Even with acquisition, does CloudPath fill your security void?

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It's never too late to enhance your BYOD solution, but does CloudPath offer a comprehensive security solution?

Ruckus Wireless recently purchased CloudPath, a previously independent onboarding provider with popularity in the education vertical. Although this gives Ruckus a way to stay connected to customers outside of pure wireless infrastructure, not everyone sees this marriage as a good thing.

According to Network World, the same education customers that CloudPath already has are concerned about Ruckus' "immediate" integration plans with the CloudPath offering, instead hoping that Ruckus leaves well enough alone - leaving them with an independent solution that currently meets their needs as is.

Existing CloudPath users should also ask some of the following questions regarding possible changes:

  1. Does this mean the product will still work on any Wi-Fi network or only with a Ruckus network?
  2. Once integration is complete, will Ruckus force or hard sell me on their equipment?
  3. What will Ruckus charge for their new onboarding offering? CloudPath offered an inexpensive solution, so will Ruckus bump up the price to recoup their costs?
  4. What happens when I have a problem with CloudPath and the wireless equipment isn't from Ruckus?

So why CloudPath? They help automate the configuration of devices for connections to a secure network. 802.1X and encrypted authentication for Wi-Fi is smart and they also offer certificate-based distribution that is better than logins and passwords. But other than secure onboarding, what does CloudPath offer?

What the CloudPath and Ruckus marriage does not offer is certificate-based onboarding and policy management within an integrated solution that offers expanded security benefits. Namely centralized policy enforcement and integration with third-party security vendors that actually do something with the user/policy information.

Policies using onboarding context are managed from a central policy management service, existing perimeter security better understands who and what devices are connected (firewalls, IPS'), and wireless networks are making decisions based on known device attributes from MDM/EMM.

What if you just want device configuration and certificate distribution is not a requirement? The good news for worried CloudPath customers (and existing Ruckus customers) is that Aruba offers ClearPass QuickConnect, an inexpensive, non-certificate based version of onboarding that works across any Wi-Fi or wired vendor network. It's simple, is managed using a browser, and allows schools, universities, and small enterprise users to configure their devices without IT assistance.

If you need onboarding and want a simple solution, QuickConnect is an ideal foundation to start with, as you can build robust security capabilities off of the platform as your business needs grow. QuickConnect is vendor agnostic, and with ClearPass, you can plug into your existing security architecture to enable the new generation of mobile users to get on to the corporate network without worrying about the threats emerging from non-IT issued devices.

For more information on ClearPass, click here.