Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 64 - Page 47

Benhaddou added that with the Internet of Things ( IoT ) proliferation trend that the market is currently seeing , it has become necessary for the WLAN networks to be ‘ IoT ready ’ providing mechanisms for the IoTs identification and secure containment on the network .
Wi-Fi standards
As rapid growth in data use and high bandwidth applications are placing strain on existing enterprise networks , it is vital for organisations to deploy Wi-Fi technologies / standards that enhance performance avoid user frustrations .
Benhaddou observed that obviously the 802.11x standard , commonly known as Wi-Fi 6 , benefits both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands as it has been developed specifically to solve the main wireless connectivity challenges .
“ Wi-Fi 6 is designed for the lower-latency and bandwidth hungry applications , offering network services for real-time audio and video . In addition , it supports user experience in the denser environment thus maintaining network connectivity for the users in highly populated areas and support for the IoT proliferation providing secure and prioritised connectivity for the IoTs ,” he said .
Benhaddou said providing an easy , secure and fast Wi- Fi for visitors has clearly a direct impact on the customer satisfaction and the business processes optimisation .
He said in addition to providing connectivity for web browsing and social media access , it also enables holistic digital engagement with customers , specifically for those companies embracing Digital Transformation on the continent .
“ Visitors Wi-Fi has become a critical tool for any businesses with sometimes direct impact on their revenues . In the hospitality and healthcare sectors for example , a high-speed wireless Internet access is even a key differentiator ,” he said . “ Customer data collected while onboarding the guest Wi-Fi and implementing location-based services ( LBS ) on top of the WLAN infrastructure helps in connecting better with visitors , understand their behaviour , enhancing the proposed services and optimising the processes . This data could also be leveraged in marketing campaigns to create new revenue streams .”
CIO Wi-Fi deployment mistakes
Despite Wi-Fi technology being around for a long time , CIOs and IT teams still make mistakes when deploying Wi-Fi in their enterprise environment .
Bethwel Opil , Enterprise Sales Manager at Kaspersky Africa , said one of the biggest mistakes is not changing the default settings and password of any new devices connecting to the network .
“ The out-of-the-box admin password , combined with any potential hardware ( or software ) vulnerabilities , can give malicious users full control over the device . From there , it is then a relatively easy jump to access the network and sensitive data ,” he said .
Opil added that as part of the setup , IT teams must be cognisant of disabling things such as remote management and broadcast SSID on the routers or access points . “ The former ensures the device is not accessible from a web page while the latter introduces an added security layer that mitigates against the risk of the network being hacked ,” he said . “ Thanks to the evolution of technology , setting up an office wireless network has become virtually a plug-and-play exercise . IT teams simply need to connect the router or access point to the network and be guaranteed of wireless coverage . Of course , there is great risk in the simplicity of the process as it lulls people into a false sense of security .”
Bethwel Opil , Enterprise Sales Manager , Kaspersky Africa




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