Adam Hils

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Adam Hils
Research Director
9 years at Gartner
22 years IT Industry

Adam Hils is a Research Director with Gartner Research. He covers network security, including intrusion prevention systems (IPS), enterprise firewalls and UTMs. In addition, Mr. Hils provides advice to budget-constrained midsize enterprises about prioritizing security investments. Read Full Bio

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Snapshots: 10 Ways Network Security Has Changed (or NOT) in 4 Years

by Adam Hils  |  January 24, 2014  |  1 Comment

When I left Gartner early 2010 to work on security products, I had a perspective on macro and micro network security trends. Four years later, some trends have been turned on their heads, others are cast differently, and still others remain the same. Here are my network security snapshots, then and now:


  1. 2010: NGFWs were being considered as secondary tools by bleeding edge customers  2014:  NGFWs are trustoworthy edge protection platforms for many mainstream customers
  2. 2010:  Stand-alone network IPS growth showed no signs of slowing  2014:  NGFW growth and sandboxing uptake limits discrete IPS opportunity at the perimeter
  3. 2010:  WAF was a PCI checkbox  that was hard to deploy and painful to maintain   2014:  WAF is still a PCI checkbox for some. Usability has has improved, & it can now be useful
  4. 2010: Firewall rules management software was infrequently used  2014:  Auditor demands & migration to NGFW drive demand. Vendors try adjacent functions
  5. 2010:  Virtualization was going to change the nature of network security & kill the appliance   2014:  SDN is  going to change the nature of network security & kill the appliance
  6. 2010:  Dominant attitude: “Segment everything!” 2014:  Dominant attitude: “Segment logically.”
  7. 2010:  Zero day threats were like UFO sightings: Often imagined, seldom seen  2014:  Zero days and advanced threats  have made our networks a real-life Area 51
  8.  2010:  “Visionaries” said the perimeter was disappearing; realists said it would stay  2014:  “Visionaries” tout borderless netorks; realists know the perimeter remains, but shifts
  9. 2010:  DDoS attacks were uncommon and unsophisticated  2014:  Complex DDoS attacks have become the “new normal” for financial services institutions and other targeted verticals.
  10. 2010:  “‘Enterprise UTM’ was about to conquer the netsec universe. Really!” Umm…no.  2014: “‘Enterprise UTM’ is about to conquer the netsec universe. Really!” Umm…no.

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