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BYOD Security: 5 Ways Meraki Manages Networking in The Cloud [Cisco]

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on June 25, 2013 by Candice Garner

Besides being cost-efficient and quick to deploy, cloud-based services are flexible and scalable to fit your needs and your budget as they evolve over time. And cloud-based service providers usually take care of major issues (and costs) related to security, backup, storage and computing capacity – so you don’t have to.

What cloud-based networking brings to BYOD

Today’s cloud-based networking solutions also have an incredible array of BYOD management  and security  features baked right into them. It makes sense when you look at the risks involved with something as common as a guest WiFi network, for example. Many companies provide guest WiFi networks so customers or partners can use the Internet while visiting their offices. But what if a guest’s smartphone is infected with mobile malware that’s programmed to automatically infect any network (like yours) that it comes into contact with? It could make for an unpleasant visit – especially if your firewalls aren’t up to date and your guest WiFi network isn’t completely isolated from your internal corporate network!

What to do about it

Traditional network management systems are  device-centric. This type of system requires a top-down management approach and uses a central server to push configuration into devices and to manage the device state. With few exceptions, this approach provides no additional features and is essentially a GUI representation of a Command-Line-Interface (CLI) configuration. You get little to no support for VPN or mobile worker.

With a Cloud Managed Networking solution like Meraki Cloud-Managed Networking, you get strong BYOD security features alongside the benefits of cloud-based networking. Below, we give our 5 reasons for managing your network in the Cloud, and it’s easy to see where it can help with gaps in your WiFi guest network:

  • Centralized management, monitoring, diagnostics and reporting for devices touching your network – including various types of devices and operating systems
  • Ability to remotely lock, erase and track the location of devices
  • Instant recognition of device type and ability to automatically apply BYOD policies based on device type
  • Ability to isolate user-owned devices from your network or integrate them into it as needed
  • Integrated network access control (NAC) stops unmanaged devices from spreading viruses to your network

Meraki’s built-in support for BYOD makes it easy to securely support user-owned tablets, smartphones and laptops without extra appliances, licenses or complex VLAN configurations.

Since these BYOD management features are in the cloud, being able to access them from any Internet-enabled location makes it a heck of a lot easier to manage your BYOD needs across multiple corporate branches or locations. With a solution like Meraki, you get the best of both worlds: the ability to manage your network and your BYOD needs, securely in the cloud.

Why Softchoice for BYOD?

We recently embarked on our own BYOD journey and, more recently, at the 2013 Softchoice CIO Summit where we brought together technology leaders from Softchoice clients and many of Silicon Valley’s trendsetting organizations (Download a longer PDF version), to expand our collective understanding of what the ever-evolving BYOD, Collaboration and Cloud trends really mean for the modern enterprise.

For your Cisco needs, we have achieved Cisco Master Specializations in Canada and the U.S., putting Softchoice in the top 1% of North American Cisco Gold Partners. To do this, we had to demonstrate commitment to helping customers leverage advanced technologies to increase business agility,  gain competitive advantage and improve collaborative processes.

Think you might be ready for a cloud-based networking solution like Meraki and the BYOD features that come along with it? What issues are you facing right now with the configuration you have? Let us know in the comments and we will get back to you.

Download our info sheet on Meraki Cloud-Managed Networking or connect with our BYOD team.

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