Device Fingerprinting and Automation: Removing the Mystery from Wireless Networks

As humans, we continue to show ingenuity in redesigning what the Internet means and how we connect with it.  As people rely more and more on the Internet, they frequently use multiple devices to connect and accomplish different tasks.  This makes it much more complicated for companies to identify individual users and analyze Internet activity.  Enter the growing field of device fingerprinting.

Device fingerprinting is the collection of a unique set of data for a particular device for identification purposes.  If we think of a wireless network as the world’s most complex and interconnected highway, we can think of each wireless connected device as a vehicle.  Every vehicle enters, exits and interacts with the highway using distinctive characteristics and capabilities.  These qualities can be captured and analyzed and used to assign a unique identification number, or fingerprint, to the device.

Multiple data elements are used to ensure the fingerprints are unique, and not a general recognition of similar devices.  The specific data set changes from company to company, but commonly algorithms use data from:

 

  • Wi-Fi and cellular network connections

 

 

    • Location

 

    • Time zones

 

    • Items installed on the device

 

Collecting the data includes monitoring how data is transmitted and received as devices connect with each other; because of this, the fingerprint not only identifies the device but also identifies specific actions associated with the device.  This helps reveal usage patterns across devices and platforms.  Once collated, all of this information creates a unique fingerprint that can be used for a number of different purposes – everything from preventing security fraud to creating targeted advertisements.

It’s a complicated, continuously ongoing process, but successful device fingerprinting brings greater visibility into Wi-Fi network usage.  At Wyebot, fingerprinting is one of the ways we provide complete Wi-Fi ecosystem visibility.  We use our fingerprinting capabilities to understand how many devices are on a network at any given time, the capabilities of those devices and the interactions between devices with like and unlike fingerprints.

Together with behavioral profiling, that information is used to develop sophisticated pattern recognition.  We look at the patterns that developed over the last day, week and month and our detailed algorithms provide analysis on how a network is used and what people want and need from it.  With this rich knowledge base, we provide quick problem identification and resolution – including preemptively spotting any network anomalies before they escalate into big problems.  We have completely automated the collection and analysis of data, enabling our platform to immediately report any abnormalities.  Our user interface reports existing problems and our analytical technology automatically offers solutions to correct issues and prevent possible deterioration.

The world of Wi-Fi is not a simple one and it will only grow more complex as we continue to see growth in the Internet of Things.  At Wyebot, we’ve dedicated ourselves to simplifying and automating this complex world.  Our goal is to not only optimize a network, but also provide information in such a way that it optimizes the efficiency of the entire organization.  Let us bring improved performance, reliability and security to your network, with the promise that optimization will move with you into the future.

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