How SASE is Key to 5G Security Success

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Over the past century, there has been a constant demand for change, and wireless networks are central to recent advancements due to trends like IoT, smartphones, tablets and laptops. Now that internet speeds are quicker and users are connecting outside of the office, 4G is becoming a thing in the past as everyone is welcoming 5G.

Since the launch of 5G, the promise of quicker internet speed and faster networks has kept everyone excited, especially organizations in the tech space. 5G provides users and organizations a rapid and more efficient internet while offering lower latency for their employees in and out of the office.

Since 5G is still in the rollout stage in the US and Europe, the early adopters are collecting the benefits of adopting these faster networks. However, advanced networks and mobile networks come with new security risks that didn’t pertain to the older network technology. Most people will highlight the different benefits of 5G, but users and organizations must understand the new security hurdles that are aligned with designing, implementing and developing new 5G networks and infrastructures.

New Network Technology, New Security Risks

With new network technologies, such as 5G, security needs to be involved during the early stages of development. As 5G moves from early stage to the norm for mobile networks, we will see many different shifts occur with the technology. Similar to other technologies, changes can result in new security risks. 

Mobile networks with security risks are not new, but the number of attacks from different points is increasing as networks transform. Implementation of an early stage of 5G technology could result in early adopters of 5G infrastructures and networks experiencing different security risks. 

Some of the different security hurdles that 5G can present are increased entry points to be exploited by hackers, network visibility issues and increased security challenges from service providers.

While some network experts might suggest companies need to avoid these risks by not adopting devices that are designed for 5G networks, I do not agree with this approach. Companies need to think of the big picture: will you be taking the right measures to secure your networks and infrastructure, regardless of the integration of 5G devices in your work environment? Organizations need to rethink and redesign their overall network security for the potential adoption of 5G technology.

Security Should Be Prioritized

When companies think of security, a common theme is how quickly they can patch vulnerabilities while updating the network. While most companies will test their networks during the implementation stage, they will only check if their network is secure from common security risks and will often overlook the need to test interworking security. Interworking security is the phase where security is integrated after the network is implemented and live. This quick and low-cost deployment approach will get the network running but it is not the right approach for 5G security. As 5G networks will need to connect, communicate and exchange data with 4G networks in the early stages, we are likely to see major security risks arise from poor network management and security integrations between these networks.

Some companies will try to fix 5G security risks with new solutions that were not designed for the new level of networks, or plug holes only after 5G is implemented. This approach could do more harm than good. It could potentially create more entry points into the network for hackers to attack. Instead of adding many solutions to cover holes left by 5G, companies should look into the Secure Access Edge Service (SASE) model for complete network and security success for their new networks.

SASE: the Model for 5G Security

As 5G networks allow organizations to send large amounts of data into their networks and infrastructures, the issue of sending all the business data to one location will become problematic for companies moving forward. This issue has created the need for a stronger edge network for businesses. 

We need to send data to networks that are closer to the employee’s location instead of where the company HQ is based. Organizations need to hinge on an increased amount of powerful edge networks that are located and work closer to where the users are connecting from. As companies adopt more security solutions and cloud-based tools in their work environments, there is a massive amount of data being passed through the business network and it becomes more difficult for IT and security teams to implement policies to fight off potential attacks on the network. This is where SASE factors in for 5G networks. 

SASE, which was coined by Gartner in August 2019, is a new network security model that combines different functions of network and security solutions into a unified cloud security platform to be delivered as a service. This new approach was introduced at a perfect time for 5G networks.

With 5G networks purporting to increase fast remote access to the business network from a distance, SASE helps companies install security at edge networks where the employees are located. By adopting the SASE model, organizations will have the opportunity to offer more secure 5G networks where security teams can automate security policy with a single management platform.

By adopting the SASE model and its integrated services, companies get an updated, secure 5G network and complete cloud security strategy moving forward. With a security and network management platform implemented that is matched with 5G’s flexibility and speed, companies will be ready for every inevitable change coming alongside the different network technology being released.

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