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Cybera 2020 Predictions: 2020 Security-first, Connectivity-second - the Opposite of How the Internet was Designed

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

By Josh Flinn, Director of Product Strategy and Innovation, Cybera

2020 Security-first, Connectivity-second - the Opposite of How the Internet was Designed

Historically, the network has always come first, and then security is bolted on to protect it. We're rapidly heading towards a security-first and connectivity-second approach - the total opposite of how the Internet was designed!

2020 will be the year that we see a deeper integration of security and WAN (wide area network) technology. This integration will manifest itself in three key areas:

1. We will continue to see significant moves towards connectivity and security becoming seamless. Secure software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology will help enterprises meet application requirements and improve security rather than merely connecting sites and devices. This software-based networking approach not only will help ensure security and performance, but it will also decrease the cost and complexity of delivering new apps and services to widely distributed enterprises. So this more seamless approach means that companies will be able to function with more agility across their application ecosystems.

What will this look like in practice? Increasingly, security and networking teams will converge into a single team. This is something that IT management should assure is on their radar screen starting in 2020, since it could put additional pressure on the folks working in these areas, who may need to widen their responsibilities and focus on multiple/new tasks.

As a result, we'll see a much bigger reliance on machine learning and analytics tools to reduce the white noise and phantom alerts and enable teams to spend more time on actions, rather than digging through masses of data.

2. Also to come in the New Year will be acceleration of the adoption of the Zero Trust Network Access Model (ZTNA), based on the significant (and I suspect, continued) increase in the number of virtual private network (VPN) attacks. The ZTNA model works on the assumption that every piece of equipment you have is a bad actor or potential vulnerability. ZTNA ensures that only authorized users can access specific applications based on business policies. Unlike VPNs, users are never placed on the network and apps are never exposed to the Internet. This creates a zero-attack surface that protects businesses from cyber-attacks.

The way this works in practice is that more and more enterprises will begin to identify their network's most valuable data and applications-their "protect surface"-which helps to identify which users are using which applications and how they are accessing the network. ZTNA involves creating a microperimeter around your protect surface, and with a segmentation gateway deployment, ensuring that only approved users have access to the apps and services being protected.

3. 2020 will be the year that we see digital transformation move from being a widely used marketing term, to becoming something that makes a tangible impact on business. The IoT is the chief driver of this. Businesses will increasingly take advantage of the wide array of connected devices, super-fast connectivity speeds, and seamless security to deliver personalized and optimized experiences for their customers.

Flipping Tradition on Its Head

The deeper integration of security and WAN technology is poised to change enterprise networking into a security first, connectivity second approach, flipping the traditional Internet design on its head. The pending shifts that this change precipitates will help safeguard the enterprise from the security challenges that VPNs created, replacing those problems with a zero-attack surface that's needed in the modern enterprise of 2020.

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About the Author

Josh Flinn 

Josh Flinn is Director of Product Strategy and Innovation at Cybera (www.cybera.com), where he leads the development of new technologies, including SD-WAN, network security and IOT. Flinn has held leadership positions at companies like Dell and Cradlepoint, where he focused on the development of WAN and security technologies. Today, Flinn helps distributed enterprises integrate digital transformation into their existing business model in a highly secure manner. Customers can trust that solutions designed by Flinn are built with a security first mindset, as well as a laser focus on the customer experience (CX). Flinn is a veteran of the US Air Force.

Published Thursday, January 09, 2020 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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