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    A properly protected network with data governance is essential to any business. Knowing how to navigate your network the right way is absolutely imperative to maintaining a competitive advantage. As such, network security, especially when it comes to firewalls, is of utmost importance.

    Additionally, the ability to accurately identify and test software vulnerabilities before launching into production can reduce the probability of critical errors. The infrastructure capabilities of an organization can also be valuable when setting up tools to help the team manage IT risks.

    For a more in-depth look at some of the industry trends in security, I reached out to Ron Pascual, Vice President of Strategy and Operations at Juniper Networks. Mr. Pascual shared with me his thoughts on four key areas related to network security:

    The impact of data protection: Improving data protection in network environments today is an increasing focus within the industry. “Increasingly the industry understands the importance of data protection in network environments, and that’s why using network management solutions is essential to protect the networks and this helpful product can help in this area. As the need to protect sensitive customer data grows, companies need to think more creatively to understand, manage, and protect sensitive customer data in network environments.

    The impact of unplanned outages: A large volume of traffic in the industry is moving from machine to machine. The Internet of Things and increasingly advanced cloud technologies drive the need for more resources to support and monitor that volume of traffic. It is also important for organizations to manage the frequency of outages as well as the recovery strategy needed after these disruptions.

    Preventing fraud: Fraud, mostly through malicious exploitation, is increasing in the network environment. The ability to identify, respond, and recover from such attacks is a growing threat to organizations. “A small number of organizations have a significant problem in protecting systems,” said Mr. Pascual. “This causes a significant threat to the network.”

    Protecting privacy: Unintended disclosure and/or intentional intrusion of digital devices in the network creates a new threat landscape that has yet to be fully explored. While companies must constantly look for opportunities to better protect their systems, they must also consider how that protection might impact privacy and employee trust.

    “We are in the very early stages of establishing security best practices that are applicable to most network environments,” said Mr. Pascual. “People should have clear understanding of the impact of security on their business operations.”

    Mr. Pascual recommended two examples of security trends that industry professionals should keep in mind in the coming year:

    “Data protection in network environments is at an all-time high. As organizations move to the cloud, data protection in networks will continue to improve,” he said. “The major consideration is that with increased automation and configuration solutions, organizations may not need to worry as much about data protection as they previously did.

    The implications of IoT and cloud technologies are also the focus of focus. The ability to manage security in a cloud environment will continue to evolve and enable an increase in workflows and visibility. As more customers move to cloud infrastructures, there will be increased need for data security tools and technology to manage and maintain those systems.”