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Simple firewalls: Are they enough?

 A simple firewall is no longer enough

May 2015

Rethink your approach to security

It’s no secret that small and midsize businesses are rapidly adopting mobile technology to enable their employees to work effectively outside the office. The average user now carries two-three mobile devices for work (PC, smartphone, and tablet), with 68 percent of employee-owned devices used to access business applications[1]. Mobile usage is becoming rapidly more data intensive as well. In the next five years it is estimated that more than 50 percent of mobile traffic will be from video and the number of application downloads is expected to increase to nearly 268 billion downloads by 2017[2][3].

With this exponential increase in use of mobile devices for business­—and the data heavy usage that accompanies it—comes the need for networks that support ever-increasing bandwidth at faster rates.

To effectively design flexible, scalable networks for today’s mobile workforce, focus on these three key areas:

  1. Reduce complexity
  2. Improve mobile productivity
  3. Protect and secure the business

Reduce complexity
With an increasing mobile workforce, businesses need to support a myriad of both wired and wireless devices. To reduce complexity, the best approach is a unified platform that enables “single pane of glass” management of the wired and wireless infrastructure. This approach can significantly reduce complexity, improve availability, simplify security and device configuration, and improve productivity.

Improve productivity
Most business WLANs simply can’t handle the increasing demand for mobile access and higher bandwidth on their networks. Many businesses see disappointing results for their existing wireless LAN deployments because of poor experience and a network that does not scale to meet mobile needs. In more technical terms, 802.11n may no longer be sufficient to meet today’s bandwidth requirements. This is where the increased network bandwidth and gigabit AP capacity of 802.11ac can really help satisfy user demands.

Protect and secure the business
Cyber attackers know that midsize businesses are usually less secure than enterprise customers, making them an easy target. A comprehensive approach that protects against threats from inside and outside the network perimeter is the best defense. A simple firewall is no longer enough. Threats are more sophisticated, persistent and unpredictable than ever before. Most businesses need an integrated, multi-layer security strategy that is centralized that protects the entire network, including mobile apps and identities, the cloud, virtualized apps data, and storage.

Learn more about designing and managing networks for your mobile workforce and how HP and our channel partners can help. See how HP Just Right IT with HP mobile networking for small and midsize business can help you rethink your approach to your mobile workforce.

[1]IDC White Paper: Enhancing Business Value with HP Wireless Networking Solutions, October 2013
[2]Mobile Data and Video Traffic, 2012, Gartner, August 2012
[3]Gartner press release January 22, 2014