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Preparing a
5G-ready endpoint
protection strategy

Author: Gary Hilson

If you think your endpoint protection strategy can cover every IT asset in your enterprise indefinitely, think again.  Although 5G will deliver new security capabilities and is more secure than 4G, 5G will enable many more devices that will drive innovation and digital transformation - and this will expand your enterprise's attack surface. Your endpoint security must keep pace with every additional mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) device—because each one will be a possible attack vector.

Every device affects endpoint security

Endpoint security is already a top priority with the rise of remote work and the deployment of software-defined wide-area networks. All it takes to threaten mission-critical information is one single smartphone infected with malware. Through one small opening, attackers could access your customers' personal data, your intellectual property and anything else that gives you a competitive advantage.

Your endpoint protection strategy must encompass a wide variety of devices: desktop computers and laptops, smartphones and tablets, even point-of-sale systems. You might also have other task-specific IoT devices, such as sensors, security cameras and kiosks—they'll need to be covered by your endpoint security strategy, too.

Your endpoint protection strategy must also include operating system maintenance and updates, firewalls and anti-virus software, and virtual private network clients so that you can segregate network traffic and keep a tight handle on access permissions. You'll want to view all your devices and data traffic in a centralized location.

The introduction of a very large number of 5G-connected devices into your environment means more endpoints than ever, compounding the need for a centralized view as a part of your endpoint protection strategy.

How 5G affects endpoint security

5G will be the backbone for many business innovations, such as virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation or robotics.  It also has new capabilities that make it more secure than 4G. But the devices it will connect open up new avenues for endpoint security breaches.

A thermometer in a commercial refrigeration truck connected to a fleet management system, a sensor monitoring stock in a warehouse that feeds a supply chain management system in near real-time to leverage 5G’s speed— these devices open routes for hackers to access critical business data or disrupt your organization's operations if they are improperly secured.

Because there are so many uses for 5G networks and devices, endpoint security must be made the top priority. The consequences of not addressing 5G in your endpoint protection strategy could be disastrous.

Find a partner that understands 5G security

The consequences of poor endpoint security in a 5G-powered world aren't really different from the threats that already existed. There are just so many more possible threats due to the number of new devices.

As with all security breaches, the consequences of data loss are abundant and difficult to overcome. Customers might lose faith in your business. You could lose business to competitors. There might be legal ramifications. And every consequence has a price tag.

Endpoint protection strategies are made up of many moving parts, including mobile threat management, user security awareness, data protection (such as encryption) and incident response. This can be overwhelming for an internal security team. Partnering with a professional services organization can help you establish, maintain and update your endpoint protection strategy.

The right services provider can offer their own endpoint security solutions and solutions from their partners—meaning you can keep pace with the growth of capabilities that are now possible with 5G and benefit from innovation without compromising your security.

Learn how Verizon's cyber security solutions can keep your endpoints secure from an evolving threat landscape.