A new year brings a new wave of predictions for how companies will be shaping their network security architectures in 2021. Could anyone have predicted 2020 was going to be the year that changed the way companies did business, managed networks, and secured users? Much of these changes happened in a moment’s notice and held true into the following year. The pivot toward remote work accelerated migration to the cloud and the way companies are approaching network security for years to come. With the workforce becoming even more distributed than ever before, the demand for anywhere, anytime access to applications and resources in the cloud grows. While some predictions may become a reality sooner than others, 2021 is an important year for companies to evaluate their network security strategy moving forward and what that architecture should look like to carry out key business goals efficiently.
Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) recently published a brief discussing what they believe 2021 has in store for the evolution in network security. Many of their predictions brought secure access service edge (SASE) to the forefront of the conversation as the traditional network perimeter continues to dissipate with the increase in remote work and cloud adoption. Let’s make sense of some of these predictions and how you can incorporate them into your organization’s network security strategy.
Actionable Insights on Improving Network Security
Remote worker and SD-WAN support continue to shape the industry
As we progress through 2021, more organizations will be opening their offices to employees while continuing to support remote work. Having the ability to offer employees a secure and consistent experience no matter where they wish to work, will continue to be a priority for many organizations. Seeking a vendor who can deliver this secure and reliable experience for both branch and remote users, while demonstrating success in both networking and security solutions, will help your organization navigate the journey to SASE and reduce unnecessary obstacles along the way.
Hybrid environments become mainstream with journey to cloud adoption
The industry talks a lot about the cloud and SASE, but what about the appliance market? After all, many of today’s network security solutions are hardware appliances deployed on-premises. The shift to cloud has accelerated over the last year, but it will take time for organizations to fully transition to this model. Many organizations will blend their current investments with cloud solutions rather than undertake a full rip-and-replace approach. Moving to the cloud is a journey, not a sprint. Partnering with a vendor who can help ease your transition to the cloud, by working with the solutions you currently have, will help maximize your existing investments and provide an improved level of performance and protection without exceeding your budget.
Vendors look for acquisitions to cover SASE use cases
Many vendors missing core SASE components are looking to build out their network security solution set by acquiring vendors with separate point products. ESG predicts there could be a billion-dollar SASE acquisition this year. Although these acquisitions will help larger organizations achieve a single vendor SASE approach, it will likely take years to fully integrate the solutions to a point where customers are seeing a return on investment. SASE provides the most value to customers when integration is seamless across not only the core components, but other solutions as desired. Decision makers should choose a vendor who is equipped to support their vision for SASE now and into the future with a broad and integrated portfolio.
Your SASE journey starts with Cisco
Your organization needs a partner who can support you anywhere in your SASE journey now and in the future. A partner that has both networking and security at the foundation of its DNA. Cisco is that partner who will help you through your cloud transition with ease and empower you to do it your way. Cisco’s core SASE components are integrated and ready to deploy today, so you can start solving core SASE use cases immediately.