Trends in mission-critical communication networks 2017

Digitalization, market extension, growing customer demands, the risk of cyber attacks: operators of mission-critical networks will be confronted with a lot of challenges in the next years and have to start to face them as soon as possible. Global provider of solutions for secure and reliable mission-critical communication KEYMILE, has identified three industry trends, which companies must keep an eye on in 2017:

Trend 1: Migration from PDH/SDH networks to IP based networks

In the last year, more IP-based applications have been used by energy providers, operators of oil and gas pipelines or in the transport industry – for simplified communication and remote operations. In 2017, operators of mission-critical communication networks in these industries should focus the next step and start to adjust their networks to this applications. Most operators are still relying on their well-tried packet-based PDH/SDH networks with highest levels of availability and security, but with barriers to integrate new applications and utilise new digital potentials. However, a complete adjustment could take years and the migration from the PDH/SDH networks to IP-based networks brings complexities by trying to achieve the same level of availability and security. To handle these complexities and integrate the IP based applications even in 2017, we expect that operators of mission-critical networks will start to connect the traditional line-based networks with the new IP-based networks and to drive the migration in order to achieve a homogenous network.

Trend 2: Closing of new security gaps in the networks

Regarding the implementation of new IP-based applications and the increasing skills and resources of cyber attackers, it will be increasingly important to detect and close security gaps in mission-critical networks in the coming year. The traditional PDH/SDH networks as self-contained systems have been sufficiently well protected against cyber attacks, but the modern networks are confronted with the danger of being attacked from the Internet. As hackers are developing their skills and possess more powerful computers, classic security concepts would be not enough to provide sustainable protection. Attackers can find a way to get into the networks and hack even data encrypted through mathematical methods. However, there are new innovative projections to protect the systems, such as quantum-based cryptography. This cryptography method leverages physical characteristics of light to encrypt IP-based transmitted data. We expect that a lot of providers, especially governments, will face the new cyber threats in 2017 and will try to implement innovative solutions to ensure the highest level of security.

Trend 3 – Integration of IoT into the networks

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most discussed and promising areas of discussion in 2017. However, the integration of connected devices is a challenge for providers of solutions for mission-critical communications by maintaining their requirements of availability, reliability and security of data transmission. That is why we think national and international partnerships will be very important in 2017. We will count on building new partnerships in IoT development, IT security development and network operations to create collective and complete solutions to get the networks ready for the future. IoT will be one big thing in near future, and will bring a lot of new possibilities into mission-critical networks. Fact is, the integration of various devices into communication networks will also bring a lot of new challenges and dangers so it is important to face it in the coming year. Views are of the author and Techseen may not necessarily subscribe to them

Dieter Klein

Dieter Klein is the Managing Director of KEYMILE.

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