2017 IT recap—Things we learned

Active Directory | December 30, 2017 | 3 min read

2017 was full of new information, new technologies, and lessons learned. As I toured the world again, I was reminded of the commonality that the IT community around the world has. On the flip side, I was also reminded of the diversity that countries and even cities have with regard to how they approach IT and solutions. Here are some reflections on 2017…looking forward to 2018!

The GDPR is coming! Most of the European world is preparing for the GDPR. However, there are pockets of Europe that are not so “hot” towards the new regulation. I even found some countries that stated they were not going to prepare in any way for the GDPR!

Security is finally a hot topic. After writing many, and selling few, security-focused books in the early 2000s, I’m pleased to find that the IT community is finally taking a serious look at security. Granted, I think these revived efforts are far too late, as we are all behind the eight-ball now. The attackers are steps ahead and we need to be smarter with our security approach and solutions.

Active Directory is still the main network infrastructure solution. The issues that have plagued administrators for the past 17 years are still nagging issues. Management of objects, knowledge of changes, troubleshooting solutions, and much more still nag every network and all administrators.

PowerShell is still a big deal for about five percent of the Windows world, and the other 95 percent don’t really care much about it. Nearly all administrators have had to work with PowerShell at some level, but since it is nothing more than a program language, most administrators would rather have a GUI to complete their main work.

Automation, monitoring, real-time alerting, and event-based actions seem to be very popular topics. Much of this is due to ransomware, insider attacks, privilege escalations, DDoS attacks, and the full gamut of the threat landscape that plagues us all. SIEM solutions, management tools, and customization tools are becoming mainstream, providing insight into the changes that are occurring throughout the entire network.

The cloud is huge! And organizations are moving to it. However, like I predicted (and everyone else for that matter) years ago, migrating to the cloud is only for those areas of an organization that are not mission-critical. The clouds is still not as secure as it needs to be, but neither are networks. However, administrators know how to deal with issues on their network, while issues with the cloud are still not completely known.

What will 2018 bring? That is a good question. Here are some predictions that I see for 2018:

  1. The GDPR will come and all of the world will settle in knowing that it is nothing more than another regulation.
  2. Security will continue to grow, but attackers will still be steps ahead.
  3. SIEM solutions will become as common as keyboards and mice, with new innovative solutions being incorporated into SIEMs.
  4. Multi-factor authentication will become mainstream for corporations and personal use.
  5. New attack types will make the results of ransomware seem negligible.
  6. Organizations will have a closer tie between on-premises and the cloud.
  7. New devices and technology will be released, allowing more seamless access to data, no matter where you are.
  8. The same nagging issues that plague on-premises networks will continue to be a problem.

We will see some radical changes in 2018, just like we saw in 2017. As we all reflect on 2017 and look toward 2018, I hope we can look back and remember all of the good things, and enjoy the ride toward new opportunities. To all of my friends, colleagues, and business partners around the world, I thank you for your vast knowledge and willingness to share it with me. I hope that I provide even half as much value to you and your knowledge as you give to me. Here’s to a safe ending to 2017 and a prosperous 2018!