Tag: The Ruckus Room

New e-book links poor network access security to data breach risk

Ruckus has just published a new e-book titled “Seven Network Access Security Risks—and How They Can Lead to a Data Breach.” It focuses on faulty network access security as a risk area that can lead to data compromise. As the title implies, this e-book outlines seven distinct risk areas that IT organizations should be aware of, especially when it comes to providing connectivity for BYOD and guest users.

As detailed in a previous Ruckus blog, “What’s wrong with PSKs and MAC authentication for BYOD?”, default methods of network onboarding and authentication have serious security flaws that can leave you open to data compromise. These security holes get less attention that more high-profile threats like ransomware, but the dangers are still very real. Sometimes it’s the attack surface that you aren’t thinking about that attackers seek to exploit.   

Linking IT security risk
areas to the potential for a data breach

Sometimes the link between a threat vector and the risk of data
compromise is obvious. Keylogging malware tracks a user’s every keystroke,
including when they type in their username and password for cloud-based
business applications. Email phishing attacks compromise credit card numbers or
other sensitive data by tricking users into entering them into a website that
spoofs a legitimate site. Misconfigured cloud storage can leave sensitive data
just hanging out there on the web for attackers to steal. All of those are
obvious ways that attackers can get at your data.

Network access security is a category where the linkages may
be less obvious. The point of the new e-book is to help clarify the connection
between this risk area and a potential breach. It’s a highly accessible way to
increase your knowledge of this often-overlooked area of the IT security domain—a
five-minute read covering an underestimated attack surface in modern IT
environments. This document can help you keep other stakeholders in your
organization informed about the risks as well, so feel free to pass it along. We
should emphasize that no registration is required to …

A New Age for Public Safety Video Surveillance

Video
surveillance is one of the most powerful tools law enforcement has in its
arsenal. It’s used to protect citizens and investigators, collect evidence, and
prevent crime. Unfortunately, law enforcement officials don’t always have the
lead time they need to set up equipment. While wireless IP video cameras help
facilitate rapid deployment, there’s still the legacy network infrastructure to
contend with. For that, law enforcement agencies need “pop-up” security enabled
by a solution that is cost-effective and easily deployed, virtually anywhere.

Video Survellance

The
development of IP-based video cameras gave law enforcement officials more
flexibility in terms of camera placement, but the network infrastructure
remained a barrier to achieving cost effective, rapid deployment. Wireless
connectivity over cellular networks like 4G LTE is simply too expensive. Plus,
it’s not unusual for service providers to throttle bandwidth, resulting in
performance issues. Other wireless solutions use a low bit rate at short range,
recording one frame every five seconds. While this may be suitable for
situational awareness, it doesn’t meet requirements for investigative cases
requiring real-time data.

Time
is of the essence during a criminal investigation. To benefit from video
surveillance in these scenarios, law enforcement agencies must be able to
quickly deploy video surveillance when and where it’s needed—without filing for
permits, installing fiber infrastructure, or incurring exorbitant fees. This
can be achieved with Ruckus Video Mesh Distribution.

Ruckus Video Mesh Distribution is an easily deployable surveillance network that delivers high bandwidth and full frame rate with low latency. Ruckus SmartMesh provides backhaul over a WiFi network, enabling law enforcement agencies to achieve visibility virtually anywhere there’s power—including locations where running copper or Fiber cable is unfeasible. The self-forming, self-healing, and self-optimizing technology makes mesh networking easy to deploy and manage.

Video Mesh Distribution…

  • Lowers installation and operating costs by reducing the need for Ethernet cabling and RF planning.
  • Delivers consistent bandwidth. Traffic is never throttled as it is with cellular providers.
  • Automates configuration, enabling Smart Mesh Networking WLANs to be deployed and operational in half the time of conventional WLANs.
  • Works

E-rate apocalypse?! Not so fast.

If you work for, or with schools and libraries you have most
certainly heard or asked the following questions over the past year:

“What will happen to E-rate next year?” or, “Will E-rate go back to the two-in-five-year rule?”

…and then of course there’s the gravest of questions, “Is E-rate going away?”

