Security Experts:

Network Infrastructure, Visibility and Security in 2017

Given the security events of 2016, coupled with the rapid advancements and adoption of cloud computing, 2017 will be the year in which many finally accept that network infrastructure and security will have to be rethought from the ground up.

For instance, we will likely see cloud adoption continue to grow across the United States, network visibility will no longer just be an option, AI and machine learning will shake old security models, and IoT-powered attacks will continue to rise. All of this will factor into how businesses set up, monitor and secure their networks.

Let’s dive in a little further and see what we can expect in the next year.

The Cloud Isn’t Done Yet

Cloud computing has helped transform U.S. enterprises over the past five years, but it is not done yet. The market is preparing for the second wave of cloud adoption, as enterprises continue to move to cloud-based networks whether private or public cloud.  It is estimated that about 78 percent of small businesses in the U.S. will have fully adopted cloud computing by 2020.

This is because public, private and hybrid cloud deployments have become a crucial tool for organizations of all shapes and sizes. Further, adoption of cloud-based services and new migrations to the cloud allow organizations to realize elastic scalability and flexibility while reducing costs in 2017 and beyond. The second wave of technologies in cloud computing will focus on analytics and security, giving rise to new players and an increasing willingness by enterprises to "bet their business" on the cloud.

Seeing Even More

As organizations continue their migration to cloud-based environments, they will account for the associated security and control risks. According to a recent report examining the hidden dangers and blind spots created by the use of virtualization technology in the data center, 67 percent of respondents deploy business-critical applications on the public cloud. This is a problem considering that an organization’s operations are dependent on a cloud environment that inherently has a huge visibility gap.

Fortunately, many are now making the necessary changes to keep data secure. Throughout 2017, we will see an increased emphasis on network visibility, and by 2018 approximately 60 percent of enterprises implementing the appropriate network visibility will experience a third fewer security failures.

AI Changes Everything

More than cloud technology, there will be a significant increase in AI investments in 2017 compared to 2016. In fact, Forrester predicts investment in artificial intelligence will grow 300 percent in 2017. AI will provide business users access to powerful insights and will drive faster business decisions in marketing, ecommerce, product management and other areas of the business by helping close the gap from insights to action. Particularly, application of artificial intelligence in security is expected to gain momentum as the next logical step, underpinning systems that can identify, analyze, learn, anticipate and adjust to cyber security threats in real-time with minimal human intervention.

IoT Risks Are No Longer Just Fearmongering

IoT’s security posture has been questioned since the first smart devices were introduced to the market. But IoT offers an expanding horizon of opportunity that cannot be ignored due to security concerns alone. With foresight into these current trends, practical planning and secured implementations, organizations can advance their vision for IoT with confidence in their security practices. This is particularly critical in protecting against IoT-powered botnet armies. Botnet armies are bigger and more active than ever before. Expect to see hackers continue to exploit IoT device vulnerabilities to launch attacks in 2017, and an increase in IoT security to protect against them.

2017 will be a year full of firsts as organizations reach maturity in the cloud and IoT becomes a well-established aspect of all businesses. It will benefit all companies to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for the role the cloud and IoT will play in their own infrastructures.

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Marie Hattar is chief marketing officer (CMO) at Keysight Technologies. She has more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience spanning the security, routing, switching, telecom and mobility markets. Before becoming Keysight’s CMO, Marie was CMO at Ixia and at Check Point Software Technologies. Prior to that, she was Vice President at Cisco where she led the company’s enterprise networking and security portfolio and helped drive the company’s leadership in networking. Marie also worked at Nortel Networks, Alteon WebSystems, and Shasta Networks in senior marketing and CTO positions. Marie received a master’s degree in Business Administration in Marketing from York University and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto.