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Build it right, build it tight: Secure connectivity for the digital enterprise & hybrid workplace

Even as companies shifted to remote work in the past twelve months, they were simultaneously accelerating digital transformation and fending off a rise in cyber threats. An upcoming webinar, May 13 at 9:00 a.m. PDT, explores the key to all three moves: secure connectivity.

HPE-Pointnext-Services-hybrid-workplace-networking.pngNetworking advances are an important enabler of the shift to the hybrid workplace and a core component of digital transformation efforts. With cyber threats continuing to evolve and escalate, how can companies build a secure connectivity platform that meets their business needs?

My colleague Lois Boliek and I will explore that question and provide some answers in an upcoming webinar: Secure Connectivity for Your Digital Enterprise. Lois is Senior Director of HPE’s Security, Risk and Compliance practice, and you won’t want to miss her insights! I hope you can join us on May 13 at 9:00 a.m. PDT. We’ll be covering ways to tackle large-scale rollouts, IT/OT connectivity and security, and multi-cloud connectivity, among other topics.

As one of the presenters of the webinar, I was asked by Cloud Experience Everywhere blog editor John Cummings to have a quick chat. Here’s a snippet of our discussion:

John Cummings: What did companies learn from the upsurge in cyberattacks that occurred during the pandemic?

Jeff Enters: In its simplest form, they learned that resilience and continuity capabilities must be more robust to maintain business operations in the face of an attack, all while being able to adapt operational approaches to address the unknown. Over the past year, digital transformations were significantly accelerated – in many organizations, by as much as 5-7 years – along with cybersecurity investments. Companies realized the importance of addressing the increased risk and threats, as their attack vector was exponentially increased, almost overnight. They also learned that they needed to focus more on opportunistic cybercrime, things like fraud and phishing campaigns.

Other lessons learned – and these are just a few that come to mind – include the need to enhance remote operations and analysis. Enabling IT ops for complete remote operations calls for more intelligence, analytics, automation, and even connections to air-gapped systems. Locking down once you’re under attack is no longer an option, so zero trust has appropriately gotten a lot of attention. Think of this as an approach that is a directional goal, not an end state, to address the increased attack vector and enable the business to be dynamic and adapt. 

And, as always, companies validated that educating employees around cyber security is key to success.

John: What will the arrival of 5G mean for corporate networks and digital transformation?

Jeff: 5G has a significant amount of potential for digital transformation agendas. Private 5G is one point of consideration. It will be a game changer for a number of scenarios – very large outdoor spaces (e.g. airports, farms, shipping hubs); extremely time-sensitive applications with sensors and IoT; privacy and security in government agencies, and a lot more. Next up is WiFi and 5G integration – this is where WiFi becomes a part of the 5G network, acting as the radio access network (RAN). While it’s not here today, it’s on the horizon, and it will provide additional benefits; for example, by delivering 5G capabilities throughout carpeted spaces, where 5G radios can’t be efficiently leveraged.

John: What do you see as the top ‘sleeper’ technologies in networking – ones with big potential that are still currently a bit under the radar?

Jeff: SmartNICs is a big one – it’s really a tectonic shift for networking that will help companies keep up with the demands of the business while potentially reducing costs. (I posted a blog on this recently: The New Edge Is Here.) A couple more come to mind that are not exactly sleepers, but companies do need to understand them and their importance and timing. 5G, when it’s at full potential, i.e. leveraging mmWave @ 24-100GHz. The hype says it’s there today, but the differentiated benefits from LTE are not until we have the small cell density for mmWave consumption.

And one more area is IPv6. It’s faster, more secure, scalable, and a strong play for IoT environments. IPv6 has become a hum over the years – and many companies are at risk of ignoring the hum!

Mark your calendar for the webinar, May 13 at 9:00 a.m. PDT: Secure Connectivity for Your Digital Enterprise. It's a great opportunity to learn more about secure connectivity platforms and their role in creating the modern digital workplace. Register today!

Learn more about HPE networking solutions.

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Jeff Enters
Distinguished Technologist
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

jenters

Jeff Enters is the Global Chief Technologist for Networking in HPE Pointnext Services and has over 15 years of consulting experience in voice and data networking across all verticals. He has global responsibility for the network consulting services strategy, identifying best practices and developing multi-vendor solution architectures both in the data center and at the edge. In this role, he consults with Fortune 100 customers to deliver near and long-term value back to the business by developing strategies, integration roadmaps and designs that take a stepwise approach to integrating a broad spectrum of leading edge technologies for initiatives like digital transformation, mobile engagement, IoT, connectivity, security, and multi-cloud networking.