Digital innovation is all around us. New technologies and advances enter the market each and every day, and 5G edge computing is just one example of digital innovation at its best. While 5G edge computing is poised to improve the performance of applications and enable large amounts of data to be processed in real-time, it also comes with a distinct set of security challenges.
According to Verizon, the number of connected devices in use will be more than triple the global population by 2022, and 5G is expected to support more than one million devices per square kilometer. This growing threat landscape is something we must take into careful consideration, and fast. As data moves to the edge, the attack surface will become broader, creating challenges for edge computing. And with 5G becoming more widely available on networks and devices, it will become more important to protect these attack vectors, too.
Growth in IoT endpoints is a growing risk to corporate security. Along with architecture, other security concerns include device authentication, physical security, overcrowding of the edge and of course, the inevitable human error. Ultimately, securing the 5G edge will require organizations to adopt enhanced threat detection, perimeter scanning and patching.
Despite the existing security concerns with 5G edge, if properly implemented, it can bring many benefits. With 5G able to support a higher density of devices in a specified area and mobile edge reducing latency by bringing compute capabilities closer to the end user, both technologies allow massive amounts of data to be processed in real time. This means organizations can easily transfer and receive data to their mobile and smart home devices, smart cars or other industrial IoT endpoints. Better yet, it makes for a faster, more efficient and agile network.
5G edge is alive and well. Effective security is one of the main drivers of innovation, and with the right approach, your organization can enable real-time data analysis and greater virtual collaboration. Below we’ve listed a few best practices for securing your organizations’ network and data with 5G edge deployments:
- Having the best possible end node protection will do you justice for years to come. When every end node and device is regularly patched and up to date, it reduces vulnerability, helps prevent breaches and protects data. This is key to staying secure in a world where billions of IoT endpoints exist.
- Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt. Whether it’s in-transit or at-rest data, be sure it is encrypted to protect traffic flowing through the 5G edge and ensure an encryption key is stored separately for at-rest data. All data should have end-to-end encryption to avoid third parties from accessing messages, data and other documents.
- We talk about MFA quite often, but it just goes to show its depth in supporting security across enterprise organizations. Understanding many IoT devices can’t support it, organizations should consider requiring MFA for every edge device when possible. With additional layers of security, sensitive data stays protected. This is extremely important when dealing with 5G edge as larger amounts of data are shared and stored over the cloud.
- Deploy application-layer firewalls to help administrators block suspicious traffic. Unlike traditional firewalls, application-layer firewalls control the execution of files or code by each specific application. Even if an intruder gains access to a network or server, they won’t be able to execute malicious code.