2020 has long been referenced as a milestone marking dramatic changes in the world of IT and business, a futuristic frontier for a brave new world of revolutionary technology.
As we enter a new decade, we can acknowledge that major changes are in action: automation and analytics promise additional intelligence and efficiency to our processes; the move to the Cloud gains momentum, bringing new cyber security imperatives; convergence is a common thread, whether it applies to IT & Telco or Cloud & cyber security.
The speed of change and the complexity of our technology landscape present considerable challenges for business that the Channel can assist in overcoming successfully. At a time when business resources are streamlined by the need for cost-efficiency, the Channel can offer expert consultancy to select the best technology solution to support business growth. Value Added Distributors (VADs) have a very clear mandate to provide resellers with the training and support to be ideal partners for business.
Over the next three weeks we’ll look at some of the most significant technology and industry trends that will impact the Channel in 2020 – a source of both challenges and opportunities.
We start with the cyber security topic and some insights from Nuvias’ Cyber Security expert Michael Adjei.
1. Secure access to the Cloud
No one is going to win any prizes or plaudits for predicting the on-going march of the cloud. There is no turning back as companies feel the benefits. Already nearly 95 percent of businesses are using the cloud for something – Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based applications, infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), public cloud networking, hybrid networks or a mix of all of these. But the idea that companies are moving their data and applications to a ‘safe haven’ in the cloud is a dangerous assumption.
While cloud service providers deliver strong security controls to protect the cloud fabric, they have no responsibility for data moving in and out of the cloud and are unable to identify what is malicious content or activity. That means that IT managers still have to take responsibility for protecting their data. But the cloud moves the goalposts. The cloud and digital transformation have blown the traditional security perimeter apart and people now need anytime, anywhere access to applications such as CRM, Office 365 or collaboration software, from a whole range of devices.
2. DevSecOps – security by design
Rather than securing the fixed network by securing the perimeter, as we did in the past, the future is all about trying to secure a moving target. The new generation of tools have to use artificial intelligence techniques to make decisions autonomously, based on fixed policies. The emergence of DevSecOps also helps to encourage ‘security by design’, as well as adding intelligent automation into the building, testing and deployment of applications. It’s about testing early and testing often.
The ongoing migration to the cloud and digital transformation presents many security challenges for channel partners and their customers – but many opportunities. Products such as Checkpoint’s CloudGuard go a long way to solving these problems along with the traditional cyber hygiene and MFA solutions from the likes of Kaspersky, One Identity, Pulse Secure and WatchGuard.
3. Secure SD-WAN
Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a technology that is gaining ground, offering flexibility and cost-efficiency to large enterprise and SMBs alike. SD-WAN implies an inherent shift of traffic from the datacentre to the edge of the network, that becomes a vulnerable spot for cyber security threats, unless it is adequately protected. Vendors such as Versa are securing the SD-WAN by integrating strong edge protection.