Alex Caro, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Services, Asia Pacific & Japan, Akamai Technologies
In 2013, we saw a myriad of movements in the IT industry – from rising cyber security tension between nation states, greater awareness and uptake of BYOD to a wider acceptance of mobile payment. One of the high points the industry experienced was seeing how smart devices and Web technology reached a level, which allows a great amount of work to be done from handheld devices; from basics such as answering emails to more in-depth content creation. The adoption of IP video for a variety of purposes is also another highlight – not just with traditional media businesses but also with the e-Commerce sector. This adoption has also spread across workforce training, driven by demand for an enriched (better quality and faster speed) experience.
The low point for the industry was the lack of awareness by many companies about cyber-security risks. Many companies do not think that cyber-attacks will happen to them considering the size of their company, industry or maybe even the country they are in. However, the reality is that we are seeing more attackers targeting valuable revenue streams, in every country and industry.
In 2014, we will continue to witness the trend of consumerisation. To clients, this is going to be the biggest trend to take note of. Devices are becoming too central to people’s lives for them to leave it to their employers to make that choice. Employers nevertheless do need better security guarantees. While there are current measures in place to protect the company’s infrastructure from the surge in BYOD, I can foresee a future, in which protection will reach a level that will require security measures to be implemented directly to the hardware in personal devices.
A point to note is that the consumerisation of IT (devices) and the wide availability of good quality SaaS software for many applications is leading to more frequent purchases of these systems by business departments and not by central IT. These trends will force a central IT team to evolve its role from purchaser and implementer of systems to a corporate standards-setting, enforcement, and enterprise architecture function.
We are also witnessing widespread adoption of cloud technologies. Companies are now being asked “Why wouldn’t you use cloud for a project?” as opposed to how they were previously asked if they, “are considering cloud for a project?”
Finally, despite the fact that more businesses now understand the risks and losses associated with security attacks, DDoS attacks will keep growing because they are only getting easier to launch. The tools to build attacks are simpler, easier to gain access to, and the use of cloud platforms make harvesting a substantial amount of compute power with good connectivity trivial.