Cisco: Just Because You’re Paranoid…
Apr19

Cisco: Just Because You’re Paranoid…

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” Joseph Heller, Catch-22   With most of the cybersecurity world gathered in San Francisco for this week’s RSA Conference 2018, the timing was impeccable: on Monday Cisco made significant endpoint and email protection announcements; that was also the day the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued a warning that ‘Russian hackers are attacking networking devices, network management protocols and the Cisco Smart Install Client that belong to governments, infrastructure providers and businesses.’ According to the networking giant, more than 168,000 systems are potentially exposed via that client. “Russian state-sponsored cyber actors have conducted both broad-scale and targeted scanning of Internet address spaces. Such scanning allows these actors to identify enabled Internet-facing ports and services, conduct device fingerprinting, and discover vulnerable network infrastructure devices,” said the April 16 alert, which was based on results of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre. Cisco noted several incidents in a release on April 5. “We are taking an active stance, and are urging customers, again, of the elevated risk and available remediation paths.” While Cisco might rue the timing of the hacker alert, it is generally a good time to be in the cybersecurity business: -the data protection market is expected to grow from $57.22 billion in 2017 to $119.95 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 16%, and, -the total cybersecurity market will grow at a CAGR of 11%, from last year’s $137.85 billion to $231.94 billion by 2022. The reason this market is so hot, is because the threats are escalating even faster: – malware attacks increased 18.4% year-over-year to 9.32 billion in 2017; -while ransomware attacks dropped from 638 million to 184 million between 2016 and 2017, ransomware variants increased 101.2%; -the average organization will see almost 900 file-based attacks per year hidden by SSL/TLS encryption; -32% of breaches affected more than half of respondents’ systems, compared with 15% in 2016; -more than half of all attacks resulted in financial damages of more than $500,000, including, but not limited to, lost revenue, customers, opportunities, and out-of-pocket costs; -complexity is growing: in 2017, 25% of security professionals said they used products from 11 to 20 vendors, compared with 18% in 2016; and, -time to detection has improved from the 39-hour median TTD reported in November 2015, and the 14-hour median reported in 2017. To add injury to insult: -only 66% of organizations are investigating security alerts, and businesses are mitigating less than 50% of attacks they know are legitimate; and, -in almost all breaches (93%), it...

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Automation: Coming Soon To Your Network
Mar29

Automation: Coming Soon To Your Network

One of the latest industry buzz words is automation and while network automation is considered to be essential for digital transformation, the dominant trend in IT and Industry 4.0, it is neither new, nor as simple as the marketers would have us believe. Network automation – along with intent-based networking (IBN) and Intent-based analytics (IBA) – is just part of the evolving and expanding software-defined networking (SDN) market, said Scott Raynovich, Founder and Chief Analyst, Futuriom. ‘The [SDN 2.0] goal (of operators, including service providers and cloud network managers) is to remove manual networking configuration from their operations, reducing the cost of operating the network,’ he wrote recently. ‘Service providers, in particular, see SDN 2.0 as a key driver of automation.’ Forrester reported that 80% of IT operations time is spent performing maintenance on the existing network. And with close to half of all network outages are due to manual misconfiguration (Gartner), it’s no wonder the automation market is hot: -the datacenter automation market is projected to grow at plus-18% CAGR through 2022 -68% of automation projects are commissioned to ensure network availability; -the network automation market is expected to grow from $2.32 billion in 2017 to $16.89 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 48.7%; –intelligent automation services – Gartner’s umbrella term for a variety of strategies, skills, tools and techniques that service providers are using to remove the need for labor, and increase the predictability and reliability of services while reducing the cost of delivery by 15-25% annually – so that when 70% of the workload is dealt with by IAS, only 30% of the staff will remain. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the ONAP project (Open Network Automation Platform) and community, which has become the de facto mobile network automation platform for 60% of the world’s mobile subscribers. ‘What ONAP brings to the table — a unified platform for closed-loop automation — is built on years’ of collaborative efforts across open source projects and communities’, stated the Linux Foundation on Tuesday. ‘ONAP is the first open source project to unite the majority of operators (end users) with the majority of vendors (integrators) in building a real service automation and orchestration platform.’ Networking’s 800-pound gorilla is actively pushing automation and SDN, and last month rolled out its Crosswork Network Automation software portfolio. Targeted at service providers with really big networks, the portfolio is designed to ‘offer greater network visibility at scale (mass awareness), data-driven insights (augmented intelligence)and outcome-based automation (proactive control)’, and will typically deliver a 70% improvement in operational efficiency, 30% revenue uplift and a 40% improvement in customer satisfaction, according...

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SD-WAN Wars: VEP-ons of Mass Attraction?
Mar22

SD-WAN Wars: VEP-ons of Mass Attraction?

