I'm Tim Misson, the new head of sales. I've tried to hit the ground running, getting involved with the team as they talk with existing and potential customers, and it's here that I came across an interesting question: can your wireless infrastructure be too good?
We're often evangelising the need for robust, easily managed Wi-Fi to support modern devices and flexible working practices, but consider the case of a major concert promoter. To help guests share their experience and excitement on social media, they've installed state-of-the-art wireless coverage throughout their flagship venues. Through updates in channels like Twitter and Instagram, guests help spread the word about great events at great venues - everybody wins, right?
Except, the wireless coverage is so good, and the internet connection so robust, that audience members have taken to live-streaming events from their phones. If your business is selling unique live experiences, and your network lets guests share them for free, you've got a business problem. Worse, acts aren't happy to find their entire performance online: if they won't appear, you don't have a business.
Where technology presents a problem, it usually suggests an answer. I asked solutions architect Richard Harvey how we might address this particular business challenge.
It's quite amazing how a small piece of technology such as a live-streaming app could make such a big difference in the commercial world.
Fortunately, this is a challenge that is easy to solve. We would design a solution based around the Palo Alto Networks security platform, which is a best-of-breed firewall product. The key feature we'd use to solve this issue is App-ID, a traffic classification technology that identifies applications traversing the network, and lets the platform apply the appropriate rules.
In this case it would be simple to configure a block on the entire class of live streaming services like Periscope. One crucial advantage to doing this with the Palo Alto Networks platform, rather than simply blocking some firewall ports, is that the App-ID database is constantly updated. This means that if existing services change their underlying network technology, or if new live-streaming services become popular, the firewall is automatically updated to ensure that the policy remains effective.
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