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BackBox 2022 Predictions: Network Automation Predictions - There Will Never Be a Disruption to Your Networks Again

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Network Automation Predictions - There Will Never Be a Disruption to Your Networks Again

By Andrew Kahl, CEO, BackBox

Disaster recovery plans. Recent backups. Network device management configuration. Inventory management. Sounds boring. Right? IT task automation and network automation. Boring? Definitely not. The evolution of secure network management and automation in corporate IT environments are some of the most exciting areas for software development and automation today. It's going to transform the way networks are managed, and much more than that, how companies are able to respond to breaches and outages. My prediction: there will come a day when network device disruptions are something we reference the way we talk about sending a fax.

Why does Secure IT Automation even matter?

IT system downtime affects an organization both in operations and revenue. It causes an average loss of $300,000 per hour or $5,600 every minute, according to Gartner. The number goes up for larger organizations. A severe impact can be felt in the company's bottom line with different teams being brought in to handle the damage to infrastructure and employees unable to work normally.  The time and expense of fixing issues, which let's face it, is largely manually intensive and repetitive work, is enormous and will only grow larger.  Imagine being able to automate your IT environment and your network configurations so that when disaster strikes, they are able to reconfigure and restore themselves.  Downtime will be reduced, resource allocation no longer becomes an issue, and financial damage is significantly reduced.  

Novel Situations Lie Ahead for IT Pros

A recent TechWire article revealed that not only are cyberattacks on the rise, so are ransomware attacks, to the tune of a 93% increase in the first half of 2021. The article also identified that only 11% of companies are able to recover data within 72 hours of such an attack. Imagine the financial, data security and operational impact that this can have across all those that are directly and indirectly affected by such an attack. It's mind boggling!

What Can You Do About It?

There are many activities companies (and the IT teams who keep them up and running) can take to protect themselves, you're probably doing many or all of these:

  • Educate employees about data privacy.
  • Carry out a network data backup plan review regularly.
  • Secure every laptop, mobile device, and tablet.
  • Make it a must to set up a firewall.
  • Push access control by establishing strong passwords.
  • Install antimalware and antivirus solutions.
  • Update software regularly and monitor diligently.
  • Implement network automation software.

Seems Simple, Why Isn't Everyone Doing It?

Managing a network and being ready for disaster recovery is often filled with repetitive, time-consuming tasks, and it seems that companies everywhere are strapped for resources. This is one of the reasons the Network Automation market is predicted to at least quadruple in the coming years, as everyone tries to do more with less, while not sacrificing security. Imagine a mid-sized company with one network engineer, tasked with managing multiple devices, vendors, and locations, with thousands of devices connecting to their networks. Throw into the mix a newly remote workforce, and it will take hours to stay current on various versions of devices, never mind having backups in place that can be easily recovered. How does someone even know, without the benefit of automation and software, which devices are current or have issues? While the tasks themselves may be simple, the sheer volume of it all makes things complicated for the IT professionals trying to do their jobs.

Automation Capabilities Will Continue To Expand

Solutions like ours help network engineers, security engineers, and their managers, keep corporate networks up and running securely and efficiently. Backbox handles mundane tasks and makes it easy to monitor the entire network from one place, a place where all IT managers can see what's going on and manage their devices and networks more effectively. Things you should expect from any network automation software:

  • No coding required: GUI-based editors, out-of-the-box device management scripts that are provided for you to ease installation
  • Central, role-based management for everyone in the company: the same interface for security and network managers alike - sharing tasks and duties aligned to the company objective of protected and safe network that can be easily restored if there's a device failure or a lockdown due to a breach
  • No device left behind: every device across the company requires the same level of support, even if that measures into the hundreds of devices, effective network automation software covers them all
  • Proactive reporting: know at any given moment what's going on across your network, get ahead of issues before they become a real problem
  • Defend before your defenses are required: receive alerts and suggestions through common protocols and tools, you shouldn't have to be monitoring every moment to identify opportunities to tighten a potential risk area

In the Future, Your Network Will Never Go Down

At BackBox, we envision a day when corporate networks never experience an outage. Yes, there will be breaches and issues to deal with, in fact, it may even accelerate or increase in number of instances. It doesn't matter how much planning and preparedness you follow, the inevitability of an occurrence is high. What's going to be different is the speed and sophistication of the tools that are available to the professionals managing those networks to keep things up and running easily and efficiently. A time will come when disaster recovery and restoring from backups will only feel like a hiccup of disruption to end users and not a single capability or item will be missing. That's the world that we envision at BackBox.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Kahl 

Andrew Kahl brings to Backbox over 28 years of industry experience and serves as CEO and a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to BackBox, Andrew was VP, Customer Success at NetApp, and the first Chief Customer Officer at Sailpoint. Andrew was also Co-Founder of CREDANT Technologies, a leading security software firm that was acquired by Dell Technologies.

Published Wednesday, January 12, 2022 7:36 AM by David Marshall
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