Cisco Forecasts Massive Growth in IP Traffic Over Next Five Years

With the growth will come increased hacking vulnerabilities.

Global IP traffic will almost triple at a compound annual growth rate of 22 percent over the next five years, according to Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast.

Fueling a considerable share of the growth in IP traffic will be an additional one billion new users who are expected to join the global Internet community by 2020. Currently there are approximately three billion users on the Internet.

Yet the adoption of connected personal devices and the rise in deployment of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will have an even greater effect on global IP traffic, according to the report.

During the next five years, 10 billion new devices and connections will be supported by global IP networks. By 2020, Cisco says it expects each person to have an average of 3.4 Internet-enabled devices, up from 2.2 devices per person in 2015. The increase would bring the total number of connected devices up to 26.3 billion from the 16.3 billion that were connected in 2015.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is driving IP traffic and growth in the market and is projected to only continue and grow within the study’s time frame. New network requirements and incremental traffic can be expected to rise due to an increase in video surveillance, smart meters, digital health monitors and other M2M services, according to the report. M2M connections will grow from 4.9 billion to 12.2 billion during the next few years. These devices will eventually represent 46 percent of total connected devices.

Following are statistical projections and new emerging trends for video cited in the report:

  • Video surveillance traffic nearly doubled in the past year and will grow ten-fold by 2020.
  • Internet video will increase four-fold between 2015 and 2020.
  • Business Internet video traffic will be 66 percent of business Internet traffic by 2020 – up from 44 percent in 2015.
  • Consumer Internet video traffic will be 82 percent of consumer Internet traffic by 2020 – up from 68 percent in 2015.
  • Virtual reality traffic quadrupled in the past year and will increase 61-fold by 2020.

Connected devices designed to monitor and track users health will grow from 144 million to 729 million from 2015 to 2020. However, the devices that will allow homes to be connected as well have the largest predicted volume of M2M connections and will grow from 2.4 billion in 2015 to 5.8 billion in 2020, making up almost half of all of these connections.

RELATED: Report: 2 in 3 Adults’ Social Media Accounts Hacked

Hackers are also significantly contributing to the growth in IP traffic. Cisco reported that Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks – an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources – can represent as much as 10 percent of a country’s total IP traffic while they are happening.

For the first time in its annual forecast, Cisco partnered with Arbor Networks to help measure the current and future threats of DDoS attacks. The companies found that such attacks will increase from 6.6 million a year to 17 million attacks annually by 2020.

“These initial findings underscore the need for more comprehensive security measures to protect data and reduce network exposure to such risks,” the company said in the report.

Read Next: Here’s How 7 Institutions Dealt with Recent Ransomware Attacks

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