When it comes to 2014, security will play a big role; in particular, with cloud encryption.
Edward Snowden’s leaks about National Security Agency (News - Alert) snooping has shown that there are many attacks on corporate data, more than many might have supposed. These include hacktivists, hostile governments, criminal hackers and now even the U.S. government.
Ensuring that data is kept safe, universal cloud encryption will become a big priority in 2014.
"People want to encrypt a lot more stuff than they ever did before, and a lot of that [desire to encrypt] is for data going to the cloud," said John Kindervag, principal analyst at Forrester Research (News - Alert), in a recent TechTarget article.
"[Cloud encryption gateways] are essentially a new product category," he said. "They are just a gateway that allows you to encrypt data before it goes to the cloud."
Even though many of the companies that are most aggressively looking into securing their data are fundamentally conservative and choosing mature technologies, the need for such encryption gateways is both so new and so urgent that enterprises are willing to go with technologies from startups to meet the need.
Kindervag also thinks that Enterprises are worried that their WAN links are vulnerable to government snooping. This is leading businesses to start encrypting data that crosses their MPLS networks. They are building their own WANs by using IPsec site-to-site tunneling on the public Internet, even if it doesn’t come with a service-level agreement.
The stateful firewalls and intrusion prevention appliances category should see its business basically dry up in 2014, too, as next-generation firewalls become the norm, according to Kindervag.
“There won't be any reason to not use a next-generation firewall for most companies because it won't be any more expensive to have a next-generation firewall,” he said. Improved “…performance and manageability of next-generation firewalls will continue driving that.”
Also continuing to conquer in 2014 will be network virtualization. Virtual network infrastructure is the missing piece in efficient datacenter virtualization, and IT organizations will increasingly install products such as VMware NSX and Juniper Contrail in their data centers this year.
This focus on network virtualization should help with network security, too, because automated and orchestrated software configuration will reduce the human errors that often accompany manual configuration.