Since 2013 Networking For Future (NFF) has been engaged with The MITRE Corporation (MITRE) for network security design consulting services to develop a solution for enterprise-wide wireless that meets all of their corporate network access policies. Use of wireless networking at MITRE had been limited due to security restrictions, irregular coverage, and inadequate speeds. As a result of the limited wireless use, dependence on wired networking was keeping employee mobility low and cabling infrastructure costs high.  According to MITRE’s calculations, NFF’s solution for “Secure Wireless Everywhere” will save them $3.5 million on the costs to continue managing and building an extensive wired network environment. The initial ROI of the wireless solution provides equal performance with increased mobility and offers an array of potential features for MITRE to add in the future.

At the onset of the project, NFF facilitated multiple design workshops with MITRE to develop the workflow of features, leveraging Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) to control end-user access to their Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers. The features and functionality provided by Cisco ISE allowed MITRE to gain the required security assurances from wireless clients and users to allow their employees to have streamlined access to their secured network.

After a successful proof of concept (POC) was built in a lab environment, NFF was then contracted with the implementation of the new secure wireless solution. The engagement consisted of mapping the POC design into their production network, implementation of new Cisco Next-Generation Wireless Controllers, installation of new 802.11ac Access Points, and delivering new management functionality with the Cisco Mobility Services Engine and Cisco Prime Infrastructure. The new Cisco ISE network access security features, up to 20x greater wireless throughput with 802.11ac wireless technology, and enhanced management visibility with MSE and PI, will allow users to have a streamlined mobility experience at all of MITRE’s office locations.