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IT trends for business continuity managers to be aware of

Ian Kilpatrick describes six emerging technology trends that will need consideration during 2014:

Security
Thanks to the NSA and GCHQ, (coupled with ongoing allegations against the Chinese), security, corporate privacy and encryption have moved swiftly up the corporate agenda. Identity management, which has often been seen as a ‘nice to have’, will become even more of a ‘must have.’

For many years, wireless security was an afterthought to wireless deployment. However, in 2014, with the ratification of multi GBPS 802.11ac, wireless security will become ever more important as organizations move from wired networks to wireless ones.

As one example, the majority of wireless access point deployments in SMEs are connected to the trusted network, effectively bypassing the gateway security controls and policies. This isn’t sustainable, as wireless becomes the core of the network. There will be a rise in the deployment of both 802.11ac wireless and associated access point security.

With the exponential growth of smartphones, and their expanding use as essential business and personal tools, organizations are facing up to the necessity to protect them. Smartphone security has at last reached the radar, and sales will grow strongly in 2014.

Mobility and convergence
The rapid growth of mobility and the increase in numbers of mobile devices will carry on during 2014. This increase will go hand in hand with further growth in convergence, with all the associated threats and benefits.

As the number of mobile devices multiplies (MDM), managing them will be ever more crucial. MDM solutions will see further growth. Relevant MDM features will include - ensuring that usage complies with company security policies; allocating access rights; managing configuration; updating policies; dealing with data leakage issues; and dealing with lost or stolen devices.

IPv6
IPV6 will make an increasing impact in enterprise organizations, as infrastructure upgrades create greater corporate IPV6 awareness and increased connectivity to IPV6 customers and suppliers. IPV6 has a number of key mobility and roaming attributes, including the “home address” concept, which will raise some interesting challenges
Infrastructure, security and services around IPv6 will grow in 2014. IPV6 has greater security capabilities, however, during the extended migration period from IPv4 to IPv6, major security holes are created.

Big data
The rise in data volumes has changed the computing environment for many organizations, with challenges created in managing and reporting on the increasing amount of data, as well as dealing with the growing risk of data loss. 2014 will see data volumes continuing to grow, with a rise in sales of solutions which protect and manage these large amounts of data.

Visibility reporting and remediation systems
With multiple threats, organizations have deployed multiple security solutions and lost sight of what’s actually happening on the threat front. Consolidation to single suppliers will continue, but alongside that, deployment of reporting across multiple vendors will grow strongly.

Solutions which offer easy and quick visibility into what is happening, and has happened on networks, will rise in popularity. However visibility has proved to be insufficient and there will be increased momentum in systems that can not only report, but also remediate.

Cloud services
Growth in cloud systems and SaaS will continue, particularly for utility services and amongst early adopters. The two key challenges to growth include privacy concerns and security. Solutions that address these issues are beginning to increase at a faster rate than the market.

The author
Ian Kilpatrick is chairman of international value added distributor Wick Hill Group plc, specialists in market development for secure IP infrastructure solutions. Kilpatrick has been involved with the Group for more than 35 years. Wick Hill supplies organizations from enterprises to SMEs, through an extensive value-added network of accredited VARs.

•Date: 3rd January 2014 • World •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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