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How internet networks and cybersecurity will change in 2020

18 Dec 2019

Article by ThousandEyes product marketing director Angelique Medina

ThousandEyes shares its insights on how the Internet and networks continue to evolve and how this will impact the state of cybersecurity in 2020.

The ‘Splinternet’ becomes more splintered

In 2019, Russia passed its ‘Sovereign Internet’ law to block off its Internet from the rest of the world, and Iran implemented a near-total Internet shutdown.

In 2020, this “Splinternet” trend of a fragmented Internet will accelerate, as more countries will attempt to create restrictions of their Internet using government control overflows of traffic and internet-based services.

The most likely candidates to extend these restrictions? Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Saudi Arabia.

A Chinese ISP causes major global collateral damage

The Great Firewall doesn’t just isolate Internet users in China, the way many people think.

A major Chinese ISP will demonstrate the impact of Chinese government censorship far beyond its borders, as hundreds of sites and services around the world get knocked offline for a significant period of time as a result of routing policies meant to only impact users within China.

DNS snafus will be responsible for the most outages in 2020

Many things can be responsible for future outages, including natural disasters, attacks or even simple human errors.

Attacks are also a major cause of outages.

DNS is a fragile infrastructure that is often overlooked and has been a target for major attacks.

Past DNS attacks such as Dyn have had a huge blast radius causing widespread outages, creating a devastating impact on businesses.

BGP is another weak point in the fabric of the Internet that has been subject to past attacks.

User error, such as “fat fingering” can also result in outages, as well as internal misconfigurations or infrastructure failures, with symptoms that manifest themselves on the network layer.

BGP-related outages caused major collateral damage in 2019, leading many ISPs to adopt better Internet routing security measures, which will dramatically decline these issues in 2020.

Similarly, DDoS attacks will decline overall, particularly in the US and Europe.

Ironically, often overlooked DNS services may be ripe for a major service disruption or compromise that could cause ripple effects across the wider Internet.

The Internet becomes more important than ever before

This may seem like a no-brainer, but as the cloud has become the new data centre and the Internet is the new network, the number of enterprises that rely on the cloud increases every year, so does the reliance by the world’s biggest brands to keep their businesses online and keep the revenue chugging in.

Fortunately, faster remediation of service outages improves the overall quality and performance of the global Internet, making worldwide connectivity more reliable than ever.

Backbone networks increase dramatically

As the amount of Internet traffic grows by the minute with every TikTok video, business traffic is competing against cat videos on a network that it wasn’t designed for.

Just as the ThousandEyes Cloud Performance Benchmark report found Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure preferring to use their own private backbone networks (with AWS and IBM also offering this option), we’ll see more SaaS companies and cloud-based service providers creating private backbone networks to optimise their own network traffic instead of relying on the unpredictable public Internet.

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