When people collaborate with one another inside the office, it’s usually done in the confidence that some level of security is being applied to protect sensitive communications. But when those same conversations take place outside the office using devices that are connected to the corporate network, confidence in the level of security naturally drops.
Cisco wants to make it possible to have as much confidence in collaboration security both inside and out of the office. At the Cisco Collaboration Summit 2013 conference today, Cisco unveiled the Cisco Expressway gateway, which extends the security framework used in the office to mobile computing devices running TelePresence or Jabber communications software without requiring additional registrations and passwords.
In addition, Cisco announced Jabber Guest, an instance of its communications software that leverages Cisco Expressway to extend collaboration permissions to guest workers who are accessing the corporate network via browsers that support the emerging WebRTC standard.
According to Peder Ulander, vice president of marketing for the Cisco Collaboration Technology group, with more companies than ever having to support contractors and other temporary workers on corporate networks, finding a way to seamlessly extend security policies to those people has been a time-consuming challenge. Cisco Expressway provides a gateway through which security policies can automatically be extended to anyone accessing the network.
In addition to providing more secure collaboration software, Cisco also announced Intelligent Proximity, software that allows users to synchronize their desk phones with mobile computing devices. The first phone to support this capability is the Cisco DX650 Smart Desk Phone, which is based on the Android operating system. Finally, Cisco unveiled a Cisco IP Phone 7800 Series, which is a Class-1 Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) device that supports wideband audio.
What’s most significant about all this is that Cisco is providing a way for IT staff in charge of collaboration to extend security policies without requiring the intervention of a security specialist. As time goes on, that’s clearly an approach to better scale security, and it should ultimately lead to a more secure environment as the implementation of security polices becomes a more natural motion within the context of a tightly integrated collaboration environment.