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Cisco Systems said on Monday that it plans to acquire software-defined networking startup Viptela, signaling Cisco's desire to expand the SDN capabilities it can provide to its enterprise customers. 

The deal, which is worth $610 million, is expected to close in the second half of 2017. Viptela, founded in 2012 by former Cisco engineers Amir Khan and Khalid Raza, sells software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology that lets companies connect their branch offices to corporate data centersas Venturebeat notes

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Think small businesses aren't targets for cyberattacks? Think again. 

A June 2016 study, sponsored by Keeper Security and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, found that more than 50 percent of SMBs were breached in the previous 12 months. The study also found that only 14 percent of the companies surveyed rated their ability to mitigate cyberattacks as “highly effective.”

Why are small and medium-sized businesses attacked so much? Cybersecurity firm FireEye says that there are five main reasons SMBs are frequently attacked by hackers:

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Microsoft said this week that, starting in September, it will roll out major updates to its Windows 10 platform twice per year, every March and September. 

The software company has always positioned Windows 10 as a "Windows as a Service" platform that can be updated and tweaked seamlessly and continuously. 

In a company blog post, , Microsoft's general manager of Windows commercial marketing, said the updates will be on a predictable schedule, aligning with Office 365 ProPlus.

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When they upgraded their Wi-Fi network, the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild doubled the number of access points within their arena, the Xcel Energy Center, to more than 450.

Here are three pointers for placing APs in large event venues:

Consider unique locations for the APs: At Xcel Energy, the IT team placed several APs around the ice rink in the dasher boards. “We really had to think about the aesthetics and design of the APs, especially in the bowl,” says Jim Ibister, vice president of facility administration for the Wild and general manager of the Saint Paul RiverCentre complex that’s home to Xcel Energy. 

Tuck antennae in the ceiling at the top of the bowl: It protects the devices and improves access. “They do a great job,” Ibister says. “The signal’s really strong at the top and the bottom.”

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If you’re thinking about implementing SSO in your organization, here are features to consider.

1. Ease of Use. Check that the product is easy to use and comes with built-in reporting for security and compliance auditing. To avoid any drag on performance, test-drive prospective tools in your real-world environment.

2. Automated Self-Service. Make sure the product has a self-serve feature. Even with consolidation to single passwords, users will forget once in a while, and they will need to reset them for security purposes too. With a self-service app, the help desk dramatically reduces calls for both these needs.

3. Strong Authentication. Ask about authentication features. Consolidating to one password makes economic sense and it’s more efficient, but companies may want a product with two-factor authentication to further strengthen access controls.

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As mobile deployments have become increasingly common — and increasingly complex — businesses have demanded simplified, all-in-one management tools.

In response, technology manufacturers have recently begun offering mobile workspace solutions that bundle virtualization, enterprise mobility management (EMM) and identity and access management (IAM) tools into single systems, explains IDC Research Analyst Bryan Bassett. These mobile workspace suites include:

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For businesses looking to make sure their employees' mobile devcies are secure, they should follow these steps:

1. Implement identity access management. You want a solid foundation that will let you manage all your security policies within a single dashboard, says Norm Messenger, chief security officer at global consulting firm Inspirage.

2. Standardize on the latest operating systems. Inspirage migrated from Windows 7 to Windows 10 because the new operating system features BitLocker full-disk encryption and other security enhancements, including data loss prevention and Device Guard to keep malware away. Furthermore, phones with the latest iOS and Android OSs have better native security, including full-disk encryption, Messenger says.

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