IT and Networks 2019: Prediction of Biggest Impacts

16 January 2019

2019 IT and Network Predictions2019 is here, so it’s time to look closer at what this year will bring for network management, IT digital transformation and cybersecurity. What recent trends will plant their feet and stand firm? What overhyped buzzwords will prove to have no substance? And, importantly, what actions will organizations take from the multiple cyber attacks which dominated 2018?

From network automation and SDN taking off, to the reappearance of zero trust and the continuous impact of current GDPR regulations, here we share our predictions and what we believe will be some of the biggest impacts in 2019.

The year GDPR starts to bite

GDPR was introduced last May, but the effects of non-compliance will really start to accelerate this year onwards, with Gartner predicting more than a billion euros in sanctions issued by end of 2021. The “visible” volume of data theft will increase in 2019 as companies will be forced to declare all breaches in a timely manner.

GDPR Privacy by Design at application level relies, amongst other things, on network infrastructure. DNS is a core foundation of IT architectures, but is one of the easiest options for exfiltrating data. This has been proven by our Global DNS Threat Report showing that 33% of companies were victims of data stolen via DNS. So to help detect data theft attempts in 2019, it’s expected that companies will increase focus on context-aware analysis of DNS traffic.

SDN will ramp up – saving companies time and enhancing their security

Network technologies have been relatively spared from technological revolution and paradigm shifts – until recently. In order to help sustain the growth and agility required from networks in today’s complex multi-cloud environments, the use of SDN will rise considerably in 2019.

SDN concept is about providing a highly programmable network infrastructure, by exposing a simplified and fully automated abstraction layer of the physical infrastructure through APIs. This allows dynamic communication for users to access applications, as well as between the applications themselves.

In a way, SDN relies on leveraging automation in order to sustain the extreme complexity  of the data pane configuration resulting from the implementation of overlay services which not only include transport services but also security mechanisms.

In such complex environments where abstraction layers are stacked over a heterogeneous multi-cloud environment, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and mobility, it’s extremely valuable to have visibility over the infrastructure for simplifying management and helping with troubleshooting. For this purpose, IPAM is a key repository, capable of maintaining a holistic view over your IP network,  while DDI ensures both client connectivity and inter-application communication, over a dynamic IP addressing schema, through the seamless management of DHCP and DNS services.

Zero Trust will fuel AI, Machine Learning, and Threat Intelligence

The zero trust philosophy demands a holistic approach to network security, which means that end-to-end security needs to be improved. Today’s networks are incredibly complex. Securing them properly requires massive amounts of data to be treated, so threat intelligence has become essential.

Intelligence on domains is already being worked on by many actors, making use of AI & ML.

But protecting enterprise users and discovering malware requires behavioral threat detection solutions in the context of the enterprise. DNS is ideally placed for this – it has unique visibility over network activity and intelligence on network users, which brings with it detection capability of malicious zero-day domains, and predictive security functionality.

Zero trust models are more frequently being implemented as part of overall digital transformation strategies, so in 2019 there’s a good chance that zero trust security will accelerate the use of AI, ML and context-aware analysis of DNS traffic for improved threat intelligence.

The barriers between datacenter & cloud will be increasingly broken

Enterprises are finding that successful deployment of private clouds is proving to be a challenge. As a consequence, datacenters are cohabiting more and more with public clouds. Our prediction is that in these hybrid networks, the barriers between datacenter & cloud will be further broken down in 2019. Some good examples of projects on the rise are Amazon AWS Outposts on the public side, edge approach with kubernetes for containers, OpenStack for VMs, and object storage relying on API.

The IP network is core for hybrid networks, for ensuring access to apps & services. Having proper control of the IP infrastructure requires: 1) Global visibility over resources on-premise and in the cloud  2) Synchronization of the IP Plan with DNS-DHCP.

The future of public clouds will be that they practically become private clouds. DNS-DHCP-IP Address Management (DDI) solutions will play a key role in simplifying and automating deployment and management of services in these environments, making DDI’s importance recognized even further in 2019.

Success of Digital Transformation will rely on automated infrastructures

Previous years have seen the adoption of numerous tools targeting agile delivery for fabrication teams, from code repository to continuous integration through automatic testing. Digital transformation imposes frequent feature delivery, fail-fast paradigm, priority changes, and adaptation for the user or the customer. Change management is generally aligned with ITIL processes which impose specific workflow and inherent validation delay.

Infrastructure teams need to manage their legacy and at the same time embrace new architectural patterns for helping digital transformation, while facing more and more security and regulatory challenges. Micro-services, containers, front and back decoupling, APIs, immutable infrastructures and orchestration are some of the subjects required by digital transformation.

All infrastructure components need to be configured automatically – ideally through a central orchestration flow, from bare metal to application. This requires the repositories, including IPAM, to expose their “golden records” for accurate execution of automatic configuration tasks, and DNS records to allow the whole application block to deliver the service.

In 2019, fabrication teams will require fully automated infrastructure up and running, for testing and production release, just after their source commit.

Learn more about the rising prominence of DDI in making multi‐cloud strategies secure and successful in our latest IDC Technology Spotlight.