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Blockchain, virtualization and the rise of AI

Blockchain, virtualization and the rise of AI

2017 has been an interesting year for cyber security. With hacks still dominating the headlines and GDPR looming the spotlight has been firmly on the cyber-security industry to help consumers and businesses alike stay secure in an increasingly digital world. With 2018 round the corner, the spotlight is set to stay firmly on the security space, with Dan Panesar, VP EMEA at Certes Networks predicting that blockchain, the rise of virtualization and threat of AI will dominate conversations.


Three big name brands will fall foul of GDPR and face the largest fines for cyber-security failure we have ever seen. GDPR has been a hot topic for the last 18 months with some even questioning if the strict requirements are enforceable. The EU commission will be keen to show the regulation has teeth so will make early examples of an unlucky few to ensure compliance across the board.


This technology is seeming being hailed as the answer to virtually every security and fraud problem in existence. However, the perception of infallibility will come back to bite it. There are a number of flaws and we will see these brought to the fore and we will see the emergence of a more secure blockchain 2.0.


Security experts have been declaring the death of the password since 2015, however even at the heart something as innovative as Bitcoin, passwords are still used as the technology of choice to protect wallets. As hackers find ways into Bitcoin wallets, we will see those in the sector scramble to find better ways of security them.


The robots are coming. As much as artificial intelligence offers many benefits, any foray into this technology must be done with caution. The security industry must keep pace with AI lest it feel the consequences later down the line. We look at security now as a way to protect our technology, but when it comes to AI, we will see the situation completely reverse and look at security as a way to protect ourselves not only from hackers but AI as well.


Software defined networking (SDN) has caused nothing short of a revolution, powering digital transformation for huge numbers of businesses. However, the benefits that this offers in terms of agility, cost efficiency and flexibility need better security to be realized, particularly in regulated industries. In the financial and public sectors for example, the attitude simply has to be security first. SD-WAN is currently not in a position to credibly offer this and so 2018 will see specialist security vendors move to launch solutions that enable every industry to reap the benefits of SDN.

Public sector

The public sector is naturally looking to move away from MPLS to reduce costs, but it must approach desegregation of networks with caution. There are huge benefits to a connectivity model running over SD-WAN or the open internet, but the security must be in place to minimise the risk. Governments are a huge target and so we will see the public sector look to security overlay to ensure the infrastructure changes do not result in data loss.

The landscape

The cyber security market is without question over crowded and 2018 will see that change. For some it will mean acquisition and consolidation, for others who struggle to stand-out it will be the end of the road. However, the consolidation will lead to a change in the type of technology offered. Rather than point products we will see architectural solutions which will greatly benefit business users.

About Dean Alvarez

Dean is Features Editor at IT Security Guru. Aside from cyber security and all things tech, Dean's interests include wine tasting, roller blading and playing the oboe in his Christian rock band, Noughts & Crosses.

You can reach Dean via email -