In order to meet the challenges and opportunities of the digital era, businesses are transforming and IT leaders are implementing hybrid cloud environments. To support a new and ever-changing generation of technology solutions, businesses seek a hybrid IT environment in which all infrastructure is flexible, automated, and easy to manage. On-premises deployment is deemed optimal, however the needs that drive public cloud adoption remain. Businesses face resource and knowledge constraints and must find a way to introduce the benefits of the public cloud into their data center environments. As a solution, businesses turn to advisory and management services to address the key challenges throughout the digital transformation. Learn more https://www.hpe.com/us/en/resources/services/consumption-based-services.html
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Should you choose time over money, or money over time? This is one of those so-called dilemmas of happiness. It’s hard to choose; we all want both. At Hewlett Packard Enterprise, we believe both are important as to how we offer our IT to you. Beginning in February, HPE is introducing a new operating model that will save small and midsize customers both time and money.
These new SMB offers will initially be available for these platforms i.e. HPE ProLiant ML350 Gen10 Server, HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10 Server, HPE ProLiant ML30 Gen9 Server, and HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10. By streamlining our portfolio we are keeping the model simple with value-add configurations that can include HPE Pointnext operational services, as well as integrated software. These offers can be quickly deployed by our partners for our customers.
This new operating model brings these two most important key elements – special low pricing and quick deployment since these products are always in stock and ready to ship from our partners. Available for purchase or as a monthly subscription, you will find our new offers affordable and simple to acquire. And you may be able to trade in your old IT for cash back.
These new offers will be deployed regionally as Smart Buy Express Offers in North America, Top Value Offers in Europe, and Intelligent Buy Offers in Asia Pacific and Japan.
With our industry’s seismic transition toward providing home-like experiences in the wake of popular services like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO, you’re likely in the process of taking your wireless infrastructure beyond just offering free Wi-Fi to enabling next-generation guest journeys.
Regardless of the size or type of property you operate, brands like yours will be embracing IoT devices, and related innovations, over the next year to get you to your goals. This article from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, discusses the four most important IoT and wireless innovations for hoteliers in the coming year.
1) Location Awareness Helps Create Home Away From Home
By deploying Bluetooth-enabled IoT sensors throughout your property, along with the latest innovations in location-aware mobility and analytics solutions, you can automatically recognize and register guests the minute they step onto your property. Eliminating the stop at the registration desk goes a long way toward mirroring the experience of walking in the door at home.
As newly-arrived guests proceed through your lobby, they can receive an automated update, via your mobile app, on the status of their room. If it’s not yet available, the same technology can offer them a discount on a snack or free cocktail in the lounge. Whenever a guest ultimately heads for their room, they can set the climate controls before they arrive.
Once in their accommodation, your IoT-enabled and location-aware infrastructure will work for you in other ways. For example, it can permit guests to stream personal content onto their in-room television while using your mobile app to schedule a massage in your spa and order a beverage to arrive pool side the same time as they do. As wireless solutions advance, expect even more options, such as using a mobile device to project a preferred fitness routine onto a full-length mirror.
2) Improved Access Management Supports Frictionless Journeys
An important contributor to creating home-like experiences is reducing friction, including around mobile connectivity.
For example, if your organization still presents guests with cumbersome authentication routines for accessing the Wi-Fi, that will be on its way out in 2018. Rather than typing in arcane, lengthy usernames and passwords, you need to enable them to authenticate with a single touch – and let your access management solution handle the device identification and network security chores.
With even more advanced access solutions, your regular visitors need only complete the log-in process once over a given period of time, such as quarterly or bi-annually. Larger brands have already begun enabling this functionality across multiple properties. So, if you visit a brand’s property in New York and log in to the network, when you visit a sister property in San Francisco two weeks later, you’ll already be recognized.
Another way to alleviate friction is by deploying navigation features within your mobile app to guide guests to food and beverage options. More advanced implementations can include real-time seating availabilities for encouraging guests to visit underutilized locations. Another capability is offering guests already waiting at a packed location an enticement to patronize an option that is virtually empty.
Sophisticated mobile engagement tools can also draw data from other records to automatically detect when a large group appears headed for refreshment and offer them specials at locations where demand is currently low. Similarly, such solutions can help you redirect staff to ensure locations experiencing demand spikes have the personnel to cover.
3) Asset Tags Enhance Experiences and Resource Utilization
Even the most home-like experiences and frictionless journeys can all be overshadowed by frustration caused by something as simple as a luggage cart delay. However, this perennial bottleneck is solved by adding cost-effective asset tracking technologies to your location-based solution. Then, you can enable your staff, or even your guests, to pinpoint carts for fast retrieval on your mobile app.
