SecurityBrief Australia - Technology news for CISOs & cybersecurity decision-makers
Story image
Five networking trends shaping the enterprise in 2024
Mon, 11th Dec 2023

The silent enabler behind the Internet, computer networks have never stopped evolving. From the pioneering days of the first public-switched network to the modern era of cloud computing, the development of computer networks has been a story of constant innovation and adaptation.

As we enter 2024, what are some upcoming networking trends we can expect in the coming year, and how can the enterprise harness them to forge ahead in a rapidly changing marketplace?

Edge computing gains prominence
Though edge computing has been mentioned for years now, it looks set to finally come into its own in 2024. The distributed computing paradigm brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data or users, enabling significantly reduced latency and enhanced efficiency not possible with the public cloud.

Edge computing deployments are expected to surge as developments such as smart cities, industrial IoT, and a new generation of AI-powered capabilities dependent on real-time data processing take off. Moreover, analyst firm Gartner is recommending that enterprises migrate workloads to either colocation facilities or the edge to benefit from cloud-like service-centricity and economic models.

The rise of the connected cloud 
The public cloud is an undisputed linchpin of enterprise infrastructure around the world today. But for its advantages such as scalability, cost-effectiveness, and performance, not every workload is suited for the cloud. On-premises deployments are still optimal in use cases or industries that require control and data privacy, while many businesses are leveraging more than one cloud to access a broader range of capabilities. 

As hybrid, multi-cloud environments proliferate, businesses are looking to simplify and unite everything. This connected cloud approach offers better resource allocation, improved data management, and enhanced collaboration across different platforms. With seamless access to resources regardless of location, businesses can optimise their IT operations for greater flexibility and efficiency.

Increase in network automation
The bulk of network-related configurations were performed manually for years, which makes them time-consuming and error-prone. The labour-intensive processes also made it impossible to respond quickly to network changes and new security threats. This comes against a backdrop of more complex IT environments and the need to manage more devices than ever before. 

Network automation can significantly boost productivity and enhance network availability for IT professionals. By leveraging technologies such as software-defined networking (SDN) and zero-touch provisioning, network experts can automate routine and repetitive tasks to increase the speed of network operations and focus on more strategic tasks.

Faster Internet connectivity
Network performance is expected to improve, resulting in faster Internet to users. For instance, 5G coverage is growing around the region, while faster wireless networking in the form of Wi-Fi 6E is being rolled out. This paves the way for businesses to deliver better user experiences, support remote workforces, and capitalise on new opportunities arising from improved connectivity. 

In Singapore, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced in 2023 that it will work with the telecommunication industry to upgrade the nation’s existing Nationwide Broadband Network (NBN) for broadband speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

Larger, disruptive DDoS attacks 
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is a malicious flood of traffic from multiple sources that seeks to inundate the network to cause disruptions or an outage. These attacks pose significant risks to businesses, leading to a poor experience or downtime and reputational damage. They can also provide cover for cyber attackers who utilise the confusion of an ongoing DDoS to conduct real attacks.

DDoS attacks have grown larger over time, and they are only going to get worse. It is, hence important that businesses can identify unusual traffic patterns and divert malicious traffic away. Though standalone anti-DDoS solutions worked in the past, modern attacks are so massive that they require dedicated third-party service providers with substantially more resources to filter incoming traffic and shield targeted systems.

Conclusion: Step forward into the future 
In the year ahead, enterprises will do well to look at the above trends and adapt their networking strategies accordingly. For instance, as edge computing and cloud use continue to take centre stage, enterprises should leverage connectivity solutions such as StarHub Cloud Connect for a scalable and secure direct pathway to top public cloud platforms.

New connectivity solutions such as 5G should not be overlooked, with its ultra-low latency and extreme device densities to support IoT and new use cases. By embracing network automation by adopting services such as StarHub Ethernet, enterprises can position themselves for success in an increasingly competitive landscape. Finally, a DDoS mitigation service like StarHub Clean Pipe can prevent service disruptions from DDoS attacks and ensure the reliability and integrity of their networks.

By paying attention to the networking trends that underpin their IT services and adapting accordingly, enterprises can ensure a solid foundation to thrive in the digital age.