Deep Packet Inspection challenges for telecom and security vendors

Enea announced the results of the first survey about deep packet inspection (DPI) challenges, conducted among high-tech product managers. The goal of the survey is to better understand how DPI, a technology that identifies and details network traffic, is used by telecommunications and cybersecurity solution vendors today, and what they need from DPI in the future.

Deep Packet Inspection challenges

DPI needs

The responses reveal much more than specific details about DPI needs. They show that telecom and security vendors and their customers are facing rapid changes as the cloud transformation, 5G networking, work from home practices, and the IoT have a profound effect on network users, devices, and services.

Respondents indicate that understanding and controlling network traffic is key to surviving these changes. This is only possible with accurate, real-time, application-level visibility. As a result, DPI is seen as an essential technology, which must evolve and continue to deliver the much-needed visibility.

All indications are that this evolution is happening, as the boundaries of DPI have already been greatly expanded through the use of advanced analytics, and the technology now delivers important insights about network traffic even without inspecting the main content (or payload) of packets.

Key findings

The elimination of conventional network borders – and with them perimeter control points – makes traffic-based threat detection more important. Abnormal traffic detection was identified as a top use case for DPI software.

70 percent of respondents require classification of connected devices in enterprise and IoT/industrial networks.

The increased use of encryption along with adoption of the stringent TLS 1.3 security protocol (mandatory in 5G), threatens essential traffic visibility for many vendors.

Most vendors report that they have or are developing cloud solutions, with half of them planning to offer a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution, that integrates security and networking in a cloud-based service.

“Gaining maximum visibility into network traffic has become both more urgent – and more difficult”, stated Jean-Philippe Lion, Senior Vice President of the DPI Business Unit at Enea. “This is due to the convergence between networking and cybersecurity, combined with an increased adoption of cloud services.”

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