Article Round-Up: 01/21/2011

Here are a collection of articles from the past week that I have found useful, interesting, or enlightening. As always, for a complete list of articles check out my shared article feed from Google Reader.

General Wi-Fi Related Articles
Aruba Networks and SOTI Partner to Enable Advanced Mobile Device Management (MDM)
"SOTI MobiControl will be integrated with Aruba’s AirWave Wireless Management Suite for mobile device management."
This strategic partnership by Aruba Networks underscores the growing importance of proper management of your corporate mobile device fleet, as well as the need for IT departments to wrap their arms around supporting and securing personal / consumer class devices like tablets and smartphones.

Troubleshooting Checklist for 802.1X on Your WLAN
"Though 802.1X isn't the easiest protocol to implement, it should be a must for all organizations with more than a couple of employees using the wireless network. In this tutorial, we'll discuss how to troubleshoot 802.1X client issues."
Surveying with a 3502 (followup post)
"Cisco 3502i Access Points have different radios in them than then 1142 Access Point making the 1142 an unsuitable substitute for a site survey... "
WLC: Generate Third Party Web Authentication Certificate for a WLC
"This is a step by step “how to” creating a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) with OPENSSL, processing a third-party certificate that is CHAINED and download it to the Cisco WLC."
Efficient enterprise Wi-Fi coverage requires hybrid approach
"The growing need for enterprise Wi-Fi coverage will prompt other new hybrid approaches to emerge, combining aspects of DAS, femtocell and FMC... By making your indoor network infrastructure investments do more, you may well be able to improve indoor coverage for many wireless services at a reduced total cost."
Organizations are increasingly looking to leverage a common infrastructure for both cellular and Wi-Fi solutions. However, converging these networks is not a simple task and market solutions need more time to mature.

Cloudy, With A Chance Of Networking - Network Computing
"Wireless providers are venturing into wired networking, a major acquisition has taken place, and one vendor makes commodity-class hardware compete with enterprise-grade components... The cloud is heating up, and the lines between wireless and wired networking are blurring."
Wi-Fi and wireline technologies continue to merge as evidenced by these three announcements. Aerohive expands into wired networking with it's acquisition of Pareto Networks as a strategic play for cloud network management, Meraki does the same with their new MX series routers with cloud control and management, and PowerCloud Systems turns commodity D-Link consumer routers into cloud-enabled enterprise devices.

Wi-Fi Direct Still Finding Its Stride - PCWorld
"About 20 products have been approved, but there were few new Wi-Fi Direct gadgets at the recent International Consumer Electronics Show... ''One of the challenges for Wi-Fi Direct was launching in October,' Broadcom's Brown said. 'It's really not timed very well for the fall selling season.' "
The poorly timed release of Wi-Fi Direct is a plausible conclusion. Given product development cycles, I would have expected product announcement to lag behind the feature certification availability. At this point, I wouldn't read too much into the lack of Wi-Fi Direct capable devices, they will come.

Videoconferencing to hit critical mass on mobile
"One of the most exciting areas in videoconferencing today is the integration of mobile devices and video, especially as end users grow increasingly comfortable with the form factor of smart phones and tablets"
Wi-Fi will be required for video for a while until 4G networks are built that can handle the traffic load. Even then, Wi-Fi will be the preferred delivery method to carry most of the load. Prepare your networks for video now!

Retail Wi-Fi / Mobile Articles
I posted two articles on the new PCI DSS v2.0 standard and what it means for Wi-Fi network administrators, Cisco announced the results of a recent PCI survey, and also announced a new PCI security solution for retail:

Best Practices to Achieve PCI Compliance for Wireless Networks - CWNP
"The recent release of PCI DSS version 2.0 provides a good opportunity to review these “minimum” industry guidelines for wireless networks and provide advice for retail organizations to achieve a successful audit."
Wireless PCI Compliance Resources - Revolution Wi-Fi
"it's important to understand the capabilities, limitations, and design choices available in your own environment. This can vary depending on the infrastructure vendor chosen."
Cisco Issues PCI Compliance Pulse Survey Findings – Results Reveal Changing Views on Data Security Compliance - Cisco News
"This survey demonstrates that the PCI Council is being successful in communicating and getting the active participation and increased adoption of the PCI standards among stakeholders. The findings also suggest that organizations are increasingly aware of the benefits of compliance."

