Why Wireless Network Security is Important?
Today, organizations are transferring an enormous amount of data that can be confidential and their leakage will not only incur them losses but degrade their reputation. A recent study by IBM stated that the average cost of data breach costs around USD 8 Million in the United States. Industry verticals such as healthcare where patient data is crucial, government body where data leakage can put the country in turmoil have surged the importance of wireless network security.
In the IT world, there are some stringent compliances that are mandated to be followed by organizations. The violation of these rules can cause them fines or penalties. These compliances are laid out to ensure that the company’s digital assets and technology are secured and most importantly their clients' sensitive information is not disclosed. Moreover, the integration of the latest technologies and the increasing number of IoT devices has further increased the importance of wireless network security solutions.
Common Wireless Network Security Issues/Threats
Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks:
In DoS attacks, the users are not able to access the device or the network which can ultimately lead to the crash of the system. The hackers carry out this attack by flooding the target with a lot of traffic or information which crashes the network. There are various types of DoS attacks such as Buffer overflow attacks, ICPM flood, and SYN flood.
Spoofing & Session Hacking:
In the case of spoofing, the attacker will use the active user’s identity and gains access to the network while in the session hacking, the attacker steals the user’s session key and disconnects the connected user.
The hacker intercepts or gets access to the data which is being sent over the network. In this type, the attackers take advantage of an unsecured or vulnerable wireless network to steal the data. It’s also called sniffing or snooping attacks.
4 Wireless Network Security Market Trends
Internet of Things (IoT):
As per the data published on Security Today, around 31 Billion IoT Devices are estimated to be installed by 2021, the number is expected to increase by staggering 4 Billion by the year 2023. Although these IoT devices have eased up life, it has slumped the technology with security challenges. Global IoT market is also expected to grow at a good growth rate. The implementation of IoT in retail, BFSI, IT, house-hold, medical devices, and consumer electronics has created security vulnerabilities. For instance, the installation of IP cameras in high-security areas such as banks and government facilities has created a loophole to meddle with the system. Therefore, it’s important to deploy wireless network security solutions to protect the IoT devices from attacks. The growing demand for IP wireless cameras is ultimately creating lucrative opportunities for industry players in emerging economies.
Bring your own Device (BYOD):
The mobile workforce is an easy target for hackers. The growing trend of BYOD in the companies has brought a share of vulnerabilities for the enterprise. A survey says that nearly 80% of the organization has deployed the BYOD policies. Therefore, it has become important for companies to deploy wireless security solutions in the workspace. If not taken care of, they can fall to data theft. Besides this, the BYOD trend has led to an increase in malicious attacks and insider threats which can lead to the compromise of sensitive information.
Managed Wi-Fi Services:
Companies don’t want to invest a considerable amount of capital by deploying an “IT Team.” Therefore, to reduce the burden, they’re looking for managed WLAN services. This is expected to offer lucrative opportunities for the industry players that are providing managed security services to the clients. According to the survey, managed security services save up to 50% of the costs to the enterprise which is a WIN-WIN situation for both parties. Currently, large enterprises are signing up for these services. Moreover, the availability of cloud-based Wi-Fi services has enticed small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to deploy these services at the workplace.
802.11ax & WPA3
Industry players are deploying next-generation Wi-Fi with 802.11ax security standards. In the year 2020, the Wi-Fi 6 usage is trending as it has improved efficiency and performance. However, in the security perspective, the WPA3 security standard is being considered as the optimal option for the enterprise and personal usage. The 802.11ax addresses the latest Wi-Fi challenges by improving the speed and provides benefits at smart offices and manufacturing spaces where 2.4GHz IoT devices exist and security authentication is crucial.
Types Wireless Network Security Solutions Available in The Market
Usually, wireless routers already have built-in firewalls which prevent the unidentified users to access the networks. However, there are additional wireless firewall (Wi-Fi Firewall) products available in the market that can be integrated into wireless networks. It’s the most common type of security solution deployed in the workspace or business. It protects from the potential cyberattacks and disconnects them from the wireless network. The popularity of Wi-Fi firewall solution is expected to witness a slight drop in the coming years.
Intrusion Prevention/Detection Systems (IP/IDS):
When a hacker is on the verge of attacking the network, the intrusion prevention software identifies and prevents the attack on the network. This IDS or IPS system issue the wireless network with software intelligence to carry out the aforementioned tasks. It detects the abnormalities on the wireless network and analyzes traffic behavior.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
The primary aim of IAM systems is to grant access to authorized users and enforce the company’s policies on wireless networks. It tracks and creates reports of the users’ activities and also ensures that the users are compliant with the corporate and government bodies' policies. From small to large businesses, everybody is deploying IAM systems to safeguard information assets and improve productivity.
Wireless encryption is the basics of wireless security that avoids the intruders to stay out of the wireless network. There are three types of wireless network security protocols, which are Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2). Currently, WPA2 with 802.1X is the most popular type of encryption used to secure the network. However, WPA3 is expected to gradually replace the WPA2 in the coming years.
Unified Threat Management (UTM)
UTM system provides a package of wireless security solutions such as content filtering, anti-virus, and anti-spam, among others. It protects the wireless network from data threats, malware, and any other type of attack. According to the research, this solution segment is anticipated to exhibit a higher CAGR in the foreseeable future. Industry players in healthcare, IT & telecom, and military are increasingly deploying UTM solutions.
