Two Data Security Predictions for 2020

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Click to learn more about author Don Boxley.

As we enter another new year and kick off a fresh decade, it’s a great time to call out some technology predictions for 2020 and beyond. Topping my list are data security and disaster recovery (DR). When it comes to these two critical technology areas, my predictions relate to Raspberry Pi (RasPi) and cloud-based DR. My “crystal ball” vision here is based on more than conjecture. It’s clearly linked to a convergence of a few industry trends.

Prediction 1: In 2020, expect to see enterprises across diverse industries begin to harness two cutting-edge tools in tandem:

  • RasPi, a small computer that has become the go-to for building Internet of Things (IoT) platforms
  • Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP) software, which offers security to RasPi platforms (as well as other environments), resulting in protection for IoT networks

Prediction 2: Also expect to see in 2020 a disruption in the cloud DR market in the form of a new class of DR software that integrates SDP security. This enhancement will offer significant advantages over traditional network perimeter security methods such as virtual private networks (VPNs), which can have overly complex set up and management, performance problems, and high costs due to needing pricey dedicated appliances and routers. The new class of cloud-based DR will allow companies to build DR environments with smart endpoints, whether DR is needed on-premises or in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.

Let’s drill down a bit further into what’s behind these predictions and explore their ramifications.

What are the pros and cons of RasPi platforms? Launched in 2012, tiny, lightweight, dual-display computers have continued to grow in popularity worldwide. No bigger than a credit card, these single-board computers – which were developed to be an educational tool that anyone could learn – make it relatively easy for novices to experts to create IoT devices. In addition to their versatility in running Linux and putting users in charge of electronic components, RasPi platforms are also attractive from a financial perspective, both in terms of low purchase price and manageable maintenance costs. It’s clear given these benefits why RasPi computers are proliferating globally, showing up not just in homes and schools with makers and educators, but also in countless industries as businesses of all sizes jump on the bandwagon.

The advantages of this ideal IoT platform are also what can create problems from a security perspective. While IoT was created to connect everything in the world, the risk to these connections is that data that hasn’t been properly secured becomes vulnerable to hacks and attacks. As Alasdair Gilchrist pointed out in his book, IoT Security Issues, when it comes to IoT development, “product comes first and security second” and “lax security processes” are often to blame for the security problems plaguing organizations worldwide. So, failing to properly secure a RasPi computer leaves it vulnerable to hackers. 

Safeguarding RasPi with SDP: SDP software can help to prevent this and provide RasPi platforms with reliable data security (à la my first prediction). In combination with RasPi, SDP can safeguard IoT networks cost-effectively, removing the network presence of an IoT device and removing the wide attack surfaces inherent in VPNs, which were simply not intended to secure the perimeter-less, cloud-based world that we now find ourselves in. With application-level segmentation that creates a Zero Trust environment (not automatically trusting any user, whether inside or outside the network), SDP forms an encrypted network in which assets are invisible to unauthorized parties.

Augmenting DR strategy: Beyond the data security challenges of RasPi, there are many other potential problems that the modern enterprise must contend with in this arena. Because of this, many enterprises have turned to cloud-based DR (à la my second prediction) to boost or fully replace what they have been using for disaster recovery – particularly if their current strategy is based on a traditional VPN platform for data protection.

The year 2020 has long captured the public’s imagination as a time of technological innovation and excitement. We’re finally here, and IoT, SDP, and RasPi hold all of that promise and more – if we take steps to properly plan to protect the data that goes hand-in-hand with this new world of unprecedented connection.

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