Similarly, it’s a real buzz kill for guests to encounter a gauntlet of dining carts and trays on the way to their room, diminishing your efforts to present an attractive hallway decor. With asset tagging, your staff can get alerts whenever meal carts leave a room – and wherever they are in the building – for fast and efficient retrieval.
The best deployments even track how long an asset remains stationary, such as in a guest room, and alerts staff. Then a human can check whether a guest is finished or, in the case of luggage carts, may even need an assist.
But, before staff intervenes, a personalized message can be delivered to the guest, creating yet one more touch point that feels unique and special.
4) Zoning + AI = Latest IoT Security Innovations
To effectively drive the experiences we’ve discussed, IoT-enabled systems must also be secure. We’ve already seen attempts by hackers to access hospitality networks via IoT devices, such as compromising an IoT fish tank sensor in an attempt to steal data
Advanced IoT security options include the ability to group your connected IoT devices into “zones” for segregating them on your network. This improves the ability to apply customized security policies, such as defining one set of policies for asset tags and another for network-connected door locks.
Additionally, the best solutions infuse real-time intelligence, advanced analytics and AI-based machine learning. Such tools can spot changes – at millisecond speeds – in user or device behavior that may indicate an invasion has evaded your perimeter defenses. Affected devices can then be automatically quarantined and an alert sent to a designated human to investigate.
No matter what your specific guest experience modernization entails, it’s clear IoT will play an increasingly vital role in 2018 and beyond. To get the most from your deployment, now is the time to consider the options available to help your organization stand out from the rest.
SMARTPHONES ARE HERE TO STAY
They’re an integral part of daily life, and there’s no going back.
Fresh off a torrential snow storm in the NYC area, Javits Center hosted the world’s biggest retail showcase, the Big Show! Aruba demonstrated a flurry of new location-based technologies with Aruba Tags, innovations in software-defined networking best practices, and technology partnerships with AT&T, Deloitte, Zoox, and Ziosk (those tabletop tablets you’d find in many casual restaurants).
Many conversations at NRF last year focused on AI and robotics to improve store operations – just like our HPE booth did from a networking standpoint. But this year, with rising interest in software-defined networking (SD-WAN, SDN, etc), customers focused on critical problems surrounding simplicity and deployment. Those I spoke with commonly sent their IT teams on installs for every new store their companies launch to perform some manual, in-store configuration. Even those with cloud vendors had per-site WAN configurations that proved un-scalable.
Likewise, when I delved deeper with these IT leaders around their security practices, the feedback I got was deafening. NAC (network access control) was a huge concern for them, to a degree where the challenges of deploying it outweighed the benefits it brought to the table. The conversation quickly turned into: How can I regain control over my network? What do I do about IoT? How do I streamline my IT business?
Build network security around user experience
Many variables impact branch security, but the primary risks of a breach comes from everyday users and configuration itself. Users themselves bear different degrees of risk to the network, from negligence, compromised devices, or even malicious intent, which can be challenging to analyze. By emphasizing user experience as an organic part of Aruba network architecture, Aruba provides rich insight from what we call context awareness, which can then be used streamline policies that simplify security and network configuration. With context, we can tie a user’s role in the organization (employee, guest, contractor) to a device (phone, tablet, IoT), identify application usage, and location information to permit, limit, or deny access to a certain area of the network.
This was exactly what I demo’ed at our branch pod. By assigning myself to the role of a security administrator, I had unrestricted privileges to view security camera footage and access branch network configuration through our centralized IT dashboard. Likewise, when I logged onto the network as a basic guest user, I effectively changed my role into a public user profile and lost all access to network and security equipment, and even a few Web URLs and applications. This dynamic change in policy can be applied simplistically across hundreds or thousands of locations without any additional manual provisioning.
From a configuration standpoint, this means that highly customizable rules can be applied without manual IT requirements. For example, guest users and store employees would not be able to see or communicate with store surveillance equipment because their role don’t allow them to.
Enhance your WAN with role-based policy
Once you’ve taken user experience into the software layer, you can expand role-based policy beyond WLAN and LAN to impact the WAN edge. A primary use case for roles is with policy-based routing (PBR). PBR enables IT to segment cloud, Internet, or guest traffic, and send them intelligently out to the broadband link, as opposed to overloading the private, MPLS link. This is especially useful in optimizing application performance that can be severely capped at small, remote locations, and simultaneously improve bandwidth efficiencies on private connections.
Simplify management, branch-wide
NRF attendees provided some critical takeaways about how crucial simplicity and security are in everyday IT operations. With role-based network management, organizations can introduce software-defined best practices to boost network performance, automate network and endpoint security, and dramatically free up IT resources. For those of you who have yet to explore Aruba’s architectural approach, I encourage you to take a look at Aruba 360 Secure Fabric alongside Aruba Central cloud-based management. For everyone else, I hope to see at our next Atmosphere in Vegas, and of course, NRF 2019!
