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BYOD, MDM streamlined with Xirrus Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi vendor Xirrus introduces EasyPass, a set of cloud-based Wi-Fi security services for enterprise customers.

Xirrus is making device onboarding and Wi-Fi security a little easier for users and IT teams. The Wi-Fi vendor this week introduced EasyPass, a set of mobile device management (MDM) and guest security services for cloud-managed Wi-Fi networks.

Securing a wireless network can be difficult for IT teams faced with overseeing a growing number of users equipped with even more devices. Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints that also require an Internet connection add to the challenge. As a result, Wi-Fi vendors like Xirrus are working toward simplifying the bring your own device (BYOD) and mobile device management process.

"Especially if you have a multisite enterprise deployment, you don't want to be thinking about how you're going to manage guests, employees and contractors across all these sites," said IDC analyst Rohit Mehra.

EasyPass dovetails with Xirrus' XMS Cloud offering, a cloud-based management console for monitoring and managing one or more Wi-Fi networks. EasyPass includes three modules that address different use cases.

EasyPass Onboarding generates a unique passcode for each known user, such as an internal employee or student. This eliminates shared, generic passcodes that don't offer any insight into the user's identity. With EasyPass Onboarding, each user will have his or her own connection that can be secured with a specific set of policies, said Bruce Miller, vice president of product marketing for Xirrus.

Many BYOD or mobile device management systems require users to download an application or agent on their device to achieve a secure connection. The process can take time and users often select the unsecured guest network to avoid this step. "[Onboarding] generates one password for each user that they can use on all of their devices for secure connectivity in a one-step process," Miller said.

The EasyPass Guest feature allows users to register their own mobile devices for Internet access without any help from IT. This feature is important for environments with many users who only require a basic connection, like attendees at an event at a public venue.

EasyPass Voucher is a step up from EasyPass Guest. This feature gives users a pre-created code to receive Wi-Fi access that can be limited by duration. This feature will be useful for the hospitality industry, Miller said. Guests who have paid for services -- for example, those staying at a hotel for multiple nights -- can use the code to access the Wi-Fi network. Voucher will also allow IT to see who the users are and the content they may be accessing, he said.

EasyPass Onboarding, Guest and Voucher are now available. The services are free to XMS Cloud customers.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Gina Narcisi, senior news writer and follow @GeeNarcisi on Twitter.

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