices onto your network, which require access to corporate resources / data. But these devices often have many non-corporate ‘mobile apps’ enable the user to access online internet spaces via wireless or 4/5G, for example web mail, file sharing sites, social media like outlook, Google, Dropbox, Facebook…

Other consumer apps also require access to the devices contact lists, storage, pictures, files, and general device functionality.

Therefore you are presented with the problem of what happens to your data once someone has accessed you network with one of these devices.

Wi-Fi networks are not built the same: each wireless network has a unique set of capacity, coverage and performance requirements that grow and change with your business. Building and maintaining a high-performing, reliable network requires an understanding of the business requirements, the underlying Wi-Fi technology, as well as the overarching IT infrastructure.

When searching for a wireless access infrastructure solution, network leaders should look for the following key attributes:

Features & Benefits

> Latest Wi-Fi technologies provide support for demanding voice / video / data applications to enhance mobile worker productivity and convenience

> Better control over your network infrastructure, from wherever they are, at any time.

> No need for a local controller, reducing cost and complexity while streamlining network infrastructure.

> Increase Performance, Increase Security.

Wi-Fi 6 & 5G
Both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 bring a promise of dramatically better performance to mobile workers and the enterprise. Since they are complementary technologies, they will provide higher data rates to support new applications and increases in network capacity with the ability to connect more devices.

High efficiency, high capacity Wi-Fi that utilises the latest technologies to optimise and protect bandwidth in all environments.

Designed to address connectivity issues for high density networks, the new 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) standard improves the performance of the entire network. New features allow multiple clients to transmit simultaneously, increasing network capacity by up to 4 times compared to 802.11ac.

Cloud Driven
Combine the leading Wi-Fi hardware appliances with cloud management to simplify every aspect of IT operations from deployment to support.
Centralised management for multi-site and user deployments.
Access anywhere, configuration backup in the cloud.
24 / monitoring, alerts and reporting.

Machine Learning
Make the network work for you instead of the other way around with self-driving Wi-Fi powered by millions of actionable insights to continually adapt and adjust performance.

Role based group
Role-based grouping of users, devices, and applications to deliver priority, QoS, and security in accordance with business needs.

Unify wireless and wired
Multi-tenant structure allows deployment across multiple sites.

Advanced traffic reporting and data analysis tools provide business owners and IT professionals with real-time insights.

Create policies that leverage user roles, device profiling and authentication sources across any multi-vendor wireless and wired network environment.

WLAN (Wireless Access Points) Indoor & Outdoor /Industrial Access
Centrally managed wireless network access. Deploy wireless network access points to manage security and service / network performance.

Scan continuously for rogue sensors or unknown devices.

Automatically find, locate, optionally triangulate and block on the wire and wirelessly.

Quality of Service
Consistent protection, Bandwidth management, seamless roaming for Workflows and Applications (e.g. Voice of IP)

Identify and load-balance specific apps across access points, adjust roaming settings for latency-sensitive apps.

OFDMA allows many low-bandwidth streams to transmit in parallel, reducing latency and jitter. Reduced latency is an important requirement for some IoT, video, and factory automation applications that 802.11ax can now address.

Deployments Made Simple
Auto Provision, Auto Configure, Auto Optimise.

Dynamic Network Management
Reduce load on the WAN

Depending on the size of the WLAN deployment and how much data is carried over the network, significant congestion may result.

Network administrators can select how traffic will be handled, so that the wireless LAN infrastructure can adapt to business requirements and applications. A fully distributed deployment eliminates backhauling traffic to a wireless appliance but increases the processing complexity for real-time mobile applications that require seamless cross-subnet roaming (e.g. VoWLAN). This can force IT managers to either create a large broadcast domain or apply many VLANs.

Improve responsiveness and ensures that traffic does not unnecessarily traverse costly WANs or contribute to bottlenecks at aggregating switches.

Provides role-based policies providing security, NAC, mobility, and QoS priority that can be implemented on a per user and per application basis.