While not made of Soylent Green, IT defenses at small to midsize businesses are in danger of being eaten by the rise of the Internet of Things. IoT has benefits, but it also poses security risks to IT systems.
There are many good reasons for your business to adopt the latest and greatest IoT technologies, particularly when they serve and delight customers. Among the perceived IoT benefits are improvements in operational efficiency, customer service, intra-organizational collaboration, strategic decision-making, and profitability. Others cite hardware cost savings, improved employee mobility, greater employee satisfaction, and increased employee productivity. And this isn’t (sensor-based) pie-in-the-sky; many businesses are getting real results from IoT.
As such, IHS Markit forecasts that the IoT market will grow from 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 30.7 billion devices in 2020 and 75.4 billion by 2025.
Serious security concerns
Despite the increase in affordable IoT devices, security for the devices is not keeping up. According to a PWC report, “The IoT is the Wild West of cybersecurity and privacy, an ungoverned frontier without laws and norms. In fact, there is no global agreement as to which entities own the platform and are ultimately responsible for its security.”
Businesses worry. In one survey, 73 percent of midmarket companies indicated that they were concerned about IoT security. Devices are at the mercy of their environment, human error, and hackers.
Given the advantages of using the IoT, as well as the security risks, the issue facing IT teams is to manage these devices, not to prevent their use or prohibit IoT initiatives.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the risks. Up front: Some of these solutions cost money.
“It all comes down to risk vs. reward,” says Matt Michalek, CISSP and manager of information security at a midsize financial services firm.
“For example, the risk of theft might be $1 million, but the business upside is $2 million,” he says. Business and security teams usually give the pertinent information to executives, and the C-suite makes the final decision on how to respond to risk.
Given the pace of both business and technology innovation, “it’s good to revisit these issues as often as necessary to make sure nothing has changed,” adds Michalek.
Identifying and minimizing risks is the IT department’s job. Michalek, who’s also a retired captain in the Army National Guard, adopted a military approach as he moved to the IT world: defense in depth.
A defense in depth strategy (DID) has multiple layers of security. Each takes into account the worst-case scenario. For example, if hackers break through the firewall, network monitoring may catch them before they do much damage or steal data. This approach is much more secure than depending on a single layer of security.
The weakest link is people
The first layer of Michalek’s DID strategy is an HR policy that ensures each employee knows which IoT or personal devices are allowed and the repercussions for violating the policy. “The human element is always the weakest link in information security,” he says.
This policy can never cover employees with malicious intent, but it does take care of those who might use forbidden devices because they’re unaware of security vulnerabilities.
The next level in Michalek’s DID strategy is internal IT team processes. “I need to make sure the staff is aware of the threats. They need to know what to look for, including the types of devices they may come across in the course of their day.”
Choosing technology controls
IoT preventative measures include several types of technology, such as monitoring, detecting, and taking action, says Michalek.
Start with physical control. At its simplest, that means controlling who can touch the hardware. Every network port is locked down until IT enables something to be plugged in. When a device is plugged in, IT can detect a device signature and, if it’s not recognized, shut it down or sound an alarm.
Next, consider what is permitted to connect to the network and the nature of the data that travels across it. Michalek allows certain devices to connect, and the rest are locked out. This is done at both the physical level (what can be plugged into the wall) and the logical level (Wi-Fi devices). Traffic monitoring triggers an alert if it detects something odd. Large companies may have 20 people to keep an eye on things, but SMBs do not have extensive resources. Instead, smaller businesses need to be smart about how to monitor everything that’s going on.
The key, says Michalek, is setting baselines. To do so, get an idea of normal traffic, how internal applications and users look, and then look for things to pop up. “For example, one employee may be browsing Russian websites,” says Michalek, “It might not be anything; maybe the guy’s from Russia. But you need to look into it.”
A simplified example of DID in action: a laptop with a camera and an IoT camera look similar, traffic-wise. However, while the IoT device may pass the traffic monitoring layer, the device-signature monitoring layer catches it and bumps it off the network.
Finally, Michalek’s team can take action remotely to kick devices on the “not allowed” list off the network. For example, if a bad device is plugged in, the network port it’s using can be deactivated.
“The IoT is by itself not a bad thing, but it’s often done haphazardly,” says Michalek. Because it’s so easy and cheap to get IoT devices, people do not think about security. Defense in depth covers these lapses and keeps your systems from being eaten.”
IoT security: Lessons for leaders
- IoT brings both risks and rewards, between which the decision to allow or forbid the devices must be made.
- A defense in depth strategy includes multiple layers of security, each of which provides a way to protect a company’s system.
- IoT security measures include both physical and logical systems, each of which use a number of technologies to reduce risk.