The Open Networking Door: A New Cyberthreat Frontier

Open Networking
Going into 2022 is an AMAZING and EXCITING time to be in the world of networking for causal aficionados, network professionals and especially network innovation entrepreneurs.

The networking world is experiencing a fascinating evolutionary revolution in a similar manner witnessed with the advent of Open-Source based software.

Open networking is the name of this new and exciting game, and it is not going anywhere soon from the looks of things.

Open Networking in Simple Terms

For decades leading networking vendors such as Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks provided network hardware such as switches and routers as converged hardware/software-based solutions.

These “closed” solutions require that their proprietary operating system work exclusively with their hardware without any room for flexibility. This means the only option network operators/customers have to use is the hardware proprietary operating systems, such as Cisco IOS and JUNOS.

This closed solution closes the doors of flexibility and all the advantages that come with it, such as cost savings and a more optimized custom-tailored solution.

The new model of open networking, in its essence, separates the hardware and software functions, allowing customers to choose different solutions to perform different network functions at a granular level.

In other words, the software function within the network is dominating more and more. With this model, network operators can use more generic hardware that is compatible with many networking solutions and implement the ones that best fit the needs of their network.

More Network Functions

Although adding more software functionality to networks is unlikely to be linked to cyber threats such as a ransomware attack, it could very well be connected to a malware keylogging attack and other platform-specific attacks that the traditional model is less susceptible to.

As many network functions will break down and become more granular and specialized, additional innovations such as smaller functions or cogs are likely to surface.

This is especially true with 5G gaining popularity and high demand cloud-based systems requiring many optimizations with more people working at home than ever in this ongoing pandemic era and enterprises relying more and more on large high capacity cloud-based systems.

More Functions Could Equate to More Cyber Security Exploits

With the many factors driving customers to move away from the traditional soon-to-be ‘archaic’ closed model and adopt the newer, much more agile and innovation-driven Open Networking model, new cyber threats will likely surface. Networks will have much more software running on their networks, performing many different functions.

The more applications running the network, the greater the chances for new exploits to surface. One of these applications or Open Networking components could be the “gate” to the entire network.

As it has always been, and probably always will be, when it pertains to technology, innovations fill more gaps and often present a set of problems on their own. This may very well be the case with new related cyber threats.

With the myriad of cyber security firms and their respective labs working around the clock, I am convinced that they will swiftly be providing countermeasures and that these countermeasures are likely to be a part of the Open Networking model. 
So stay tuned…. 2022 is looking abundantly exciting for OPEN NETWORKING.