Editor’s note: This article was originally posted in 2017 and has been updated to reflect new information.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted in May 2021, but has been updated to include the latest information, including information about Wi-Fi 6E.
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You may or may not have heard of Wi-Fi 6/6E. This latest iteration of wireless technology (also known as wireless standard 802.11ax) has been incorporated into a variety of access points (APs) and hardware. But it may not be the solution to all of your business IT problems.
Wireless technology is magic, right? It allows us to communicate without clunky wires. We can use it to send a joke to family, connect with work from home, or log in and access documents on our organization’s network from the road.
We all know when it is time for a new mobile phone. The battery doesn’t hold a charge. The screen is cracked. It takes forever to do anything. Or the service provider lets us know an upgrade is available. We look at the new offerings, evaluate the staying power and benefits, and decide whether to switch.
The latest issue of Corporate & Incentive Travel Magazine tells the story of how I was at a conference—a cybersecurity conference of all things!—and it provided an unsecure general access wireless network. There was no preregistration for this network and the password was distributed freely to attendees. Most attendees wound up using the hotspots on their phones. Many conferences and events of all types have inadequate cybersecurity protections in place. The Wi-Fi networks offered at these events may seem more secure than public Wi-Fi, but in most cases, they are not. In fact, they could be more dangerous to use because hackers interested in a particular type of data can target the network of a specifically relevant conference (rather than the general network of a coffee shop, for instance).
IoT devices pose uniquely terrifying security threats. Just ask a Waterbury, Connecticut, family who was awakened and harassed by hackers accessing their Ring security cameras. As part of their coverage of this incident, WFSB Channel 3 news asked Kelser to offer some insight into how hackers may have gotten access, and what can be done to secure IoT devices.
The “as a service” business model, in which third-party consulting firms provide IT services to customers on a subscription basis, has been nothing short of a revolution. In particular, network as a service (NaaS) has saved many companies from having to build their own networking infrastructure in-house. Configuring and operating devices such as routers, WAN optimizers, and firewalls is no easy task even for IT experts.