The move shifting computing from a centralized model to a distributed, decentralized model has offered new challenges as companies attempt to build up edge network security. The network is now concentrated closer to where data is consumed or generated, with many organizations in a constant state of change as they attempt to address ever-changing edge-related risks.
In many cases, the answer is secure access service edge (SASE), a technology that converges networking and security into a centralized effort to close cyber security gaps while prioritizing network performance. A new report from AT&T Business offers insights into the network edge and how companies in different industries are addressing security concerns.
Different Uses, Similar Challenges: The survey examined network edge security across six different industries. While edge networking looks different across finance, health care, manufacturing, public, retail, and energy industries, the challenges of network edge security are consistent. Networks use a variety of connectivity pathways, including private and public cellular 5G, 4G, and LTE, remote offices, cloud, and internet of things (IoT) networks.
Overall, survey results indicate that 5G and cloud are considered the preferable edge network, with 5G expected to be the dominant network in the near future. Nearly three-quarters, or 74%, of respondents felt the risk of compromised systems or data was likely, with energy-utilities and retail citing the highest level of perceived risk.
Better Controls: Across the survey results, businesses placed a priority on investing toward cyber security and improved controls for edge networking. But creating a plan of action is complicated since decisions are dependent on a number of factors, including the state of the network environment, whether the edge is on-premises or cloud-based, as well as regulations and cost.
While SASE was highlighted across the respondents for its ability to draw the network and security policy closer, there is a reluctance among some industries to route all data through the cloud. On-premise security solutions will remain a part of the strategy for these companies.
Even as companies want more controls for edge network security, they are constantly considering the cost-benefit of controls. The best cost-benefit for edge network security was seen in firewall at the network edge at 43.8%, followed by intrusion and threat detection at 30.5%. The least worthwhile were perceived to be network access control and patching.
Proactively Pursuing Edge Network Security: The best approach to edge security includes a mindset that sees a hybrid network model as the likely situation for some time. An advantageous approach for the near future will leverage legacy and on-site technology combined with SASE for improved security capabilities. A strategy that expands the edge network also comes with agility and data accessibility, among other benefits, but it also comes with new and varied risks, so business leaders will need a proactive way to address them.
Like any business pursuing technology strategies that improve productivity and user experiences, your company is increasingly concerned with edge network security. Let us be your guide to a holistic approach that balances securing your data and systems with exceptional network performance. Contact us at Safari Solutions to get started.