GTT Communications Inc.

02/11/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/11/2021 11:59

Adapting Your Network in 2021: The Role of Zero Trust Security and More Flexible Commercial Models

Todd Kiehn & Paul Ruelas
VP of Product Management & Senior Director of Products, Americas
With over 50 years of combined experience in the telecom industry, Todd (VP, Product Management) and Paul (Senior Director of Products) have a wealth of expertise in designing and deploying innovative network solutions.

Adapting Your Network in 2021: The Role of Zero Trust Security and More Flexible Commercial Models

Todd Kiehn, VP Product Management, and Paul Ruelas, Senior Director of Product at GTT take you through their views on enterprise IT trends in 2021, as businesses look to enhance working from home.

Soon after the COVID-19 outbreak last year, companies of all sizes from SMEs to global corporate companies had to set up their employees to work remotely to ensure business continuity. According to the World Economic Forum, about 35% - 40% of employeesin developed economies have worked from home for most of, or the entirety of, the pandemic. Even with vaccine programs underway, the remote working transformation is only just beginning.

In the coming months, as companies globally look for ways to enhance the overall productivity and the work-from-home experience for their employees, they will continue to invest in collaborative software and more efficient online solutions. As part of this, they will inevitably look for ways to protect their network by improving their online security perimeter. Building systems that can adapt to rapid shifts in the operating environment is now more important than ever. Businesses should take a new approach to network security, platforms and creating best practices for their online teams, in order to be able to safely navigate any shifts in work practices.

Implementing a 'Zero Trust' Strategy

In the first few months of the pandemic, protecting devices and data from cybersecurity threats was the main priority for many IT managers, due to the rapid expansion of their network perimeter, as the workforce started working from outside the usual office environment. Businesses needed to be able to continue to maintain the highest standards of protection of their data resources as one of their most valuable assets.

Secure VPN solutions have been a key security tool for the past year protecting the enlarged remote workforce, but looking ahead, attention will expand to one of 'zero trust.' Across the whole network, no individual user will be completely trusted, but rather, given direct access to data and files depending on their device, the applications they use, their specific security settings, as well as any specific agreed-upon privileges. This can be implemented so no matter where the employee is located or where they are connecting from, the experience of connecting to online company systems will be exactly the same.

The good news for businesses is that the realization of the Secure Access of Service Edge (SASE) will eventually speed up. SASE takes corporate networking concepts like SD-WAN and ties them to security capabilities, expanding beyond next-generation firewalls to include cloud-based security tools like secure web gateway, Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). This network strategy endeavors to integrate all aspects of networking and security so you can minimize gaps and maximize performance. SASE also seeks to move as many security functions as possible to the cloud, where they can be deployed at scale, and to serve users regardless of their physical location.

SASE is not a reality at this point, but it has quickly become the dominant framework among analysts, technology vendors, carriers, and enterprises for evaluating networking and security solutions. In the future, it's likely that more solutions billed as SASE will enter the market; however, companies must be alert to combinations of separate capabilities that aren't fully integrated and won't cater to their needs. Looking at the way this trend is developing, truly innovative products and solutions are unlikely to emerge before the end of 2021.

Networks will continue to be a priority subject for enterprise IT this year because of the increasing reliance on the network for connecting a remote workforce and accessing vital cloud applications. Consequently, network security will persist as a key CIO challenge. We'll also start seeing a shift in how networks operate and are used on a daily basis, as hybrid working becomes the new 'normal.'

Changing Commercials and Network Management in a Usage-aligned 'New Normal'

Businesses usually purchase internet bandwidth from a provider for an office space for an agreed-upon amount of money and time. Looking ahead, this will start to evolve so that bandwidth is adapted according to employees' needs and their daily usage instead of being tied to a location. This will mitigate the requirement to sign up to bandwidth packages for empty office spaces, when a large part of the workforce may be remote working. This kind of flexible solution ensures the appropriate levels of connectivity across the business while allowing the business to continue as usual no matter where the employees are located.

More efficient traffic management at an enterprise-wide level is another trend that will develop this year. This will have the effect of incrementally enhancing the user experience. We are starting to observe how the business policy applications of an SD-WAN are gradually transitioning to run on an employee's computer or mobile phone, as well as covering a wide area across the company network. This approach offers enhanced performance for employees who are working remotely while also allowing them to get involved in company policies. This means that IT managers can analyze business needs and adapt the way it operates, even if the employee is located far away from the office.

