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'Playing the Big Hunch' By @EmulationFAN | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

Four key predictions that will continue to inform and propel the connection of people to data

Playing the Big Hunch: Enterprise Predictions for 2015

For many of us in the enterprise software industry, modernizing IT while maintaining legacy systems is a tightrope walk where it pays to look ahead, stay balanced, and be nimble.

As 2014 races to a close, those of us focused on terminal emulation software solutions have a responsibility to look ahead and prepare for what the coming year will bring. With an eye toward a very real future, and insights brought by recent technology challenges and innovations, we offer four key predictions that will continue to inform and propel the connection of people to data.

Security
In the world of security, as the saying goes, it's not "if" but "when and how big." Security is an enormous concern for enterprise customers and will continue to be as systems grow more complex. In our particular space, we've had to respond to more serious security vulnerabilities than ever anticipated. In truth, there seems to be no end in sight for these viral plagues and insidious hacks, as those looking for unlocked or unguarded doors always seem to uncover more and more devious ways to breach whatever security is in place.

For the industry there remain several vexing issues with open source SSL code base including the Heartbleed bug with its serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library; the ShellShock bug family that wreaks havoc on the Unix Bash shell; and the cutely named POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption) SSL data interceptor. The OpenSSL project has recently received an injection of investments by corporate software entities, which will continue in 2015 and spill over into other open source projects that are leveraged by the enterprise for key business functions.

The number of IT tools available to combat these issues is growing, but so are the numbers, types, and varieties of IT threats, particularly as the enterprise perimeter dissolves as a result of BYOD, smartphone and the cloud. Corporate security budgets will grow thus so in 2015.

Passwords
Some 10 years ago, no less an authority than Bill Gates predicted the end of passwords (by the end of 2006, he famously said). However, rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. We believe passwords will continue to be the only viable method for protecting access, though the signs are many that multi-factor authentication is coming sooner rather than later.

Driven by enterprises' ongoing need for better system security, some pundits predict that the global multi-factor authentication (MFA) market will hit $10 billion by 2017 as three-, four- and five-factor authentication systems pervade the market. A piece of this potential growth may be attributable to the rise of biometric security services (fingerprint, retina, and facial scanning). Other reports offer that all authentication methods using more than two factors will include some form of biometric scanning.

Regardless of method, companies everywhere are investing heavily in Identity Access Management (IAM) solutions to keep data secure. One group of systems that runs the risk of being left in the dust in the move to IAM is legacy systems that house critical apps to run a business. Offering protection to those legacy services will be key.

Sole reliance on simple, eight-character password authentication offered by many legacy systems won't suffice for much longer. What will work is strong authentication, including complex passwords, multifactor authentication, and certificate-based authentication.

Mobile
Mobile management and app management, long the enterprise bugaboos in the rise of BYOD, will continue to be a struggle for enterprise in 2015. BYOD is an enormous factor behind mobile application management, with personal PC, smartphone and tablet use in business settings (as opposed to business-owned devices) showing a significant rise from 31 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2011. Remarkably, as enterprise BYOD programs continue to become more commonplace, nearly 40 percent of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc.'s Executive Programs.

David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, stated that "BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades." With the rise of BYOD come a number of benefits including the creation of new mobile workforce opportunities, increased employee satisfaction and reduced or avoided costs.

Windows 10
Pain points in Windows 8 have been numerous - from the Metro-style start screen, to the inability to shut apps down, to name but two among scores. Some of the Windows 8 uproar has been expected resistance to change, while a significant portion has been constructive. By many early accounts, the impending Windows 10 release - including a more effective feedback channel - is promising to make Windows 10 a major step into next-generation computing that will hopefully enable Microsoft to put its Windows 8 challenges behind it and allow Microsoft to execute on its "One Windows" for all platforms strategy.

2015 is sure to bring numerous innovations to the enterprise, and as new ideas are introduced and implemented, we can be certain that these changes will both bring opportunity and create a few headaches along the way. It will take enterprise-wide vigilance and agility to sufficiently address the variety of looming IT threats and keep up with the evolving requirements as companies consider multiple authentication methods to secure their data, but it's this kind of challenging environment that drives the best of us to develop solutions that help organizations extend, manage and secure their essential business information.

More Stories By David Fletcher

David Fletcher is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Emulation and Maintenance with the Attachmate Corporation. David is an ambitious, energetic, results oriented business leader with expertise in analyzing, clarifying and directing the business of technical support.

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