#1: Edge computing and the need for resource efficiency
The move to the edge - be that uCPE deployments that handle the computational crunching before it goes back to the datacenter or other techniques - is an undeniable trend that will escalate in 2019. That’s a truth not only born out of the need for performance on instances like encryption but also from a standpoint of expensive tower creation which the telcos will loathe to do in these cash conservative times. As such, there’ll be a demand that any VNFs of VMs that run security will be extremely light and resource efficient to execute on this requirement.
#2: Micro-segmentation will fulfill its promise of security
Forrester Research has given us a great term for virtualized security in their “zero-trust model” naming. By that they mean rules and policies can be assigned to workloads, VMs, or network connections. This means that only necessary actions and connections are enabled in a workload or application, blocking anything else. This concept of zero-trust is central to micro-segmentation and one that security will be an important component of. And let’s be clear: micro-segmentation will certainly come into prominence in 5G micro slicing scenarios where quick scale in and scale out, high performance and security is critical.
#3: The Rise of the Service Based Firewall Will Arrive
Many communications service providers are now well into their network functions virtualization (NFV) driven cloudification journey, which not only virtualizes and moves services to the cloud but also enables moving services and underlying compute platforms to the edge of the network. And this push to the edge will only intensify as 5G and related complementary technologies such as MEC are deployed in the next 24 months.
From a services perspective, both these technologies are considered services-based considering that they are focused on exposing service instances at the edge on an unprecedented level. As a result, security strategies and products such as firewalls must also evolve to meet these new services requirements. This trend will impact specifically how the edge and this services approach will redefine not only the role but also the architecture of next-gen firewalls (NGFWs).
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#4: IIoT LTE Backhaul Will Only Be Achieved With Security First Solutions
As telcos scramble to convince industrial and large enterprises to use 5G networks or next gen LTE networks instead of their wireless networks to create all important revenue streams, security becomes a must. That conversation centers on enabling robotics, large industrial devices or self-driving vehicles that a) the 5G or LTE latency is minimal, sub 1ms or lower, b) the proliferation of IoT devices (some predict 20 - 40 billion by 2020) can be handled by these networks without impact and, c) global network handoffs will be seamless and - most importantly - that security can be trusted in containers or the cloud. They are all important, but the one that will cause publicity and reputational disaster if it’s gotten wrong is security.