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The Big Trends of 2018 and 2019, Part III

Continuing our look at the key trends that we at Ethernity Networks believe had a significant impact on telco networks in the past year and will continue to influence the industry in 2019, we come to the topic of network security. In previous posts, we focused on the arrival of 5G and edge virtualization, and security is right at the forefront with those two trends in its critical role in a truly connected world.

This past year saw a heightened awareness of security and how critical it is to operations across all segments – telecoms, data centers, and enterprises. Part of that was driven from the regulatory side with the GDPR security mandate, but perhaps even more significant is the increased understanding of the security threats that an IoT ecosystem might pose, once millions upon millions of devices are connected and potentially exposed.

Without a doubt, when everything is connected everything must be secured. The challenge, as always, is to provide the necessary levels of security without negatively affecting the performance of the network. This is where Secure SD-WAN and technologies such as IPSec and MACSec offer great hope. Along these lines, Ethernity will soon announce an innovative security gateway solution to further address our customers’ security needs.

Security is foundational to the two major trends – 5G and the move to a virtualized edge – that we have discussed previously. Between 5G and IoT, mobile traffic will soon dominate the internet and carrier networks, and cyber threats will increasingly target the telco cloud. Every IoT-connected device becomes an endpoint and a potential risk for exposure, putting increasing pressure on service providers to ensure security for their users.

A recent SDx Central research brief noted that AT&T currently reports that it sees 11 billion “security incidents” on its network each day. The carrier expects that number to rise to a billion incidents every two minutes within only a few years. It’s no wonder, then, that Gartner projected that worldwide spending on information security products and services would exceed $114 billion this year and reach $124 billion in 2019.

Part of that spending will, of course, be on SD-WAN, and this is one area where analysts are particularly bullish. IDC, in its SD-WAN Infrastructure Forecast, sees a more than 40 percent compound annual growth rate through 2022, with spending of $833 million in 2017. The Dell’Oro Group, looking at SD-WAN software components, including controller and virtual network functions, sees growth at twice the rate of hardware components, growing at a 41 percent CAGR over the next five years.

IDC sees enterprise customers increasingly looking to SD-WAN, with IPSec at the core of so many of these solutions, to intelligently automate how application traffic is delivered to branch sites, moving away from traditional WAN architectures in favor of the most cost-effective means of application delivery.

Virtual private networks, VPNs, will also play an increasing role in mobile security. More and more enterprises and service providers are recognizing the need for secure remote accessibility to critical applications and the need to defend against the unending surge in cyber threats. A mid-2018 report by P&S Market Research projects global spending on mobile VPNs at $1.56 billion U.S. by 2023, and Ethernity is responding to this need with a product that adds both security and affordability to VPN solutions. Our new ENET VPN Gateway, which will be released in early 2019, aggregates multiple VPN tunnel terminations into a single FPGA-based network appliance or SmartNIC, offloading security functions to the FPGA and bypassing the more vulnerable CPU.

This is an exciting time and a great era for telcos, and there are countless opportunities ahead. As we have pointed out during this series of posts, 2018 was a year of numerous impressive technology advancements and a year that set the stage for what comes next: the arrival at last of widespread 5G networking, the migration of both carrier networks and large-scale cloud to the virtualized edge, and much needed improvements in network security.

At Ethernity, we have solutions and products that both enable and accelerate these networking technologies and trends. We are committed to delivering the industry’s best FPGA-based software solutions to our customers.

With best wishes for a happy, productive, accelerated 2019!