These are the Hottest IT Trends of Our Time

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These are the Hottest IT Trends of Our Time

According to Cisco Systems CEO, there will soon be one million new connections per hour. Unless something happens, we will live with almost everything connected to a network. A variety of gadgets, from an Apple Watch to a toothbrush, will be able to generate data and communicate with a server.
This unprecedented increase in IoT connections is being caused by the incorporation software and sensors into everyday tools. It will eventually make life easier and help prevent future problems.
The alarming increase in devices connected to the internet is creating problems with the infrastructure that allows information to flow.
The main problems with the boom in IoT are security and scalability.
Scalability is a problem with the current way devices communicate with servers. This is especially true if you need advanced functionality on the devices. Security, because the proposed solution to the scaling problem, can make any network susceptible to malicious attacks.
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Solving the Scalability Problem
In the old days, if a device was connected with a network, let’s say a security cam, there was no “intelligence”. The camera could be turned on or off and would send information to the server while it was on.
This wouldn’t be a problem if you had just a few cameras talking with a server. The server could process all the information. If you have hundreds, or even thousands of cameras doing the same thing, it’s not a problem.
Edge Computing solves the scaling problem. Edge Computing is the idea that a network’s “intelligence” can be pushed to its “edge”. Edge computing is a way to take advantage of intelligent devices connected to a network and configure them so that they only send the relevant information to the server.
In the security camera example, because old security cameras didn’t have a way to determine if they were sending relevant information, they would send any information that was recorded so long as they were turned off.
These cameras became smarter with the advent of IoT devices. They can now send video only where there is motion, thanks to software and sensors.
Edge Computing has many benefits. Edge Computing has many benefits. It can significantly reduce the load on network devices and primary servers, which allows the network to run more efficiently.
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A second benefit is the enhanced functionality of common devices. Technology has made everyday devices “intelligent” and these devices can now be set up to perform advanced tasks and make decisions on the spot without relying on central servers.
Edge Computing can solve the scaling issue. IoT connections will grow worldwide and Edge Computing will be very valuable to those who take advantage of it. But, solving the scaling issue is only half of the battle. This leads us to the next topic.
Security Issues Solved
Everything is perfect until you realize that every IoT connection adds another “hackable” device.
You will soon realize that it is unlikely that it will be financially feasible to implement robust security into every IoT endpoint. For now, security for IoT networks must come from somewhere else in your stack. That place is the network itself.
Financial resources are the main problem with IoT security. Many devices will be vulnerable to attacks because it is impossible to put the same level security into a sensor that opens a door as into an endpoint where sensitive information is stored.
This is why visibility into the network is so important. It can be difficult to see the entire network holistically and determine if a device is spreading malware or stealing credentials if there are thousands or thousands of them.
This is not to mention the fact that traffic is encrypted, making it even more difficult to secure the network. Cisco estimates that over 80% of world traffic will be encrypted within a few years. This would increase security levels. Cisco estimates that encryption will be used by 70% of all attacks.
We are now at a point in which too many devices are susceptible to attacks that can and will be disguised as encrypted traffic. It will be difficult to determine which devices have been compromised, especially since software updates can compromise security.
Encrypted traffic analytics (ETA) is the solution. ETA allows a network analyze traffic metadata and determine with a high degree of certainty whether traffic is malicious.
ETA uses machine-learning to create a history of encrypted benign traffic’s behavior and appearance. This cutting-edge technology allows the network create a frame that can be used later to infer the likelihood of traffic being “infected” through comparisons to other data sets.
ETA is a bridge between security and privacy. The technology could also be used to detect malicious traffic. Perhaps true privacy will eventually disappear as IoT connections expand around the globe.
Here’s a great explanation about ETA from Cisco Systems Sr. Tech Security Lead:

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