E-rate

Perhaps the easiest of these questions to answer is whether E-rate is “going away.”  Simply put, no. E-rate is a U.S. Federal subsidy program available to schools and libraries in support of deploying and maintaining affordable Broadband Internet access for instructional purposes.  Funding for this program continues to be collected today, as it has since its inception in 1996 via the Universal Service Fee on every U.S. phone bill. Despite changes to the oversight of this fund from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to the U.S. Treasury, assurances remain that this funding will not be reappropriated. Short of an act of Congress, the money is there.

In the absence of clear and concise guidance from the FCC
& USAC (nothing about E-rate is clear and concise) on potential changes to
the program, we can certainly read the proverbial tea leaves and arrive at some
relatively confident assumptions until more information is released. I base my
conclusions on what we know about the E-rate program historically, a recent
report published by the FCC and recent conversations with FCC & USAC
officials.

Let’s try and understand a little more about the current E-rate
program and what is at stake. In December of 2014, the same month I started at
Ruckus, the FCC issued its “Second
E-rate Modernization Order
.” This order detailed the commission’s
intent to improve performance and achieve the program’s goals of increasing
broadband access (Internet) in schools and libraries, particularly where such
access is limited. The initiative is subsidized based on level of need (Free
& Reduced Lunch) and student population (~$150 per student).  This is a relatively crude summary, although
it should provide a 100,000 foot “blog” view. 

One of the biggest changes was …

The Evolution of Wi-Fi 6: Part 4

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In part three of this series, we took an in-depth look at OFDMA, MU-MIMO and BSS Coloring. In this blog post, we’ll explore target wake time (TWT), 1024-QAM and Long OFDM Signal.

Wi-Fi 6

Target Wake Time (TWT) and Wi-Fi 6

Target wake time (TWT) is another mechanism introduced in the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11x) standard. Essentially, TWT allows devices to deterministically negotiate when and how often they wake up to send or receive data. TWT increases device sleep time and in turn, substantially improves battery life, a feature that is especially important for IoT devices. In addition to saving power on the client device side, TWT enables wireless access points (APs) and devices to negotiate and find specific times to access the medium. This helps optimize spectral efficiency by reducing contention and overlap between users.

1024-QAM & the Need for Speed

Although bolstering spectral efficiency is one of the defining features of Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), an additional speed boost facilitated by 1024-QAM is obviously a nice bonus. Quadrature amplitude modulation, or QAM, uses both phase and amplitude of an RF signal to represent data bits. As we mentioned above, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) introduces 1024-QAM, along with new modulation and coding schemes (MCS). These define higher data rates that bolster throughput and enable 25{56382b05406e22b986d72489f434f32729ef758e2e5cbf8f56cdc0c3bdfc886a} higher capacity with 10 bits per symbol versus 8 bits in 256-QAM, the latter of which is supported by Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). Put simply, more bits equal more data, making the (payload) delivery of data more efficient.

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) also introduces two new modulation coding schemes: MCS 10 and MCS 11. Both will likely be optional. It should be noted that 1024-QAM can only be used with 242 subcarrier resource units (RUs) or larger. This means that at least a full 20 MHz channel will be required for 1024-QAM.

Long OFDM Signal & Outdoor APs

When …

5G is great, but for the enterprise?

As we gird our loins for the annual pilgrimage to Mobile World Congress, I have a pretty good idea what to expect when we get there: Sweeping statements and predictions about how 5G is NOW and it’s is going to change everyone’s world forever!

To which I say, “easy, cowboy!”

5G

Now, don’t get me wrong: 5G New Radio (NR) promises to be transformational in many ways and we at Ruckus expect to be part of that transformation. But, as we see it, 5G NR technology will be only one part of a much more colorful tapestry, especially in the enterprise. We now find ourselves at the beginning of an age in which a plethora of ultra-capable wireless protocols will coexist and complement one another. Wireless Avengers, if you will.

This is what the ‘5G era’ is all about.

Nowhere is this new ear more in evidence than in the enterprise, where the WLAN and Wi-Fi are synonymous. These technologies have been optimized for the enterprise (and service providers!) for 15+ years by vendors like Ruckus. And, with the latest Wi-Fi 6 iteration (see: Ruckus R730), Wi-Fi is shockingly capable, with Gbps data rates, millisecond latency and even some DNA spliced from its LTE cousin. But make no mistake: The all-wireless office is being built today, with Wi-Fi. And it will be built tomorrow, with Wi-Fi.