Enterprise-networking-powerhouse-wannabe Dell (Technologies) EMC, which held the bottom position in an almost-recent top-10 vendor list (although VMware was in 6th place, behind first-place Cisco, and the pretenders to its throne such as HPE/Aruba, Juniper, and Huawei), is looking to make a big splash in the SD-WAN (software-defined wide-area network) puddle with its Virtual Edge Platform family. According to the company, which claims to already serve 98% of the Fortune 500, the new platform family and software bundles enhance SD-WAN to speed digital transformation, and is the first product to use Intel’s D-2100 processor, and the features validated and tested solutions with Silver Peak, VeloCloud and Versa software to simplify and accelerate deployments. The VEP4600, which will start at $1,500, will begin shipping worldwide on April 24. A subset of software-defined networking (SDN) — i.e. technology versus architecture — SD-WAN represents a small fraction of the overall networking market (~5%) but is growing at 59% annually and is expected to be worth $1.3 billion by 2020 (Gartner). 451 Research is a little more pessimistic, putting the market at $1.5 billion by 2021, while IDC is more optimistic — a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6% and $8.05 billion by 2021. The 4Q17 SD-WAN market was valued at $147 million, with CY17 up 3.9x over CY16. VeloCloud (acquired by VMware acquired by Dell) was the top vendor with 19% share, followed by Aryaka (17%) and Silver Peak (12%). “Reviewing recent wins, we can see a market that is maturing with a transition from early market adopters to mainstream buyers. Other signs of maturation include expansions at existing clients and incremental product offerings such as security and WAN optimization on top of basic WAN transport virtualization,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., Senior Research Director and Advisor for the Cloud and Data Center Research Practice at IHS Markit. Great growth projections, but on a really small base, when you consider that the overall network market was worth $51 billion last year, and Cisco held 54.3% of it. Dell Technologies, the parent of Dell EMC, lumps networking with its much-larger server business, and in its most recent quarter, 3QFY18, reported overall revenue of $19.6 billion, while the networking/server tandem came in at $3.9 billion, an increase of 32% year over year and 3% quarter over quarter. Still, the SD-WAN market — which Dell has the largest share — is hot, driven by the need to to increase security and reduce appliance sprawl, with 93% of recent survey respondents planning to implement the technology by the end of 2019. It’s a little premature to call it a family yet, Jeff Baher, Senior Director of Product...

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Do You Want CybSec With Your Cookies?
Mar08

Do You Want CybSec With Your Cookies?

This week’s cybersecurity threat report from SonicWall doesn’t hold any real surprises from every other cybsec alert that frequents my inbox — i.e. the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report — but it does reinforce the key themes: cybsec threats are bad, and growing worse (it was called the ‘greatest concern’ at last month’s Senate threats hearing). “We tend to view the world as a cybersecurity arms race… the good guys make advances and the bad guys make advances,” John Gordineer, Director of Product Marketing, SonicWall, tells IT Trends & Analysis. The cybsec vendor said cyber attacks are becoming the number one risk to business, brands, operations and financials, and it identifies almost 500 new previously unknown malicious files each day, which makes this one of the hottest IT — and business — markets. MarketsandMarkets states the data protection market is expected to grow from $57.22 billion in 2017 to $119.95 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 16%, while the total cybsec market will grow almost as quickly, from last year’s $137.85 billion to $231.94 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 11%. While the SonicWall survey found that the number of attacks was down, the variety of attacks is increasing, which he attributed to several factors, especially in ransomware attacks, he said. First, companies that paid their ransoms did not get their data back; more effective protection is being deployed; and data backup and recovery solutions make companies less likely to become a victim or need to pay ransoms. As a result, the bad actors are scrambling to retool their ransomware to be more profitable, since they are catching fewer victims, said Gordineer. “We’re curious to see where that goes in 2018. One of the things we’re seeing is ransomware as a service.” Key findings of the SonicWall survey included: -9.32 billion total malware attacks in 2017, an 18.4% year-over-year increase; -ransomware attacks dropped from 638 million to 184 million between 2016 and 2017; -ransomware variants increased 101.2%; -the company collected 56 million unique malware samples in 2017, a 6.7% decrease from 2016, but the total volume of unique malware samples in 2017 was 51.4% higher than 2014; and -the average organization will see almost 900 file-based attacks per year hidden by SSL/TLS encryption. Cisco’s results offered similar dire news: -32% of breaches affected more than half of respondents’ systems, compared with 15% in 2016; -more than half of all attacks resulted in financial damages of more than $500,000, including, but not limited to, lost revenue, customers, opportunities, and out-of-pocket costs; -complexity is growing: in 2017, 25% of security professionals said they used products from...

