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Letter from the Editor: Hope Springs Eternal

By: Scott St. John

Things are starting to look up. Vaccines are rolling out worldwide, COVID case counts have been plummeting, businesses are reopening, events are being planned, and flowers are blooming as we move from Spring into Summer. The future looks bright.

Whatever your stance is on masks or vaccines, it appears we are turning the tide on the pandemic.  According to the data, the vaccines appear to be effective against the currently identified strains of the virus, and we know that wearing n95 mask or better prevent the transmission of the disease. Staying home works too. For those that prefer to throw caution to the wind, well, we'll still have COVID for the foreseeable future and they'll be the most likely to get, transmit, and die from it. As for me, I remain cautiously optimistic.

I'm optimistic about the opportunities, possibilities, and innovations that lie ahead. The pandemic has caused monumental shifts in the way we live, work, play, and connect as a global society. This ushers in a New Digital Era, and the opportunities are practically boundless. We're really just starting to scratch the surface on how to capitalize on these innovative new trends and technologies. However, the rush to live, learn and work from home–compounded by the boom in connected devices, digitization, ecommerce, and new 5G mission critical use cases–has brought with it an onslaught of risks.

Last month in Pipeline's Mitigating Risk and Compliance article, we looked at concurrent trends in IoT and cyberattacks to foreshadow (and predict) a large-scale infrastructure attack. Four days later, the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack occurred taking down gas, oil, and fuel pipelines across the Eastern US. Then Microsoft reported a second wave of cybersecurity breaches occurring between February and May of this year relating back to the original SolarWinds breach.  And then, we learned that JBS–the world's largest meat processor–was hit with an attack halting its production capabilities. And that was just in the last month.

It's not all doom and gloom, as companies and government agencies are rushing to combat cyberattacks in the way the world rose up to meet the COVID pandemic.  And like the pandemic these innovations should help turn the tide over time.  At the same time, new innovations will begin to take root opening the door to new possibilities, business models, use cases, and opportunities. Which is why this issue of Pipeline is so important.

In this issue of Pipeline, Cyvatar explores CSaaS to create a Netflix-like cybersecurity experience where enterprises can use software-as-a-service model to leverage best-of-breed cybersecurity solutions. Onshape shows us how CAD innovation is occurring in the cloud to save lives and send people to the bottom of the sea in NASA-designed submarines. VNC discusses the open-source future of enterprises. Telit and TerOpta explores how IoT is being used to fight climate change, and Aptilo demonstrates ways to hyperscale IoT services.  Subex reveals “the next big thing” in telecommunications technology, with the application of AI to Open RAN. Spirent predicts a stormy forecast for 5G rollouts, and Ribbon Communications tells us how traffic engineering methods can be applied to smooth the 5G transition. Windstream Wholesale heralds new benchmarks and market projections for 400G lines-side, optical-network pluggables. All this plus the latest technology industry news and more.

We hope you enjoy this and every issue of Pipeline,

Scott St. John
Managing Editor
Pipeline
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