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Versa Networks 2023 Predictions: CISO and CIO Cybersecurity Priorities for 2023


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

CISO and CIO Cybersecurity Priorities for 2023

By Kelly Ahuja, CEO, Versa Networks

As 2022 comes to an end, we look ahead at what we need to anticipate and plan for in 2023 and beyond. Pundits around the world are sharing their views of what will influence IT priorities in 2023 - ranging from continued geopolitical instability, economic & labor volatility, increased cybersecurity risk and continued innovation.  These will drive CIOs and CISOs priorities in 2023 that will be get them a few steps closer to building a Predictive Secure Network that can protect and connect their users/devices anywhere to resources/workloads/applications anywhere anytime.

Hybrid Cloud

Digital Transformation has resulted in The Great Migration of Applications to Cloud. We anticipate enterprises will move from an application in a particular cloud (resulting in a multi-cloud deployment) to an application across multiple clouds. With software innovations, enterprises will be able to parse the application into components and choose which function they place where across their footprint - at the edge, private cloud/data center or one of public clouds.  This will be made possible with security & networking solutions that will span these hybrid cloud environments.

Hybrid Workforce

The pandemic resulted in enterprises embracing the need and offering flexibility for the workforce to work remotely.  Today, many business have begun to have employees return to the office, but the great resignation and retention, the work environment will be hybrid.  Even with the employees back in the office, there will be a sharp change in the way we work - relying heavily on collaboration tools even within the workplace.  This will impact the traffic profiles within the enterprise and potentially impact the architecture and/or capacity of the existing infrastructure as it was designed for a different traffic profile.

Protect Everything Everywhere

The traditional security architecture has worked well for enterprises who have built a walled-garden and centralized access to the Internet. Cloud adoption and the increase in remote work has extended the enterprise perimeter expanding the attack surface.  Continued shift to hybrid cloud extends this attack surface further. But the hybrid work and IoT extends this attack surface from outside the perimeter to inside the perimeter. As the traditional enterprise perimeter dissolves, protecting users, devices, data and connecting this hybrid workforce/devices to applications in hybrid cloud will drive a rethinking of the security architecture.

Shift to Platforms

The evolutionary approach to addressing the business needs has resulted in tens of point products in an enterprise IT infrastructure resulting in complexity that affects the IT agility and has driven up cost of operations. Gone will be the days of function specific products built for a specific place in the enterprise that has resulted in these bespoke islands of identity, policy, authentication and connectivity.  CIOs & CISOs will move to platforms that are extensible across multiple use cases to converge the number of solutions and reduce the overall lifecycle management cost and complexity.

AI & ML for Automation

The previous approaches of reacting to threats or outages manually or with scripts have long affected our ability to move quickly and minimize impact to business. With the tremendous innovation in machine learning and artificial intelligence, there will be approaches that allow IT to be more agile and reduce their Mean Time To Innocence (MTTI). Leveraging the right platforms and solutions, enterprises will be able to stay abreast of the threat landscape and protect themselves from bad actors and build infrastructure that will adapt to the changing conditions.


Today's digital enterprise and workstyle require a security and connectivity approach to protect employees and devices at the edge of the cloud, as well as secure apps and key data, all the while enforcing consistent cyber policies and rules across the diverse range of connections.   Secure Access Services Edge (SASE) integrates security & networking and is intended to meet the needs of enterprises who are on a digital transformation journey.  According to Gartner, by 2025 80 percent of enterprises will have adopted a strategy to unify web, cloud services and private applications across SASE/SSE architecture, up from 20 percent in 2021. Gartner, which coined the SASE phrase a few years ago, recently published a Market Guide for Single-Vendor SASE where they recommend enterprises choose single-vendor SASE offerings that provide single-pass scanning, single unified console, and data late covering all functions to improve user experience and staff efficacy.




Kelly Ahuja is a seasoned industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in networking and telecommunications. He currently serves on the board of directors for two startups in Silicon Valley.  Kelly spent 18 years at Cisco rooted in the design and deployment of telecommunications networks. He was most recently SVP of Service Provider Business, Products and Solutions at Cisco where he was responsible for developing and managing the service provider segment strategy and portfolio. Kelly held several other senior executive roles at Cisco, including SVP and GM of the Mobility Business Group, Chief Architect for the Service Provider business, and SVP and GM of the Service Provider Routing Technology Group.   Earlier in his career, Kelly served as VP of Marketing at optical networking startup BlueLeaf Networks and product management leader at Stratacom. He also managed the design and deployment of data and voice networks for AT&T Canada, Bank of Canada and Telesat Canada.   Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Calgary.

Published Wednesday, November 23, 2022 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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