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Aruba Networks: The Year Ahead

January 2015 by Aruba Networks

Major data breaches continue with a significant rise in those originating from a BYOD mobile devices.

With many companies now embracing the BYOD movement, numerous challenges for businesses, both good and bad have arisen. The huge amount of flexibility gained by enabling employees to bring their own devices into the workplace has increased the challenges faced by IT departments to ensure complete network security. We have seen multiple data breaches from major companies over the last 12 months, but in 2015 we predict a major data breach will originate from a mobile device. Security exploits will move into the next generation because of increased speed and bandwidth meaning infections can move along the networks at a much faster rate. Along with a growing trend of users merging personal apps such as Dropbox onto work based devices, the cross-contamination of IT systems will see a significant rise in threats to enterprise networks, increasing internal data breaches from within an enterprise. This presents even more challenges particularly around external service providers such as cloud storage. As businesses continue to embrace the BYOD and CYOD explosion, enterprise wide protocols have been implemented to maintain network security and effectively manage and control foreign devices entering an enterprise network. As this trend continues the improved communication of enterprise wide company security policies will become paramount,

2015 will be the year of the Beacon

In developed countries, more than 90 percent of consumers’ time is spent indoors, and 70 percent of those consumers carry smart phones into venues. This large addressable market, compounded with an estimated 52 percent of companies worldwide planning to implement location-based mobile marketing by 2017, presents a unique market opportunity for marketers to engage with their customers’ mobile devices. However, until now, the indoor positioning technology had not offered the precision necessary for many enterprises to invest. In 2015, beacon technology, a new standard for indoor positioning technology, will encourage more venues to make investments in a more reliable, privacy friendly and scalable technology. Whilst the technology was being proposed and discussed previously, in 2015 we will see much more roll out from a variety of industries.

High speed Wi-Fi will finally kill the traditional desk phone in enterprises The advent of higher speed Wi-Fi with 802.11ac means that offices can truly go all wireless. This, combined with office communications tools like Microsoft Lync mean that desk phones will be confined to only specific uses. The end result is rightsizing and savings for the business. Businesses are decreasing investment in Ethernet switching in favour of high speed Wi-Fi particularly with 802.11ac. This re-architecting of the LAN is driven by the shift towards mobile devices using wireless connectivity. Organisations are seeing a constant drop in the Ethernet usage by users and an exponential demand for wireless everywhere.

The force of #GenMobile will see the demise of the branch router

As the geographic spread of employees expands, the increase in mobility and their connections back to headquarters evolve, it will be essential that security networks follow the same suit by accommodating strategies that encompass policy-driven management of all devices and or services used across all locations. With this comes the need for IT managers to fully understand how to optimize and secure corporate branch networks essentially giving users much greater freedom. The reliability and economic value of installing and using a business class ethernet and DSL has meant that MPLS could be phased out, as we see enterprises already embracing this lower cost transport and keeping their primary MPLS circuits and augmenting them with either business class ethernet or DSL as a backup. Through the deployment of branch controllers, enterprises can rightsize their networks and achieve significant capital and operational savings whilst also maintaining visibility into remote networks, meeting security objectives and compliance standards, as well as increasing productivity.

“Adaptive Trust” will be the security model adopted in 2015

As society progresses, security needs are constantly changing in both the home and workplace. Security in the workplace will again be a big focus in 2015 with more and more foreign devices entering the workspace. As a result, we have to go from a static security network model to an Adaptive Trust security model. Security policies have to move as fast as technology is being developed, meaning IT administrators need to implement and develop an Adaptive Trust Solution that is able to secure all mobility needs without compromise. It will be vital to find the right balance between productivity and security risks. Managing remote/mobile workers and the increasing risk in the number of stolen devices, mainly smartphones, will continue to be an ongoing issue. But through adopting an Adaptive Trust security model, the problem will become much easier to resolve. Access policy managers will be able to organise their company’s security elements much quicker and easier than before, allowing the mobile-first traits of their #GenMobile workforce to be embraced rather than considered a danger.

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