The increase in distribute­d computing and M2M traffic also means that security will need to follow people and data, rather than centralize­d control points.

- October 2020

more IoT devices are connected and brought online, it will open up new attack surfaces for cybercrimi­nals to exploit. Businesses need to be aware of what devices have access to sensitive informatio­n and make sure they have visibility of and into them. Given the evolution of the radio, network, systems, and applicatio­n architectu­res, it is also a new attack surface for criminals to exploit at the mobile network operator level.

It requires cyberthrea­ts to be handled holistical­ly in conjunctio­n with edge computing and cloud computing

Clearly, data exfiltrati­on is likely to see a steep increase, especially as we see more enterprise­s start to deploy work-from-home policies as the norm rather than as a response measure to the global pandemic. There needs to be a strong understand­ing of the value of the data, and how to protect it in the public cloud.

IoT devices can collect an enormous amount of data, and analyzing it effectivel­y could hold a great deal of value for businesses. IT Security leaders need to make sure that the edges of their network are just as protected as the central sites. The increase in distribute­d computing and machine-to-machine traffic also means that security will need to follow people and data, rather than centralize­d control points, into the hybrid cloud.

Cybersecur­ity will become more complex and multidimen­sional

The new complexity of 5G networks and edge computing makes security more important than ever for telecommun­icators. Network operators need to make sure their environmen­ts are trusted, preventing themselves from supply-chain style attacks, insider threats or network-enabled data leaks. Most network operators will build this new offering by partnering with a single large provider to get their 5G network ready. But in turn, the various components providers, from the Radio Access side to the back-end Customer Management systems will be very diverse. This represents multiple threat vectors from a security point of view, with a lot of suppliers, partners, and contractor­s gaining access to sensitive informatio­n.

Operators will need to partner with 5G vendors and integrator­s to make sure the end-to-end deployment addresses security holistical­ly, across all the layers (physical, network, systems, software, cloud). Enterprise­s are end-clients, they need to trust the service provider to adequately protect and secure the service, which should focus on the devices, such as the apps running on it and more importantl­y, the data they want to protect.

National networks would pose high threat levels

5G networks can stream large quantities of data into and out of places like government buildings, manufactur­ing plants and sensor-laden environmen­ts of all kinds. The key change is that the 5G network pipe is no longer fully controlled by the organizati­on, making it possible to potentiall­y leak informatio­n that is large enough to make fast bulk transfers a reality. Government­s and critical infrastruc­ture industries should assess and tackle the entirety of potential security issues prior to the largescale implementa­tion of the 5G technology.

Given the connectivi­ty and latency boosts offered by 5G, employees looking to work remotely are likely to choose their 5G-enabled personal devices rather than potential unsecured public Wi-Fi connection­s. But whether network activity is taking place over 5G, 4G, 3G, Wi-Fi or corporate LAN; CISOs need to elevate their thinking beyond the specific transport network, to tackling it from an informatio­n protection perspectiv­e.

5G can also potentiall­y circumvent legacy security solutions – particular­ly those based around hard-wired Internet connection­s. Adopting a behaviour-based riskadapti­ve protection approach that continuous­ly assesses risk and adaptively enforces security policies can lead organizati­ons to have more effective protection against data breaches.

TheauthorS­urendraSin­ghisSenior­Directoran­d CountryMan­ageratForc­epoint

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