Around this same time each year, technology experts and analysts issue their thoughts on what the coming year will bring. In December 2014, experts predicted the Internet of Things would explode in 2015, software automation would replace human beings with robots, and employees would be required to wear smart devices that tracked their health and movements throughout the day. Obviously, not all of those things happened.
I like to take a more practical approach to anticipating what’s next in security and Cloud technology. We all know that cloud computing has become more widely accepted in the enterprise network. In 2016, we will see more businesses of all sizes turn to the benefits of the Cloud to solve ongoing problems, such as protecting the distributed network from hackers and navigating the IT security workforce shortage.
Here are a few things to expect in the New Year:
The security skills shortage will force mid-sized enterprises to simplify. Small businesses and mid-level enterprises, in particular, do not have the security resources or the skilled staff to combat advanced threats. Historically, these organizations have invested in point solutions to automate some aspects of network security, which are costly and time-consuming to manage. In 2016, companies will turn to cloud-based, converged platforms, offered as managed services, which will bundle both strong security capabilities and expertise. Delivered through the cloud, these solutions will help businesses achieve competencies and effective defenses that were previously available only to large enterprises.
Cloud-based security will gain traction as cyber attacks increase. The new generation of cloud-based services will offer better threat visibility, shared intelligence across customers, and agile software that enables rapid adaptation to emerging threats. For the first time, enterprises will have an alternative to disjointed, on-premises security solutions that are delivered as hardware appliances.
Network and security admins will slowly kick their hardware addictions. The dissolving network perimeter has created severe challenges in terms of capacity, manageability, adaptability and coverage of IT security appliances. In 2016, businesses will realize that, to address these challenges, they’ll need to reduce their reliance on security appliances and cut down the “appliance sprawl.” In 2016, IT organizations will need to securely support an increasingly cloud-centric and mobile-first workforce – a strategic goal that is not aligned with an appliance-based network security model designed for fixed locations and a static workforce.
Hackers will target employees using social engineering tactics and mobile. Tried and tested attack vectors like spear phishing will never go away as long as they continue to work. But mobile-based threats will grow in sophistication, with a continued focus on defeating app store vetting processes by attacking the developer supply chain and support systems.
New cloud connectivity options will level the playing field for mid-sized enterprises. As more companies turn to the Cloud to solve business problems, the cloud will emerge as a new connectivity platform. With MPLS being cost-prohibitive for mid-sized companies, and unmanaged Internet connections too unreliable for business-critical applications, high quality WAN connectivity options are very limited for mid-size businesses. A new paradigm for WAN connectivity is still sorely missing, but 2016 will see more options for cost-effective cloud connectivity.
Businesses already rely on the cloud to streamline efficiencies, share resources and outsource the management of complex functions. I believe that, in 2016, organizations will use these same benefits to address the network security challenges that have plagued them for many years.
About the Author:
Shlomo Kramer is the CEO and co-founder of Cato Networks, a network security-as-a-service startup headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel. Over the course of his career as a cybersecurity entrepreneur and investor, Kramer has been honored with various awards, including CEO of the Year by SC Magazine in 2008, one of 20 luminaries who changed the network industry by Network World (News - Alert) in 2006, and was inducted into the InfoSec Hall of Fame in April 2013. Kramer is the co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies and Imperva, and the Board director and founding investor in a number of security, fintech and software companies, including Exabeam, FundBox, Indegy, Sumo Logic and Insert Mobile. Follow him on Twitter (News - Alert): @shlomokr.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson