Page 24 - Campus Technology, May/June 2018
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default passwords for these devices were never changed when they were deployed. To avoid this kind of scenario, campus IT leaders need an easy way to secure the IoT objects connecting to their networks at scale.
Seamlessly connecting such a wide variety of devices within a single network environment can be a significant challenge. It requires campus IT leaders to rethink the design of their Wi-Fi infrastructure. There are three critical aspects to consider when focusing on network design to accommodate the new array of devices:
1.Scalability: A few years ago, colleges had to supply Internet access for only one or two devices per student. Today, the average college student owns at least five devices that require connectivity, according to Refuel Agency’s 2017 College Explorer Market Research Study. As the number of Internet-connected devices grows exponentially, colleges and universities must design Wi-Fi networks that can handle this additional traffic.
A scalable and flexible Wi-Fi infrastructure is critical. For example, multi-radio, high-density access points provide the capacity to handle growing numbers of devices with less equipment. And software-defined radios help cam- pus IT leaders adapt their Wi-Fi infrastructure over time as needs evolve.
efficiently within a single, mixed-use network environment, campus technology leaders need an intelligent Wi-Fi infrastructure that automatically identifies smart devices when they connect to the network and provisions them with appropriate security policies based on their device profile.
“If I’m deploying a thousand sensors across my campus, I need to be able to do that easily at scale, not program them one by one,” says Bruce Miller, vice president of product marketing for Riverbed Xirrus.
2. Simplicity: A related challenge is easily connecting IoT devices to the network. Devices generally have to be properly configured in order to connect to a Wi-Fi network. To join a Wi-Fi network using a smartphone, for example, your device has to
recognize the network to which you are connecting, then you enter a password to log on. One of the key challenges with the IoT, however, is that many devices are “headless,” meaning they don’t have a screen or keyboard. Campus IT leaders need a way to onboard those devices simply and at scale.
Managing this range of device types with differing requirements can be a significant challenge. Wi-fi access points should contain built-in intelligence that can identify devices by type, manufacturer, and operating system. “When a device connects to the network,” says Miller, “we can tell: Is it a laptop? A Fitbit? A Nest thermostat? An iPhone?” The software characterizes the device, authenticates it, and applies the correct policy—all without needing human intervention.
College and university campuses need to deliver fast and reliable Wi-Fi to their students and staff. IT departments need a scalable and affordable way to do this. Every Riverbed Xirrus access point integrates distributed control and application intelligence, delivering utility-grade service and making lives easier for both users and IT staff. Some of the advantages of the Riverbed Xirrus solution include:
„ Granular application-based policy control by user, device type, and location.
„ Integrated guest/BYOD access control, including Microsoft Azure and Google integration. „ Lower total cost of ownership, with up to 75% less equipment required.
„ Software-defined hardware that adapts to changing usage patterns.
To onboard and secure a wide range of device types

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