Impact of COVID-19 to the Market
In the current scenario, various phish attacks have been reported which can easily meddle with the systems. According to the data from Cisco, there has been an increase of 3.5X in malware while 1.7X surge in phishing. Therefore, to protect the home users from these attacks, industry players are providing DNS-layer security to their systems. This means that if the employee encounters a malicious activity on the domain, they would be diverted to a block page.
Currently, the businesses have witnessed a downfall but the “Work from Home” trend is expected to bring out new wireless network security solutions that can roll out new market avenues for new entrants and emerging players. According to the survey, 67% of the companies are expecting the “Work from Home” norm to be permanent. Well, this is expected to change the business models and bring out creative strategies to capture the market.
Major Companies’ Latest Developments in the Market.
In February 2020, Fortinet, an American network security company, launched a next-generation firewall that is powered by its NP7 processor. The FortiGate 1800F is designed to address potential threats, improve the data centers' performance, and enforce security policies.
Recently, the company unveiled FortiAP-S Series which has embedded security functions in the AP hardware. The AP hardware provides IPS which protects the network from newly discovered virus and malware threats. The organization has specially designed its product for SMEs and distributed enterprise. Along with this, it has also launched FortiAP and FortiWifi to handle the security solutions without depleting the performance at the organization.
Fortinet has been heavily investing in network security and focusing on the innovations in 5G, IoT, and cloud security. Fast forward in May 2020, the enterprise announced the launch of FortiGate 4200F which offers a security compute rating of 10X for IPsec encrypted performance, 5X for SSL inspection, 15X for connections per second. This company witnessed an increase of 20% in the revenue in 2019 as compared to 2018.
In February 2017, Cisco Systems, United States networking hardware company, unveiled the Cisco Umbrella which protects from Internet-based threats and blocks unwanted malicious attacks. Moreover, it prevents malware, ransomware, and other phishing attempts from attackers. Most importantly, it can protect the user’s device without being connected to the office network. Its product also helps in enforcing the organization’s policies.
The multinational company stepped into a security portfolio after acquiring OpenDNS, a cloud security Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform which bestows threat protection at the DNS layer. This move has helped the enterprise to leverage its market position. During the pandemic, the company is providing DNS-layer security and Umbrella product which is aiding the employees to protect their system from potential attacks.
In August 2020, Shenandoah Telecommunications, a prominent telecommunication service provider in Virginia, announced the launch of the Shentel Business Managed Solution portfolio in the market. The managed solution is powered by Cisco Meraki, a subsidiary of Cisco Systems, to simplify data network management and provide security to SMEs.
Juniper Networks, Inc.
In April 2019, Juniper Networks, a prominent player in the networking and cybersecurity market, acquired Mist Systems, an artificial intelligence (AI) powered networking startup, for USD 405 Million. This acquisition is expected to leverage Juniper’s networking portfolio which would be combined by Mist’s WLAN platform powered by AI.
Fast forward two months, the company rolled Wi-Fi 6, AI-based cloud services. Along with this, Mist has partnered with Forescout to secure client’s IoT devices and automate the management. This will help the clients to monitor devices such as smartphones, laptops, and security devices, among others. In March 2019, the enterprise launched two new security solutions on its Connected Security portfolio. These two solutions include Contrail Enterprise Multicloud and the cSRX firewall.
In February 2020, the company integrated encrypted traffic analysis, its latest feature to the Juniper ATP Cloud, and SRX series firewalls. Juniper is currently focusing on adding new features to stay ahead in the competition while partnering with other industry players to expand their market share.
Other major industry players include Motorola Solutions, Brocade Communications, Honeywell, ADT, Symantec Corporation, and Aruba Networks (HPE), among others. Various companies are entering into security solutions owing to the lucrative opportunities in the coming years. For instance, Hewlett-Packard (HP) expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of Aruba Networks for USD 2.7 Billion in 2015. Fast forward two years, the company launched Aruba 360 Secure Fabric to protect the organization from IoT, mobile, and cloud-based threats.
Wireless Network Security Market Regional Analysis
North America Region
In 2019, North America accounted for the largest market share and is expected to continue the trend during the forecast period. The presence of major players in the market and early adoption of the latest technologies such as IoT and AI is driving the growth of the market. Various retail and healthcare companies are swiftly integrating wireless network security solutions to protect the data and avoid malicious attacks. This market region is witnessing the emergence of various industry players as many IT companies are expanding their portfolio in the security solutions. The increasing number of smart homes is also acting as a major growth driver in the market. Moreover, the growing trend of cloud-based solutions is proliferating the growth of the market.
Asia Pacific Region
The Asia Pacific region is expected to offer lucrative opportunities in the foreseeable future. This region is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of more than the global growth rate. Particularly, emerging economies such as India and China is expected to offer opportunities to the new entrants and emerging players in the market region. Government initiatives to support the local players in these countries is expected to encourage new players and companies to expand their product portfolio. For instance, in the lockdown period, India Government initiated the campaign name “Vocal for Local” which stated to support or choose local companies over international ones.
Middle East & Africa Region
This market region is expected to grow at an exponential rate in the forecast period owing to the swift growth in the IT infrastructure. According to the research, the Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) market is speculated to expand at a CAGR of at least 25% during the forecast period. Various foreign companies are setting up their base in the Middle East & Africa which is expected to fuel the growth of the wireless network security market. Moreover, the swift growth of the BFSI and retail sector in this region is spurring market growth.
Additionally, Europe and Latin America region is expected to grow at a robust rate owing to the expansion of IT infrastructure and innovation in the manufacturing facilities.