‘Tis the season for this year’s networking ‘naughty and nice’ lists

The holiday season is as good a time as any to take stock of what we witnessed in 2017, and from a technology perspective it was a year unlike any other. We saw the value of crypto currencies skyrocket and the opening of a crypto-futures market. The first shipments of 400G technologies into the wide-area-network with AT&T and Vodafone New Zealand, the continued deployment of Software-Defined Networking, a technology we’ve long championed, an early example of augmented reality go viral with Pokémon Go and Virtual Reality start to reshape the way we interact with the world around us – such as changing how we watch live sports.

But every advance in technology, particularly in the networking space, only serves to highlight those that have yet to make the leap forward. In the theme of the season, you could say these legacy applications and technologies are on the ‘naughty’ list.

The Naughty List

Networks that aren’t prepared for the next application to go viral.

Pokémon Go was the early warning sign that networks need to be architected to support not just today’s user experiences, but those anticipated in the future. Unfortunately, many networks still struggle with simple present-day over-the-top streaming services – those who still suffer from buffering issues while watching HD and UHD video can attest to this. It means these networks are unprepared for the next Pokémon Go i.e. the application that comes out of nowhere and suddenly chews up all available bandwidth.

Security gaps resulting in vulnerabilities and breaches

We’ve seen many high-profile hacks and breaches of big-name companies dominate the landscape in 2018. And while a lot of focus has been on protecting data while it’s at rest – i.e. on servers or in the cloud – not enough focus has been placed on protecting data in flight. Hackers are able to tap into a fiber run in mere minutes with the right hardware and as defenses become more sophisticated, attackers will increasingly look to steal that data while it’s on the move.

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