By 2022, 75 percent of enterprise data will be created and processed outside the traditional, centralized data center. This, along with other expanded surfaces, remote work and edge computing, creates a larger attack surface for agencies. As agencies collaborate outside of their centralized data centers, the attack surface can become susceptible to threats. But, with secured platforms through trusted partners, the surface can be protected. In an effort to shrink the attack surface, agencies are looking to private interconnection as a means to secure data while expanding collaboration. This digital edge will allow for global coverage, with the help from 5G, visibility throughout all endpoints, and integration and control to optimize for security.
A recent partnership between Verizon and Equinix led to the industry’s first SDN enabled MPLS network between their software defined interconnect (SDI). Don Wiggins, Federal CTO, Equinix Government Solutions, commented that “the end result is the ability for government agencies to ride on our collective networks, and dynamically, on demand, provision private interconnection with various digital service providers, cloud providers, and other government agencies.”
Verizon’s Scott Andersen, CTO of Verizon’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) team, shared that data security became an even more pressing issue at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic for federal agencies as they managed their first large-scale remote work experiences. “A lot of federal agencies struggled because the services for collaboration were online.” He noted. “So, with this new solution, instead of having one connection between you and the Internet, you could have two to the same place. You separate the traffic by creating two streams and allow your secure data to go to both without having to do a massive reconfiguration of your network.”
And while the pandemic provided one example of how an agency’s attack surface can change, Anderson noted that there would be more changes coming in the future. “5G is going to change the work paradigm,” he commented. With 5G, workers will have their “office in their hand. [Workers] have enough bandwidth to do a video call, download that massive file, and at the same time share the movie on the other screen with [their] kids.”
As 5G is rolled out, more devices will connect to networks, and right behind them will be the hackers. But there is also the ability to provide end-to-end security with 5G providing you have the right SDI. By knowing where all the devices are and their connectivity, partners are able to have “more bandwidth [where they are able] to get to that device” and provide more security and reduce the attack surface.
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