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Network security forecast 2010: Startups cash out, uber-devices step up

SearchNetworking.com asked Forrester Research senior analyst John Kindervag to predict what the new year will bring for network security. He says venture capital firms will look to cash out of startups, and new uber-devices that combine UTM with next-generation firewalls will emerge. And it's time to secure unified communications.

Network security predictions: Day of reckoning for startups, consolidation of network security appliances

John Kindervag, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research

We asked Forrester Research senior analyst John Kindervag to tell us what to expect in the network security industry in 2010. He said skittish venture capital firms will look to cash out of startups, and network security appliances will get bigger, smarter and meaner.

VCs get out of the security game? "We're going to see some shakeups. It might very well be the year that a lot of venture capital firms try to recoup some of their investments," Kindervag said. "So you'll see a lot of VC-backed companies merging together or being bought by larger companies. I think a lot of [them] have run out of cash, and there's not much of an appetite to pour more money into some of these things."

Read more 2010 predictions from networking analysts

Network infrastructure: 40 Gigabit Ethernet data center switches and Layer 2 returns

Wireless LANs: Cheaper access points, more reliable and robust networks

Data center networks: Two-tier networks arrive, mergers drive price reductions

Network management: Video, automation and mobility

Super network security devices: Kindervag said 2010 could bring a new generation of network security appliances that do -- well -- just about everything. "If there is any hot technology for next year, it will probably be security devices that are uber-intelligent and extremely fast – a cross between unified threat management and what some people are calling next-generation firewall architectures. These will be devices where a tremendous amount of intelligence is applied to the packet, all the way up to Layer 7, in near real time at any speed, whether it is a 10 Gb core or better. That's where everything is moving to – this consolidation of multiple technologies which will just be features on more robust security gateways. So you can turn on the firewall feature, you can turn on the IPS feature. They will all be embedded into this codebase and they will all be able to function within a single clock cycle.

VoIP and unified communications security awareness: Enterprises will play catch up with securing newly installed IP telephony and collaboration technologies that were deployed without a proper network security vetting, Kindervag said. "There's all this new stuff and we haven't implemented it securely. We've implemented it in an ad hoc way, and we need to secure it. This is something that hasn't happened before," he said. "It used to be you had to go through a long process to determine whether something is secure and then implement it. Now we're looking at whether it's secure long after it's been in general usage. Everything changed so quickly, with the rise of social networking and Web 2.0 that the demand from the user side was so great and it couldn't be controlled by a small group of 'paranoid' security types."

Start from the beginning: Predictions for the network infrastructure market in 2010 include 40 Gigabit Ethernet data center switches, a return to Layer 2 and more mergers.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Shamus McGillicuddy, News Editor

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