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Wi-Fi in the enterprise – secured!

30 August 2012
11 January 2012

Devices, technologies and communication platforms continually evolve and converge, changing the way people prefer to work, do business, communicate and connect. Corporate networks need the capability to adapt quickly. Today, tablet PCs – personal productivity devices generally owned by individuals – epitomise the challenge for IT managers. Users want to connect to the corporate network as quickly as they do to public networks. IT managers need those connections to be secure. So how does the evolving corporate network cope?

Says Paul Fick, Divisional Managing Director, Jasco Enterprise, “Since tablet devices and smart telephones have no LAN connection port, the answer for many corporates is the introduction of, and migration to Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi solutions have come a long way. The benefits are low upfront costs and minimal maintenance compared to the more traditional ‘cable’ solutions, and of course greater mobility within the work environment. More importantly, features that address security, an item always high on IT managers’ agendas, are now available from leading Wi-Fi solution providers.”

There’s no telling where someone is connecting from into the enterprise – it may be via an Internet café or airport, or the network of another corporate (a client or supplier). Simply put, connections into the business via a public network are never going to be as secure as when working within a single corporate network. Aruba Networks’ wireless technology takes care of the security gap, providing a secure virtual private network (VPN) tunnel back into the corporate network, no less. “This is a new feature that we expect will become an indispensible security requirement for most enterprises in the near future,” says Fick.

Aruba is one of a number of solutions that Jasco Enterprise  makes use of to develop tailored solutions that will meet its customers’ changing requirements. Notes Fick: “We have a team of experts that understand the current challenges and are able to deliver a tailored end-to-end solution for any enterprise.”Aruba is a global leader in distributed enterprise networks. Its range of campus, branch/teleworker, and mobile solutions simplify operations and secure access to all corporate applications and services – regardless of the user’s device, location, or network. This dramatically improves productivity and lowers capital and operational costs.

How does it work? Aruba’s tag line is ‘people move, networks must follow’ and that’s exactly what the solution enables.

Explains Fick: “Aruba’s remote access solutions include centralised Mobility Controllers. These are typically deployed in the data centre and handle all wireless intelligence, including services such as RF configuration, inter-AP handover and QoS policing. Aruba’s mobility controllers incorporate an integrated, stateful firewall that identifies tracks and polices users as they move across the network.

“The Aruba remote access solutions also include low-cost Remote Access Points (RAPs) and a Virtual Intranet Access (VIA) agent. The VIA agent is a hybrid IPsec/SSL VPN solution that scans network connections and automatically selects the best connection back to the corporate network whenever needed. Unlike traditional VPN software, VIA offers a zero-touch experience for the end user and can even configure the WLAN settings on laptops. VIA automatically detects the network connection. If it is not inside the corporate network, VIA initiates an IPsec connection back to the data centre, making network access seamless to the user, no matter where they work.”

Wireless networking has a number of new challenges to resolve, Fick concludes: “Getting enough bandwidth into and out of the organisation is also going to be high on the priority lists of IT managers as the number and kinds of personal and other devices connected to the corporate network grows. Jasco Enterprise supplies and services the network providers so we understand the technology and its limitations – it’s that expertise that allows our enterprise and business customers to maximise new technology benefits first.”

For further information contact:

Paul Fick
Divisional MD
Jasco Enterprise
Tel: 011 266 5000
E-mail: paul.fick@jasco.co.za