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Security Predictions for 2016: Software-Defined to Become Everything

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2015 has been a very eventful year in the world of security. As Matt Pascucci wrote in last week’s post, we’re now living in the golden age of security (thanks mostly to the numerous high-profile breaches hitting the headlines and affecting both companies and consumers alike).  So with this crazy year coming to an end, I sat down with Avishai Wool (our CTO) and Edy Almer (our VP Products) to review what happened in 2015, and get their take on what we can expect in 2016.

Cloud providers maturing:  Cloud is no longer the new, disruptive technology it was a few years ago; it’s an established part of enterprise IT infrastructure.  As more and more organizations move their applications to the cloud, and as it becomes a more critical part of their IT estate, service providers are starting to offer more mature and advanced services.  Features such as backup, monitoring, high availability, redundancy and further security controls are all additional services that cloud providers will start providing to further expand their capabilities.

Cloud goes public:  2016 will be the year of the public cloud, and we expect that adoption of public cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure will dramatically increase in the coming year. As the market matures we will see increased enterprise production workloads in the public cloud.

Short supply of security talent: The skills shortage in IT security has been well documented; our universities and colleges are simply not producing enough highly skilled security experts to meet the growing demands among enterprises and national governments; and there is not enough experienced talent to go around. This is making it difficult to not only find security talent but also to retain it.  As we pointed out in our predictions for 2015, organizations can ease this problem by automating the more manual security tasks so that the experienced security staff can focus their time on strategic activities and analysis, enabling them to do more with the same resources.  Organizations will also need to put more intelligence into their systems in order to reduce their dependency on “Network Ned”.

Microsegmentation talk turns into action: One of our predictions last year was that microsegmentation would become a reality in 2015.  We have to admit that, while everyone agrees that microsegmentation is necessary and there is a much better understanding of it, there has not been as much adoption of it as we thought. We hope this will change in 2016.

More OpenStack: As well as the ongoing SDN battle between Cisco ACI and VMware NSX, we’re seeing an uptick in OpenStack deployments, particularly among large organizations who can afford to manage these deployments. As a result, major vendors like Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet have integrated OpenStack into their offering, giving customers a scalable, secure and cost-effective alternative SDN environment, which will appeal to enterprises during 2016.

Firewalls- The next generation:  A positive trend for everyone is that we are seeing wider adoption of more advanced, next-generation firewall features such as application and user aware security policies. This will give organizations greater granularity but also more simplicity and accuracy in managing their security policies and protecting their networks.

It will be interesting to see what the New Year brings, so here’s to a successful – and more secure – 2016.

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