As we look ahead, IT managers will continue searching for the best software and services that cater to an evolving market and remote workforce. They will look to implement the latest technologies to automate network management and SD-WAN, such as AI systems. This will be a growing trend, not just in terms of applications, but also its impact on corporate networks and security on a global scale.

In AI We'll Trust

It's an exciting time for enterprise IT as AI systems start to process information, automatically carry out tasks and adapt the network and security settings accordingly. This functionality will preclude the requirement of businesses to dedicate precious time and energy to do the same job. One major promise of AI is that the network will be able to resolve issues and self-adjust without needing an IT expert to step in.

In the near future, we'll see more about AI operations for IT (AIOps) in the enterprise IT space as many companies are in the process of creating the tools to achieve this. It's likely that progress will be made in 2021, enabling the industry to reach significant network automation within the next 5-year timeframe. In the future, we can imagine being able to execute application performance adjustments automatically along with network traffic security analysis. This would involve watching changes in traffic sequences, spotting for anomalies, and identifying changes in traffic levels that could indicate that a network has been exposed to cybersecurity threats.

As an increasing number of companies become accustomed to the idea of network automation, they will gradually integrate AI into more of their systems. As enterprise IT networks become increasingly automated, we will start to notice that some industries will introduce a graded system depending on the amount of intervention required - echoing what SAE Internationalhas created for automated vehicles.

In the future, we can imagine a scenario where instead of AI identifying a problem and asking if it can resolve it, we will shift to a situation where IT managers would receive a daily or weekly report outlining the issues and how the AI system resolved them. Thanks to this advanced enterprise AI, IT managers or employees won't actually know that there has been an issue until after AI has fixed it.

As the shift in networking accelerates this year, businesses will be forced to change their strategy to have a more integrated enterprise network stack. Their strategy will be focused on moving away from having lots of separate technologies to cover the whole of the network stack. Instead, they will opt for an all-in-one solution that can cover everything. It will be a matter of finding the 'Best-for-the-Business' solution rather than 'Best-in-Class.' Businesses will opt for fewer providers that do the job well, rather than a range of solutions adapted to every individual system in the network.

About GTT

GTT connects people across organizations, around the world, and to every application in the cloud. Our clients benefit from an outstanding service experience built on our core values of simplicity, speed, and agility. GTT owns and operates a global Tier 1 internet network and provides a comprehensive suite of cloud networking services. We also offer a complementary portfolio of managed services, including managed SD-WAN from leading technology vendors.

Speak to a GTT Sales Consultant

Interested in learning more about GTT products & services? Please complete this short form to schedule a call with one of our sales consultants.

First name* *
Last name* *
Business email address *
Company name *
Country* *
Select a country* United States Germany United Kingdom India France Canada Australia Netherlands South Africa Singapore Sweden Brazil Afghanistan Åland Islands Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil Brit/Indian Ocean Terr. Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, The Dem. Republic Of Cook Islands Costa Rica Côte d'Ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Terr. Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar United Kingdom Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard/McDonald Isls. Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea (North) Korea (South) Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar N. Mariana Isls. Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Territory, Occupied Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Samoa San Marino Sao Tome/Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia and Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovak Republic Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka St. Helena St. Pierre and Miquelon St. Vincent and Grenadines Sudan Suriname Svalbard/Jan Mayen Isls. Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks/Caicos Isls. Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United States US Minor Outlying Is. Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vatican City Venezuela Viet Nam Virgin Islands (British) Virgin Islands (U.S.) Wallis/Futuna Isls. Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe
State *
State* AK AL AR AZ CA CO CT DE FL GA HI IA ID IL IN KS KY LA MA MD ME MI MN MO MS MT NC ND NE NH NJ NM NV NY OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VA VT WA WI WV WY
Number of locations *
Number of locations* 1-10 11-100 101-1,000 1,001+ Not Sure
Please refer to our Privacy Policy for more information. You may unsubscribe from GTT communications at any time; all emails you receive will include an unsubscribe link in their footer.
I would like to receive emails about your latest news, products & services. By checking this box I consent to receive communications from GTT in accordance with its Privacy Policy. I understand I may unsubscribe at any time.
Submit

Thank you!


A GTT sales representative will be in contact with you shortly.