Will the Rise of Encrypted Traffic Put Your Security in Peril?

According to recent research conducted by leading network security vendor, Blue Coat, encryption, which keeps the content of digital communications hidden from prying eyes, currently makes up about 25-35% of enterprise network traffic. This traffic, which is encrypted with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is forecast to grow at a very healthy rate of 20% each year.



That was until Netflix made the following announcement mid last year:


“Over the next year we’ll evolve from using HTTP to using Secure HTTP (HTTPS) while browsing and viewing content on our service. This helps protect member privacy, particularly when the network is insecure, such as public wifi, and it helps protect members from eavesdropping by their ISP or employer, who may want to record our members’ viewing for other reasons.”1



In the US, Netflix accounts for more than a third of all downstream (or downloaded) Internet traffic during peak evening hours. This announcement means that by the end of 2016, the amount of encrypted traffic will more than double, resulting in SSL accounting for more than two-thirds of the continent’s Internet traffic 1

Although Netflix doesn’t quite boast the same footprint in Australia as it does in the US, there is no doubt that a tectonic shift in the amount of encrypted traffic is looming.


So what does this mean for your organisation’s security? While SSL is crucial in providing data and communications security for your organisation, unfortunately for network security professionals, it also creates blind spots in networks and introduces significant risks for businesses.


Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) and malware are increasingly using SSL to evade protection. According to Gartner research, 50% of all network attacks will hide in SSL by 2017. Independent testing indicates that turning on SSL in many of today’s Next Generation firewalls results in up to 80% performance degradation. A new approach is needed—one that eliminates the security blind spot created by encrypted traffic and combats the threats hidden within SSL while preserving privacy, policy, and regulatory compliance.2


Security professionals are faced with a trade-off. With attackers increasingly using SSL to hide malicious traffic, many organisations are blind to encrypted traffic, and if they are unable to analyse 35-65% of traffic, that means the security risk for these organisations is effectively 35-65% greater.2


Today’s security-minded organisations need to look towards encrypted traffic management and SSL visibility solutions to reduce their risk by managing the SSL encrypted traffic in their networks and exposing advanced malware that can compromise an organisation’s intellectual property and security model.


These devices can help eliminate the encrypted traffic blind spot by providing the means to combat the security threats hidden in HTTPS while still preserving privacy, policy, and regulatory compliance.


Malware hiding in SSL/TLS has become an urgent priority for security professionals.

Speak to ICT Networks today and let us guide you on how you can eliminate the SSL encrypted traffic blind spot.



1. http://fortune.com/2015/04/30/netflix-internet-traffic-encrypted/

2. http://time.com/3597369/netflix-internet-traffic-share/