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We invited several leaders from Zscaler to comment on changes they anticipate in the decade ahead. This statement was submitted by Patrick Foxhoven, the Zscaler Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Emerging Technologies.

If you think that the internet is pervasive now, wait ‘til 5G arrives in earnest. With its ubiquitous, high-bandwidth connections, everything you can imagine will be connected all the time. Like the Industrial Revolution and all technological leaps, this will usher in incredible opportunities and create unforeseen calamities.

5G will bring high-speed internet connections to communities that have never had any connectivity or access to the information so many of us take for granted as being at our fingertips. It will also enable phenomenal speeds—up to 10 Gbps. At that rate, you could download an entire HD movie in a few seconds on your laptop or mobile device. The downside? Because everything will be connected, cybercriminals and state-sponsored attackers could wreak havoc on consumers, businesses, and government entities, infiltrating all these newly connected devices to steal data, mine for cryptocurrency, spy, extort, create botnets, spread propaganda, and disrupt commerce. And worse.

5G will ensure that internet becomes the new corporate network. This has gigantic ramifications. CIOs, CEOs, and boards will need to rethink everything from security and networking architecture to hiring/retention and facilities strategies. How does one design networks when you don’t need to provide a majority of the bandwidth? How can you secure such a network from modern attackers when you have tens or hundreds of thousands of people accessing work documents, applications and contact lists with personal devices?

Gartner already predicted how businesses will handle this in its seminal paper on SASE, the secure access service edge, entitled The Future of Network Security is in the Cloud (registration required), writing, “Digital business transformation inverts network and security service design patterns, shifting the focal point to the identity of the user and/or device—not the data center.” Gartner predicts 40% of enterprises will adopt SASE by 2024.


Read other blogs in the "2020s" series:

The Decade that Tears Down LANs, WANs, VPNs, and Firewalls by Jay Chaudhry, Zscaler Founder and CEO

Big, New Threats and a New Kind of Identity Politics by Stan Lowe, Zscaler Global CISO

AI and Machine Learning Offer Hope for the Future by Howie Xu, Zscaler Vice President of AI and Machine Learning

An IoT Bonanza by Deepen Desai, Zscaler Vice President of Security Research


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