Deep network insight enabling smarter network management
Visibility / location analytics
Band/client steering, load balancing
Multi site, tiered / multi campus

Legacy devices will also see a benefit
Although legacy 11n and 11ac Wi-Fi devices won’t directly see any range or performance improvement of their connections to 11ax APs or wireless routers, they can see an indirect benefit. Remember, Wi-Fi is all about airtime: the faster any device is served, the more time there is for other devices. If newer technologies like MU-MIMO and OFDMA can help serve supported devices quicker, there's more airtime for other devices, including legacy ones.

Integrated Security

Protects against new threat vectors that tap into wireless access vulnerabilities.

Security and networking are tied together, changes to the network infrastructure automatically include changes to security.

Without appropriate threat protections in place, organisations place their customers, employees, and business partners at risk when they use access points. In addition, applications and sensitive data must be fully protected to comply with regulations, for example Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). And organisations must demonstrate that compliance through tracking and reporting.

From a network perspective, a wireless access solution should feature plug-and-play deployment and ease of management. Core capabilities include application security, visibility, and control across on-premises and cloud infrastructures. Management of access points should also be integrated into the broader security architecture. In addition to improving efficiencies and minimising the number of manual touch points, this architectural approach improves an organisation’s security posture. This ensures that wireless access points are visible from a centralised console and that threat intelligence can be shared with and from other security areas in real time.

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), full packet inspection, adaptive signature pattern matching, protocol analysis, and behavioral anomaly detection are delivered for both wired and wireless users. Identity based policy privileges are unified across the wired and wireless infrastructure to deliver role-based access control – regardless of connectivity method.

Network Access Control
Define security policies based on users, device type, ownership, location and schedules.

Businesses can now support BYOD or allow guest access while ensuring highest levels of network security.

Remote and Public Wireless / WiFi security

Enforce authorisation and encryption on open (public) networks

Wi-Fi hotspots are a convenient means for remote employees and professionals who travel to stay connected to enterprise resources. Unfortunately, many of these hotspots are vulnerable to a variety of cyber threats and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Ensure that each guest sessions is encrypted and thus invisible to anyone trying to sniff Wi-Fi packets.

Wireless Authentication / On-boarding
Certificate-based network access ensures safe, encrypted wireless access.

Some example use cases
Guest Wi-Fi Portal/Hotspot Support

Easy customisation options for guest portals include authentication, hotspot setup, and the ability to use your own external portal server. Apply different bandwidth rates (download/upload), limit total data usage, and limit duration of use.
All Wi-Fi APs include hotspot functionality:

  • Built-in support for billing integration using major credit cards.
  • Built-in support for voucher-based authentication.
  • Built-in hotspot manager for voucher creation, guest management, and payment refunds.
  • Full customisation and branding of hotspot portal pages.

Temporary installations = deploy mesh models for outdoor installations requiring quick setup and takedown, such as a street fair, music festival, or concert venue.

Light-Up Branch Offices Faster
Cloud-based and managed wireless network controller, and 'zero-touch' pre-configured wireless access points enable instant connectivity and access for new branch offices faster.

Remote User Wireless Access Points For at home and on the road workers
  • Pre-configured / plug and play remote network (WLAN) access points
  • Allow you to ship pre-configured APs to remote employees.
  • Issue to road-warriors, executives or employees working from a home office,
  • Shipping pre-provisioned APs allows you to save time and reduce helpdesk calls by eliminating the need to assist remote users with network access problems.

Once plugged in, the AP (access point) automatically discovers your enterprise wireless controller over the Internet, downloads its configuration and broadcasts the same wireless SSIDs used in the corporate office.

Acting as an extension of the corporate LAN, this enables remote employees to seamlessly gain secure encrypted network access to the enterprise, without the need to configure or manage complex client VPN connections.

Run presentations straight from your laptop or tablet via wireless direct to board room screen

Power savings from owning and running less equipment (no projector equipment)