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DT Alert: Lies, Damn Lies & Unverified Data
Feb15

DT Alert: Lies, Damn Lies & Unverified Data

Digital transformation — AKA DT or Industry 4.0 — is changing everything, but even if your company succeeds, and such success is rare, the veracity of your data will make or break you. In the emerging data-driven economy where trust is essential, there is too-little focus being placed on the accuracy of that data, said Michael Biltz, Managing Director for Accenture Technology Vision and Accenture Technology Labs. He told IT Trends & Analysis “companies are not making investments to make sure the data is true.” In the past it didn’t matter if the data wasn’t right, but that’s not true anymore, he added. It’s no longer a case of if, but when you embrace digital transformation. On average, companies going digital expect to increase annual revenues by 2.9% and reduce costs by 3.6%, but the DT overachievers are looking at both revenue gains and cost reductions of more than 30% at the same time. But achieving DT is hard: the failure rates for unsuccessful digital transformation projects range from a low of 70% to as high as 84%, with the biggest barrier being cultural resistance to change, followed by legacy IT systems and retaining critical talent, respectively. For the global 2000 companies, digital transformation is mandatory, said Biltz. “This is not optional.” According to “Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed: Redefine Your Company Based on the Company You Keep,” the professional services giant’s annual technology report, DT – the multi-trillion-dollar business phenomenon enabled by cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security – trust will be a critical component. The survey of more than 6,300 business and IT executives worldwide found that the rapid advancements in technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, ‘are enabling companies to not just create innovative products and services, but change the way people work and live.’ “Just as cities developed around ports and then railroads, or people rebuilt their lives around electricity, the world today is reimagining itself around digital innovation — and, by extension, the companies that provide those services,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology & innovation officer, in a prepared statement. “This requires a new type of relationship, built on trust and the sharing of large amounts of personal information.” However, all this presupposes that customers, employees and partners, and regulators are trustworthy, and that the data they make their decisions on is accurate, said Biltz. “The reality is we are not holding, companies are not holding, themselves to a high enough standard.” As opposed to the current environment where companies – and others – exchange products and services for compensation from their customers, the...

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HCI: A Cure For IT Complexity?
Feb08

HCI: A Cure For IT Complexity?

All-in-one computing, or IT in a box, is experiencing huge growth under the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) label, but while it has quickly moved from hype to mainstream, it still has a long way to go before the software-centric architecture – that integrates compute, storage and virtualization resources in a single system, typically x86 hardware – becomes the preferred way to build your IT infrastructure. HCI first showed up on the Gartner Hype Cycle in 2015, paired with Integrated Systems and taking its initial step of its Hype journey, Innovation Trigger, with the expectation of reaching the Plateau of Productivity in 5-10 years. Just a year later, in Gartner 2016 Hype Cycle For Storage Technologies, HCI was poised atop the very Peak of Inflated Expectations, with an estimated mainstream adoption of less than two years. On Tuesday Gartner released its inaugural Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure, which placed Nutanix, along with Dell EMC, VMware and HPE in its Leaders category. Honorable mentions went to: Cisco, Huawei and Pivot3 (Challengers); Stratoscale and Microsoft (Visionaries); and Scale Computing, DataCore and HTBase (Niche Players). The research giant predicts that by 2020, 20% of business-critical applications currently deployed on three-tier IT infrastructure will transition to hyperconverged infrastructure. According to the latest numbers from IDC, converged systems market revenue increased 10.8% year over year to $2.99 billion during the third quarter of 2017 (3Q17), but hyperconverged systems sales grew 68.0% YoY to $1 billion (33.5% for the total market). Dell was the HCI leader – $306.8 million in revenue and a 30.6% share – followed by Nutanix in second place, with $207.4 million in revenue and a share of 20.7%. IDC’s list of key players included Atlantis Computing, Cisco, Fujitsu, Gridstore, HPE, SimpliVity, Maxta, Nimboxx, Pivot3, Scale Computing, NetApp, DataCore and Vmware. Another company with HCI aspirations is Microsoft, which entered the HCI space in late 2016 when it made its datacenter OS, Windows Server 2016, generally available. “Hyperconverged infrastructure is a key part of our Windows Server 2016 software-defined strategy spanning software-defined compute, storage, network and assurance,” noted Siddhartha Roy, principal group program manager for high availability and storage in Windows Server. “The converged systems market expanded on multiple fronts, most notably within hyperconverged solutions,” said IDC’s Eric Sheppard, research director, Enterprise Storage & Converged Systems. “While hyperconvergence is not the sole source of market growth, it has undeniably driven an expansion of this market into new environments at a very rapid pace.” 451 Research predicts the HCI market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41% through 2020 to just under $6 billion, while Technology Business Research estimated that the...

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