Friday, January 6, 2017

Wi-Fi Trends Take Center Stage in 2017

by Shane Buckley, CEO, Xirrus 

From an unprecedented DNS outage that temporarily paralyzed the entire internet, to the evolution of federated identity for simple, secure access to Wi-Fi and applications, 2016 had its mix of growing pains and innovative steps forward.

Here’s why 2017 will shape up into an interesting year for Wi-Fi technology.

IoT will create continued security issues on global networks

In 2017, the growth of IoT will put enormous pressure on Wi-Fi networks. While vendors must address the complexity of onboarding these devices onto their network, security can’t get left behind. The proliferation of IoT devices will propel high density into almost all locations – from coffee shops to living rooms – prompting more performance and security concerns. Whether Wi-Fi connected alarms or smart refrigerators, the security of our homes will be scrutinized and will become a key concern in 2017. Mass production of IoT devices will make them more susceptible to hacking, as they will not be equipped with the proper built in security.

The recent IoT-based attack on DNS provider Dyn opened the floodgates, as estimates show the IoT market reaching 10 billion devices by 2020. The event foreshadows the power hackers hold when invading these IoT systems. Taking down a significant portion of the internet grows more detrimental, yet all too plausible these days. Because of increased security concerns, vendors will equip devices with the ability to only connect to the IoT server over pre-designed ports and protocols. If IoT vendors don’t start putting security at the forefront of product development, we can only expect more large-scale cyberattacks in 2017.

LTE networks won’t impact Wi-Fi usage

Don’t expect LTE networks to replace Wi-Fi. The cost of deploying LTE networks is ten times greater and LTE is less adaptable for indoor environments than Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi will remain the lowest cost technology available with similar or superior performance to LTE when deployed properly and therefore will not be replaced by LTE. When people have access to Wi-Fi, they’ll connect. Data plan limitations remain too common.

Additionally, the FCC and other international government agencies began licensing the 5GHz spectrum to offer free and uncharted access to Wi-Fi. But, we don’t want carriers grabbing free spectrum and charging us for every byte we send, now do we?

LTE and Wi-Fi will co-exist as they do today, where LTE works well outdoors and Wi-Fi well-designed to work consistently throughout internal spaces.

The push toward federated identity will continue in 2017

Today, there remains a disparate number of Wi-Fi networks, all with different authentication requirements. This marks an opportunity for Wi-Fi vendors. In the coming year, we will see federated identity become a primary differentiator. By implementing federated identity, vendors simplify and secure the login process. Consumers can auto-connect to any public Wi-Fi network with their existing credentials – whether Google, Microsoft or Facebook – thus providing them with a seamless onboarding experience. It’s the next step for Single Sign-On (SSO), and one that will set Wi-Fi vendors apart in 2017.

This coming year, the repercussions of IoT, coexistence of LTE and Wi-Fi, and demand for simple, secure access to Wi-Fi, will take center stage. The onus falls on company leaders, who must adapt their business strategies so they can keep pace with the fast and ever-changing Wi-Fi landscape. 2017 will have plenty in store.

About the Author

Shane Buckley is CEO of Xirrus. Most recently, Mr. Buckley was the General Manager and Senior Vice President at NETGEAR where he led the growth of NETGEAR’s commercial business unit to 50 percent revenue growth over 2 years, reaching $330 million in 2011 – and played a prime role in growing corporate revenues over 30 percent. Prior to that, Mr. Buckley was President & CEO of Rohati Systems, a leader in Cloud-based access management solutions, Chief Operating Officer of Nevis Networks, a leader in secure switching and access control. He has also held the position of Vice President WW Enterprise at Juniper Networks, President International at Peribit Networks, a leader in WAN Optimization and EMEA vice president at 3Com Corp. Mr. Buckley is a graduate of engineering from the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland.

Bitglass Raises $45 Million for Cloud Access Security Broker

Bitglass, a start-up based in Campbell, California, raised $45 million in series C funding for its Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) solution.

In addition to new investor Future Fund, existing investors NEA, Norwest, Singtel Innov8 and others participated ratably. The round brings Bitglass’ total funding to $80 million. Bitglass will use the investment to fuel its global expansion in the U.S., EMEA and APAC regions.

"Cloud and mobile are driving business data beyond the firewall, introducing new security and compliance risks," said Nat Kausik, CEO, Bitglass. "Bitglass uniquely delivers real-time inline data protection in the cloud, at access, and on any device.  This funding is testimony to our strong position in the market and fiscal health."

http://www.bitglass.com/

OVH Plans UK Data Centres

OVH is building its first UK data centre in the inner suburbs of London. The new facility, with a capacity of 40,000 servers is expected to be operational by the end of May 2017. It will be interconnected to OVH’s point of presence in London through a double fibre path, creating redundancy. Its proximity to two substations makes it possible to provide a high electrical capacity on site.

OVH said the first data centre will be less than  half a millisecond in latency from OVH’s point of presence (PoP) in London. The facility benefits from a direct connection to its datacenters in Gravelines (then Roubaix and Paris), Amsterdam (then Brussels and Frankfurt), Montreal, and New York, through the fibre network that the OVH group has deployed worldwide to allow the lowest latency possible.

OVH is planning two additional data centres in the United Kingdom: the second site on the outskirts of London, and a third one that is sufficiently remote to be a recovery site outside the failure domain of the two other sites. These three datacenters will be interconnected, like the other datacenters of the group, through the vRack, a private network developed by OVH to facilitate the deployment of multisite infrastructures.

http://www.ovh.com

Rosenworcel Reappointed to the FCC

President Obama reappointed Jessica Rosenworcel to serve a second term on as commissioner at the FCC.

Jessica Rosenworcel replaced long-term FCC Commissioner Michael Copps when his term ended in December 2011. She previously was the Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Before that, she worked for Senator Jay Rockefeller IV, and at the FCC from 1999 to 2007, serving as Legal Advisor and then Senior Legal Advisor to Commissioner Michael J. Copps (2003-2007), Legal Counsel to the Bureau Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau (2002-2003), and as an Attorney-Advisor in the Policy Division of the Common Carrier Bureau (1999-2002). She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

http://www.fcc.gov

See also