By Shibu Paul, Vice President – International Sales at Array Networks.
Vulnerability is a costly affair for organizations. Every data stored within the organizations carries its own value, but without the right networking and security measure, all efforts to keep the data safe from attackers come to nought. Every year companies face new forms of threat and experts come up with new ways to fight those threats, for example, the pandemic witnessed in 2020. While the pandemic is receding in India, companies are still contemplating returning to office. Remote working is now a part of the work environment. Even new recruits are being given an option to work remotely by many. Strong networking is now necessary more than ever and 2021 is ready to witness trends in networking and security to fight threat actors.
“Technology has and will be the core enabler of the transition that many organizations are witnessing in the post-pandemic world. 2020 has been unusual and this has led to technology gaining inroads into all sectors from education to healthcare. Remote working, hybrid workforce, cloud transitions are all necessary to support business continuity and networking is needed to achieve success,” said Shibu Paul, Vice President – International Sales at Array Networks.
So what are the networking trends of 2021?
1. Network Automation: Applications in any organization today range from traditional to cloud-native. In situations like these, it is not easy to manage the applications. So to have speed, agility and consistency in the operations organizations resort to network automation. According to a recent survey the pandemic has boosted network automation to the top 70 percent to help organizations navigate the changes.
2. Zero Trust: Traditional security parameters are time and again proved to be ineffective with more high-tech targeting tactics. In order to fight threats at micro-level while authenticating every request to gain access into the network at every point, experts advise on implementing Zero Trust. By 2027 at 19.71% CAGR, the zero trust security market is projected to reach $94.35 Bn and this is the indication of the important role zero trust is to play.
3. SD-WAN: Managing a branch of networks is not a simple task and neither is cloud connectivity. To manage several networks and for faster cloud connectivity, organizations are now resorting to a Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) which is a virtual WAN architecture. Experts believe that due to unforeseeable reasons by 2020 the demand for SD-WAN had reduced, however with the new work culture like remote working or hybrid work environment the demand is expected to increase. The work processes shifting from traditional to cloud is also an indication of the possibility of SD-WAN’s demand increasing.
4. Cybersecurity Mesh: To achieve scalable, flexible and reliable security, the concept of cybersecurity mesh is popular. For intensified remote working like the current times, there is a need to protect data from external and sometimes internal threats and cybersecurity mesh is the right approach.
5. IoT and Network Edge: The point where an enterprise-owned network connects to a third-party network is called network edge. With the overflow of data, many data centers and devices experience strain. To remove this strain from DCs, the network edge physically moves the computation part from DCs to the edge of the network. By offloading network traffic not only can edge computing conserve the network resources, it will in turn also reduce network latency and bottlenecks.
6. SASE: By implementing Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) organizations are revamping their network architecture. With SASE companies can now allow remote working, enable IoT endpoints and aid teleworkers. SASE is the closest solution for organizations that have distributed workforce but decentralized infrastructure as they would need a different security posture as part of that architecture.
7. Internet of Behaviors (IoB): IoB which is an extension of IoT refers to the interconnection of devices resulting in a vast variety of new data which links to the behaviour of people. Gartner predicts that by 2023 individual activities of 40% of the global population will be tracked digitally to influence behavior. To manage such a vast variety of data a strong network solution is required which would avoid the websites or the organization’s platform from collapsing.
8. Hybrid Work Model: The hybrid work model existed before the pandemic hit the world, however, it became necessary and relevant with the onset of the pandemic. The key to the hybrid work model is digitalization and for a strong digitalization process, networking is of utmost importance. For a strong hybrid work environment the network products and services should be updated and state-of-the-art, hence making the work model successful with reduced risk factors.