7 Emerging Network Trends for Resiliency

By: Todd Rychecky

The network perimeter for businesses of every size all but dissolved due in large part to the events of the past 18 months. With millions having shifted to remote work and enterprises relying more heavily on a wide range of SaaS and cloud services to meet the requirements of a distributed workforce, the stakes suddenly increased. Some organizations were prepared for the transition, with policies already in place to some extent. Yet most were not prepared for the escalating cybercrime activity or network outages that occurred—not even the big tech giants. Google Services, for example, experienced a global outage that affected more than a million users of services including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Chat, Google Meet, Google Groups, Google Docs, Google Keep, and Google Voice. In the same month, Zoom, Slack and CenturyLink also suffered outages.

With experience comes perspective. Now it’s clear that no single organization is immune to vulnerabilities. Experts now predict more than 60,000 organizations around the world may have been compromised, with more hackers joining the adversaries and more businesses at risk in the coming days and months. With the enterprise threat landscape increasingly more dynamic, expansive, and fluid, organizations must focus sharply on network management and security for more resilient networks.

To help businesses meet the challenges of 2021 and beyond, here are five emerging trends that will help create more robust infrastructures to protect them for years to come.

Increased investments in network resiliency

In 2020, many technology managers and C-level executives were forced to take measures to rapidly scale remote VPN services to keep operations going and employees connected. But even before the pandemic hit full force, a survey found that outages alone were costing 40 percent of US businesses more than $1 million annually. As technology evolves and network infrastructure becomes more geographically dispersed, organizations must adjust their strategies to prevent and recover from outages moving forward. Now, enterprises have more reason than ever to plan their budgets accordingly. By investing in network resilience solutions that can monitor, remediate, and configure equipment from any location, enterprises can drive more productivity and growth while defending against potential crises ahead.

A new virtual security paradigm for remote access

Recent surveys are revealing that people are adapting to the unprecedented changes, and so are many businesses. When it comes to work environments, a majority—44 percent of U.S. employees—would prefer to keep working from home compared to the 39 percent who would go back to the office. With videoconferencing technologies and collaboration platforms to keep people connected and engaged, it’s understandable. But with millions more working from home, network boundaries are being pushed out. Add to this the high probability that many employees are using their personal computers for work and work computers for home tasks. IT departments have historically relied on location-based, physical security measures such as a secure floor in an office to protect certain equipment and digital assets, but with an ever-expanding perimeter, a more fortified management layer will become a necessity. Forward-thinking organizations are opting for an Out-of-Band connection to decouple network management from the primary production network that’s processing hacker-prone user traffic. Or, they are implementing new security rules and gating mechanisms to protect data from being accessed remotely.

More secure, remote deployments

Advancements in technology are ramping up to ensure connectivity, which means enterprises must keep pace with upgrades, even if cost and social distancing make it impractical or impossible to get engineers onsite. To future-proof their infrastructure, organizations that are orchestrating new edge and data center deployments or cloud migrations are using tools like TPM chips, which prevent hardware tampering while enabling zero-touch provisioning capabilities. When it comes to re-provisioning equipment remotely, organizations are also utilizing new virtualized network functions to handle complex software stacks that need more troubleshooting or updates.

Smaller, distributed data centers and AI-powered management tools

With an exponential increase in data and tens of billions of IoT devices in use across the globe, the need for smaller distributed data centers is essential for supporting localized processing, which improves efficiency via network automation. These more


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