The Future of Network Security


For those in the information security realm, the last couple of years have felt like a never-ending stream of cyber threats and data breaches. Retailers, networks, governments, banks, and everyday citizens have all been affected by these breaches.

Heading in to the future, network security is looking at seven security trends that will dominate in the coming years. There’s not a lot that’s new, but what is there will increase in complexity and sophistication. To combat threats and to stay ahead of network security threats, information security professionals need to understand these seven trends.

Mobile Workstyles

Installed mobile devices is set to surpass installed-based desktop and notebook PCs for the first time. As people’s lifestyle’s become more connected, so do their workstyles. When businesses provide the ability to work when, where, and on a device of the employee’s choice, both the employee and the business win.

A word of caution: every day, thousands of mobile devices are lost or stolen. These devices may have valuable company data stored on them. Make sure you have a data recovery process in place in the event a mobile device is lost or stolen.

Cloud Forecast

According to a Voice of IT report from Spiceworks, approximately 60% of small-to-medium sized businesses are utilizing cloud-based services. For the company just getting started, using the cloud is easy. For those businesses that have been around for awhile, expect a transition phase as you go from IT applications and operational systems to the cloud. You may be straddling both traditional IT networks on-site and cloud-based deployments for a few months while you transition.

More Hackers

Cloud computing has many benefits for companies, but as advances in cloud computing and open-source software are gaining ground, the bad guys out there are also keeping up on the technology. Hackers and those who wish to exploit your company data are embracing these technologies to alter the volume, virality, and velocity of their cyber attacks. It’s estimated over 70,000 new malware variants are created each year.

It’s not all doom and gloom for companies utilizing cloud-based technology. In many respects, cloud computing is more secure than traditional IT infrastructures and has the potential to reduce hackers or viruses from attacking your data.

Privacy and Regulation

Many governments have already created regulations that impose conditions on the safeguard and use of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). When organization fail to sufficiently protect users, there are steep penalties. As a result, networks will start treating privacy as both a compliance and a business risk. New processes will help reduce regulatory sanctions and business costs, like loss of customers due to security breaches and damage to the company’s reputation.

Companies are already seeing increasing plans for regulation around the storage, collection, and use of information. This trend will continue to develop. Resources will be put in place to respond to security regulations being put in place.

Managed Security Front and Center

For most businesses, identifying IT network security systems in a timely manner requires 24/7 coverage of the environment. This can be expensive, especially since security professionals require regular training to keep current with new technology.

In the future, companies will start seeing a more proactive approach to managing security networks and incident response. Many businesses will engage the services of a managed security provider, as these providers have a depth and breadth of insight. It’s important to prevent what you can and manage inevitable compromises. This includes optimizing detection and response capabilities.

More Engagement

One of the biggest areas networks will change in future years is more engagement with an organization’s people. After all, a company’s greatest asset, while also a vulnerable target, are their people.

In the past, information security has been built on changing behavior to reduce the risk. The theory was when employees have knowledge, they will know their responsibility for reducing risk to the company. However, this has been a losing proposition. Instead, we’ll start seeing organizations make positive security behaviors as part of the business process, transforming employees from risks into the first line of defense for security. Organizations will start shifting from promoting awareness of the security problem to creating solutions and embedding information security behaviors that affect risk positively. The goal will be for businesses to embed behaviors that will result in “stop and think” as a habit and part of the organization’s security culture.

The era of modern business networks began over 20 years ago. Today, IP-based device are rapidly changing inside and outside the walls of business, making networks increasingly difficult to manage, scale, adapt, and secure. Understanding these new trends will help your company shape the future of network security.


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