"Cisco is announcing significant improvements to its wireless network solutions that allow retailers to secure their wireless networks from attacks and improve security where point-of-sale data is transmitted wirelessly... new 'Enhanced Local Mode' (ELM) feature"
Cisco brings an integrated wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) to market to improve retail security, reduce CAPEX and OPEX expenses, and maintain market share leadership in the retail industry. If their solution proves capable enough to compete with overlay WIPS vendors, they'll have a compelling solution that cannot be ignored. This comes on the heels of Aruba Network's ArubaOS 6.0 release which enabled similar security functionality.

New mobile blueprint provides fresh insights
"retailers don’t want to share the space,” says David Dorf, Director of Technology for Oracle. “Retailers want to control their customer experience and they want to brand it to themselves."
It's important to understanding the "how's" and "why's" of retail mobile use cases to build effective mobile commerce and marketing solutions. Simply web-enabling current applications and consumer-facing services will lead to a poor user experience. Watch for retailers to innovate in mobile service delivery over the next year in order to differentiate from the crowd.

Surveys Highlight Sales Clerks' Problems
"Two surveys conducted for Motorola Solutions Inc. in December indicate that shoppers are becoming more informed than sales clerks, and sales clerks are sometimes frustrated by a dearth of store information."
A key component of retail e-commerce and m-commerce initiatives will be to outfit the sales clerks and customer representatives with enough information to enhance the customer experience in-store, driving greater foot traffic, providing a positive customer experience, and preventing customers from using brick-and-mortar stores as showroom floors for subsequent Internet purchases.

The Web's Chipping Away at Brick 'n' Mortar
"Shifting consumer buying patterns will drive changes in retail business models, fueling more e-commerce and hybrid approaches (order on the Web, pick up at your local store in an hour)."
I like the title of this article, as it does a pretty good job summing up the state of retail right now!

What will drive Mobile Marketing & Advertising in 2011?
"1. Relevance will be the key revenue driver for new mobile based services: With advanced trends such as Location-Based Services (LBS)... 
5. Rise of mobile based coupons, loyalty programs & deals..."
Starbucks Launches Mobile Barcode Payments
"Could this be the service that, finally, popularizes mobile payments and/or barcodes with mainstream US consumers?"
Mobile payments will come into their own in 2011, just as mobile coupons did in 2010. Look for both features to expand dramatically.

Expansion At Hand As M-Commerce Plans Gain
"M-commerce is also high on retailers' radar, with 69% of the executives surveyed saying mobile is an important strategic initiative -- up from 28% a year ago."
1% of shoppers say mobile is their primary online buying channel - Internet Retailer
"though mobile may not be most consumers’ primary buying channel, shoppers do turn to their web-enabled mobile devices to help them shop."
Evidence surfacing that mobile payments catching on in the U.S.
"communications service providers, financial institutions and retailers all seem to be ready to push ahead to allow consumers to make payments with mobile devices."
Christmas 2010 saw spike in mobile shopping: study - Mobile Commerce Daily - Research
"the spike in page views for Amazon on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday shows a clear trend towards consumers using the mobile Web as a tool for comparison-shopping or actual mobile commerce, or both."
Miscellaneous Articles
Top 10 Data Breaches of 2010 -
"Surprisingly few of these big breaches are associated with trendy new technologies. Instead, many can be attributed to either old fashioned hacks, basic omissions in security best practices, or errors in security policies and processes."
Although Wi-Fi security tends to grab headlines, Lisa Phifer explains the real threats are more old fashioned.

IPv6: Smartphones compromise users' privacy - The H Security: News and Features
"operating systems transfer an ID that discloses information about their users... The problem is currently only affecting a small number of users because IPv6 is not yet in widespread use. However, German Telekom and several other IPs plan to offer IPv6 in addition to the old IPv4 during this year."
As the Internet migration to IPv6 accelerates with the now complete exhaustion of IPv4 addresses by the IANA, IPv6 security gaps will be exposed with increasing regularity.

Phone Home - Your Fridge Just Tweeted
"The most surprising revelations at CES, however, came on the household appliance front. Manufacturers presented a world where the Internet of Things is gradually realized"
Simplicity to Stimulate Innovation -Freedom to Think and Dream Big
"The best ideas are the simplest ones, and after you hear them they’re totally obvious, yet they evade us for years and years and years. You don’t have to be Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking to have great ideas. You just have to think and keep your eyes open.” ~ Steve Levitt"
Comic for the week!
Doghouse Diaries - To Fi or Not to Fi
I suppose you could always leave it unlocked but make the network name something like, I’M A HACKER AND I’LL SNIFF YOUR PACKETS.

Cheers (and happy reading),