5 Key Trends in Network Security

As networks proliferate in every aspect of our businesses, the need for good network security has never been greater. There’s not just data at stake, but dollars and cents. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach should rise to $4.2 million by the end of the year.

Because network security can sometimes feel like a cat-and-mouse game between the latest security innovations and hacker efforts to overcome them, you’ll need to know what’s happening in this space if you’re going to adopt the best network security habits. Let’s explore five key trends in network security to watch.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

Think of SASE as making it easier for your enterprise’s users to connect to your data applications—even if they’re working remotely. Given that 12.7% of U.S. workers now work fully remotely, SASE is going to become more and more important. With SASE’s combination of firewalls, cloud web security, and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), it gives your networking the flexibility it needs to keep your business humming along. Expect it to become a more prominent trend as more enterprises expand in their security needs in 2024 and beyond.

Expansion of SD-Wan

SD-WAN simplifies how you manage your WAN. The “software” in question can serve as a traffic light, telling where the network’s traffic should go based on current demands and conditions. If you have SD-WAN in place between multiple offices, you can route data through the most secure pathways.

As more and more companies rely on remote work (see above) and new cloud applications, SD-WAN’s dynamic flexibility will become more popular to ensure businesses keep up with data availability and security. According to the Dell’Oro Group’s quarterly report, SD-WAN grew globally by 39% between 2020 and 2021—with the trend expected to continue rolling into 2024.

Additional Adoption of NaaS

Network as a Service (NaaS) gives businesses flexibility by essentially letting you “rent” networking services on a subscription basis. The advantages here are obvious: scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. With the right third-party provider, you can essentially adopt a pay-as-you-go mentality. And NaaS can be advantageous because these third-party providers will include the latest networking security offerings as part of their packages.

If you find the world of networking security too difficult to keep up with, seeking out NaaS may be the easiest remedy. The market for it is expanding by leaps and bounds, which will likely mean many more NaaS offerings appear over the next few years. According to Markets and Markets, “the global network as a service market size was valued at $13.2 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28.7% from 2022 to 2027.” We’re in the midst of an explosion here. If you’re in the market for a NaaS provider, expect your enterprise to benefit from these expanded offerings.

Network Automation

With network automation, software can perform tasks on your network without your team’s manual intervention. On the surface, this might seem to go against the grain regarding network security: doesn’t automation expose your network to potential data risks? Not necessarily. Think of network automation as programming in good security habits to apply to the entire network.

That may be why so many companies are investing in AI (artificial intelligence) software, which can enhance the accuracy and quality of automation. Some 18.2% of companies plan to increase their investment in AI in 2024. And 70% of companies are experimenting with generative AI to one degree or another. It’s a trend with legs. After all, the increasing complexity of networks and your need to respond quickly to security threats may one day mean relying on automation and AI to help address these challenges.

Increased Network Threats from IoT

More and more devices connect to the internet. There are more Internet-connected devices (15 billion or so) than people on the planet. Many of these IoT devices might not have robust security measures, which makes them potentially vulnerable to network security threats. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your team’s access to your network via devices out of security concerns.

The more access points there are, the greater the security risks. By 2024, you should be able to protect against larger “botnets”

If you plan to adopt more in 2024, you must protect against larger botnet attacks, which can turn devices into tools for disseminating spam or malware. You’ll have to check your network’s vulnerabilities and beware of more DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks.

Watching the Trends in Network Security for 2024 and Beyond

Keeping your network secure has never been more important—or such a fragile undertaking. The proliferation of new networking and Internet technologies have made it possible for workers to remotely access your network, which has expanded the global reach of every enterprise. But it also means you have to keep a tight lid on your networking security risks.

As we head into 2024, watch these trends. Know that SASE is making it easier to connect securely, for example, and that SD-WAN can help simplify your network management. If you need an immediate jolt of networking services, adopt NaaS. Stay ahead of these trends to ensure a well-protected network at your enterprise and reach out to the team at Comport to make it happen!

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