Information technology service providers (SP) in the Asia Pacific region are increasingly worried over security even as adoption of distributed cloud, internet of things (IoT) and 5G accelerates.
Only a quarter of SPs surveyed are satisfied with their existing security infrastructure, with most of them planning to invest heavily over the next two years, a research report published by networking cybersecurity firm Juniper Networks. The report surveyed 51 IT decision-makers from SPs across APAC.
The risks grow as these providers scale up their infrastructure to meet the demand from their customers, the report said. In the report's context, scaling up means to be able to accommodate rapidly increasing volumes of IoT endpoints as well as the increased signalling and session demands of edge distribution.
Prepared by technology research firm Ovum Research, the report recommends several approaches to mitigate risks from rollout of new technologies, including improved intrusion detection and unified security management systems.
According to the California-headquartered Juniper, SPs need to adopt new architectures that are sufficiently agile to change alongside evolving requirements while without becoming a bottleneck to networking performance.
“Service providers are rapidly moving to the cloud and adopting new technologies, such as IoT and 5G, which are heavily dependent on the network," said Ang Thiam Guan, vice president and general manager of the APAC region at Juniper Networks.
Guan added that as this transformation occurs, enterprises and SPs need to encourage a more all-encompassing view of security, rather than focus on the perimeter. "The network itself should be seen as the first line of defense, especially as the scale, demands and usage patterns on infrastructure continue to evolve and grow,” he added.
According to the report, only 29% were satisfied with their current firewall with 65% planning to upgrade their firewall within the next year. The SPs are developing distributed cloud architectures ahead of 5G deployments, which enables them to offer IoT-ready services and position themselves to support third-party applications. These initiatives will provide them with the ability to enter adjacent markets to create new revenue streams, Juniper noted.
It is often noted that IoT devices serve as an entry point for a network and are increasingly being used to launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. This will require SPs to filter traffic on a much larger scale and will necessitate greater automation, intelligence and machine learning capabilities for improved security postures and policies, the report said. Up to half of the SPs in the region manage between 11 to more than 50 security tools within their company’s infrastructure.
US-based semiconductor major Micron Technology recently introduced a silicon-based security-as-a-service platform for protecting internet of things (IoT) edge devices.
According to the company, the number of connected IoT devices deployed across markets such as automotive, enterprise, industrial control and connected home is expected to grow from 23 billion in 2019 to 30 billion by 2020. Research firm Gartner also forecasts that enterprise and automotive IoT market alone will grow to 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020.
Large enterprises are not prepared for cloud-related cybersecurity threats, and more importantly, make the assumption that public clouds are by default secure, a report from US-based cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks had recently pointed out. About 72 % of Indian enterprises have misplaced confidence in cloud providers’ security.