Now,
if you walk down the hallway (or cross the courtyard) to Operations, what we’ve
found is that organizations of every stripe are seeking to reduce OpEx by, for
example, increasing their energy efficiency. They’re deploying networks based
on low-power protocols like Zigbee and BLE for condition monitoring: Lighting,
temperature, moisture, occupancy detection. And for safety: Connected entry,
panic buttons, and fall detection. Subliminal message alert: What if they
didn’t need to deploy stand-alone networks?

And,
there is another realm: The realm of the Critical. Use cases that are begging
for the right wireless enabler to let them flourish. Think reliable staff
communications. Think automated guided vehicles. Think nomadic transaction
kiosks. Think IP …

5 Issues that impact Wi-Fi performance in dense environments

Worldwide data and video traffic are growing at double-digit rates. This increase is driven by connected devices and applications like 4K video streaming, VR/AR and eSports. Adding to the complexity of this environment impacting Wi-Fi performance are diversifying device categories and apps, such as headless IoT devices, video and voice-over-Wi-Fi.

Moreover, the congestion of people, devices and bandwidth-hungry apps makes for numerous real-world challenges that conventional wireless technology has difficulty overcoming, especially in dense environments. Let’s take a closer look at some of these challenges below.

Wi-Fi performance

Overloaded network

Wi-Fi antennas often radiate signals – like a lightbulb radiates light – in all directions. This can create misdirected and wasted radio energy.

The solution? Ruckus BeamFlex+ technology, which enables the antenna system within a Ruckus access point (AP) to dynamically sense and optimize for its environment. The antenna system also significantly bolsters range and Wi-Fi performance by mitigating radio interference, as well as noise and wireless performance issues.

Too many devices

All access points use ‘lanes’ (radio channels) to transmit and receive traffic. However, a specific lane can become congested, leaving an AP unable to determine if other lanes are free to accommodate wireless traffic.

The solution? Ruckus ChannelFly dynamic channel management, which helps our APs boost Wi-Fi performance by dynamically (automatically) switching a client from a crowded channel to a less congested one.  

Wasted radio energy

Excessive management traffic typically saturates available Wi-Fi spectrum in dense Wi-Fi environments. This results in reduced connectivity and low per-client throughput.

The solution? Ruckus Airtime Decongestion, which enables APs to more selectively respond to clients. This dramatically increases overall network efficiency for higher airtime utilization and delivers a more optimized user experience.

Channel congestion

APs are frequently overloaded with an uneven client load in dense network environments. This inefficient utilization of network capacity results in a sub-optimal client-to-AP link quality and lower throughput for clients.

The solution? Ruckus Network Capacity Utilization, which employs real-time learning techniques to associate clients with APs that offer higher link quality and capacity. This mechanism facilitates higher overall network capacity and …

The evolution of Wi-Fi 6: part 3

In part two of this series, we explored the basics of MU-MIMO, OFDMA, and 1024-QAM. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Wi-Fi speeds, along with an in-depth look at OFDMA, MU-MIMO and BSS Coloring.

Wi-Fi 6

Theoretical peak speeds vs. network capacity and efficiency

As we’ve emphasized throughout this series, the 802.11 standard has rapidly and significantly evolved over the past two decades. For example, wireless LANs once focused on achieving theoretical peak speeds. With the advent of Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), the emphasis has shifted to overall network capacity and efficiency, in addition to throughput speeds. As the latest iteration of 802.11, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is expected to become prevalent in ultra-dense environments such as transport hubs, urban apartment complexes, college campuses, concert venues and sports stadiums. These are all locations where many clients routinely access the internet over Wi-Fi, as well as share UHD content and stream 4K video. 

Currently, in advanced development, the IEEE 802.11ax standard is slated to be released in 2019. It is worth noting that the maximum theoretical speed of Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) was 150 megabits per second, per stream. Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) increased this to a theoretical speed of 866 megabits per second, per stream, which is considered a six-fold jump. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) supports maximum speeds of up to 1201 megabits per second. Although Wi-Fi 6 is certainly faster than its predecessor, it is not the six-fold increase seen with the release of Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). 

