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A Cloud Based Solution

This week we put forward a proposal for a high profile potential client for WiFi in his 6 offices throughout the country. His main concern was ‘as Meraki is cloud based, is it secure?’  We proceeded to put forward our thoughts to put his mind at ease.

The Scenario: The client wanted a WiFi solution, we felt that the Meraki solution was the best fit for his needs.

Firstly, we outlined two proposals. One was a Cisco Controller based solution, and the other was a Cisco Meraki based solution.

The client wanted to know the differences between the two, so we put together a short document outlining the main differences and similarities. But he also asked us a more important question regarding the Meraki Cloud solution: As Meraki is cloud based, is it secure?

The client has customer data on their computers which they would not like to be made public. They were concerned that being cloud based, this data would be transmitted through Cisco servers and they would have no control over it. This is not the case.

So we proceeded to put forward our thoughts to put his mind at ease.

Our Response:

We feel that a Meraki solution will be the best fit for the client’s organisation due to the lack of on-going support that it requires and increased functionality. Once the initial set-up has been completed, each AP (access point) will:

  • copy the settings and automatically link together when added to the network. This, in turn, strikes out any mis-configuration which may occur on the installation of each AP.
  • The AP’s can then be controlled by an administrator from anywhere in the world due to its cloud configuration technology.

The only data that is passed to the cloud is the configuration data for each AP and any control data. By control data I mean a list of devices that are connected to the network, and basic information about them such as: name, internal IP, connected time, duration of connection and bandwidth data. This information is transmitted using encrypted means. No data such as web browser activity or internal application data is passed through the cloud, this data stays in the internal network.

None of this information can be accessed by any third-party other than the administrators of the system, i.e, you. You can even block access to Cisco Support Technicians. The administration portal is protected by a two-factor-authentication system using “Google Authenticate” which will prevent any un-authorised access even off the administrators’ machines.

The aforementioned data that Cisco Meraki collects is securely transmitted and stored in Cisco’s datacentres. The datacentres have a wealth of security measures in place to prevent unauthorised access.

Meraki has been successfully installed and secured in a wide variety of organisations who demand top-level security and configuration. These include: Universities, Governmental Departments, Multi-National Corporations, Law Firms, Hotels and Banks. Most of these organisations chose Meraki for its superior security.

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