Wi-Fi 6: 4x increase in throughput

More specifically, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is expected to boast a 4x increase in throughput for the average user. This is primarily due to more efficient spectrum utilization and various improvements for dense deployments. Clearly, speed is not the most important issue, as the maximum rates are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to real-world performance. These can vary widely based on a range of obstacles, other signals in the air, multipath reflections and the capabilities of both access …

Ruckus ICX 7850 Switch Delivers 100GbE Edge-to-Core Solution for Multi-Gigabit Enterprise Networks

Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company, has expanded its extensive switch lineup with the ICX 7850. The new switch is specifically designed to provide a complete edge-to-core solution for campus networks well into the next decade.

ICX 7850

“The ICX 7850 delivers high-end routing and security capabilities suitable for large campus networks in a fixed form factor,” said Siva Valliappan, Vice President of Wired Products, Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company. “Perhaps most importantly, our stackable ICX 7850 provides the power, performance, and reliability of a chassis with a pay-as-you-grow model. This makes the ICX 7850 a cost-optimized solution for complex network requirements across a range of verticals and businesses including education, government, enterprise and service providers.”

As Valliappan notes, recent advances in Wi-Fi technology, such as Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), the IoT and LTE are all driving the demand for multi-gigabit access by significantly increasing the amount of data traversing enterprise edge networks.

“Enterprise and data center networks are being pushed to the breaking point and the capacity of traditional 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) backbones is being tested,” he explained. “The ICX 7850 can help by enabling seamless replacement of existing 10G products with a high density, secure, scalable platform. The ICX 7850 supports high density 10GbE, 25GbE, 50GbE and 100GbE using existing customer investment in fiber cabling to enable unprecedented network growth.”

Many organizations, particularly school districts with older, existing networks have OM1 or OM2 fiber optic cables that require Long Reach Multimode (LRM) optics to achieve the 10 Gbps connections needed for today’s bandwidth needs. The ICX 7850 provides investment protection and an upgrade path for customers with older fiber infrastructure by offering support for LRM optics with select family members.

Pay-as-you-grow with the ICX 7850

As we noted earlier, the ever-increasing need for Wi-Fi connectivity is taxing the network core, although the solution to keeping pace with the proliferation of connected devices and advances in Wi-Fi technology does not need to be complex and expensive. While the introduction of multi-gigabit connectivity at the edge is driving the need for …

Ruckus Networks’ Raelyn Kritzer recognized as 2019 CRN Channel Chief

Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company, today announced that CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named industry-veteran Raelyn Kritzer, Channel Chief, Vice President of Worldwide Channels, to its prestigious list of 2019 Channel Chiefs. The top IT channel leaders included on this list continually strive to drive growth and revenue in their organization with their channel partners.

CRN Channel Chief

According to Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company, each
of the 2019 Channel Chiefs has demonstrated exceptional leadership, vision and
commitment to their respective channel partner programs. Channel Chief honorees
are selected by CRN’s editorial staff
based on their professional achievements, standing in the industry, dedication
to the channel partner community and strategies for driving future growth and
innovation.

“The individuals on CRN’s 2019 Channel Chiefs list deserve special recognition
for their contribution and support in the development of robust partner
programs, innovative business strategies and significant influence to the
overall health of the IT channel,” said Skelley. “We applaud each Channel
Chief’s remarkable record of accomplishments and look forward to following
their continued success.”

Indeed, Kritzer is a recognized channel leader with expertise in building partner programs, onboarding and enablement and developing multi-touch marketing campaigns that drive revenue to and through the channel. Kritzer has played a major role in developing Ruckus’ Ready Partner Program and Ruckus’ Cloud-Ready Specialization Program for Channel Partners. In addition, Kritzer has helped launch an integrated wired and wireless program and developed specializations that recognize the unique verticals and expertise of Ruckus’ partnerships. These include Cloud programs, support for new delivery offerings and finance programs designed to empower MSPs.    

“Ruckus has always been a company fully dedicated to the channel,” said Kritzer. “Since our success is determined by our partners, we continue to bring simplified, feature-rich programs to our channel to help them boost their profitability. I’m honored to be part of this prestigious CRN Channel Chief list for the second straight year alongside other top executives.”

It should be noted that the 2019 CRN Channel Chiefs list, including the 50 Most …