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5G Connected Devices: Superior Security for the Globally Dispersed Workforce

5G Connected Devices: Superior Security for the Globally Dispersed Workforce

The News: Working environments have transformed profoundly in recent years and are no longer confined to traditional corporate office settings. The percentage of employees working part- or full-time from the home office has grown exponentially, fueled by workplace restrictions enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in a far more distributed workforce. This dramatic increase in work from home activity joins the road, field, and other remote working locations that are transforming with a growing number of connected devices.

While expanding opportunities for productivity, collaboration, and customer interactions, this trend has the challenging side effect of introducing a host of new security vulnerabilities—during a time in which cybercrime is exponentially rising. Specifically, these attacks continue to occur more frequently, with a serious financial impact, and they are targeting critical industries.

As technological advancements and the changing dynamics of the modern workplace significantly broaden the cyberattack surface, implementing comprehensive and proactive measures for cyber-resiliency becomes a top priority for businesses. This includes advanced technology solutions targeted at shoring up a critical area of vulnerability—employees’ connected devices. These devices are vulnerable to unapproved applications, human error, and misconfigured or weak security settings—in addition to being ripe targets for cyberattacks that could lead to lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised data. Against this backdrop, 5G device connectivity, through features such as enhanced user authentication and stronger data encryption, becomes critical to mitigating risk factors that are inherent in less-secure Wi-Fi and hotspot connectivity.

5G Connected Devices: Superior Security for the Globally Dispersed Workforce

Analyst Take: In our latest research brief, 5G Connected Devices: Superior Security for the Globally Dispersed Workforce,” developed in partnership with T-Mobile for Business, we analyze the technological advancements and the changing dynamics of the modern workplace that significantly broaden the cyberattack surface. As a result, implementing comprehensive and proactive measures for cyber-resiliency becomes a top priority for businesses.

Across the board, the sheer volume of cyberattacks that are occurring and organizations that are impacted continues to rise. The potential impact of these attacks is also increasing, in terms of financial costs such as ransoms and fines, as well as lengthy business downtime and tarnished brand credibility. Against this backdrop, lackluster on-device security capabilities can result in a single-device compromise as well as multiple device lockouts through lateral spread across a network. Increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity threats make security gaps, such as under-secured connected devices, a potentially devastating liability.

A Timely Solution: 5G Connected Laptops

We observe that the increase in business outside traditional office settings combined with the onslaught of cyberattacks means it is time to take a closer look at connected laptop technology. In addition to opening flexibility and productivity for businesses, 5G connected devices are vital to defending against the plethora of security threats associated with Wi-Fi and hotspot network usage. This is particularly impactful as the business footprint shifts, with the traditional office setting receding as the epicenter of corporate communications or the sole domain of work. As such, 5G connected devices are also vital to defending against the plethora of security threats associated with Wi-Fi and hotspot network usage. This is particularly impactful as the business footprint shifts, with the traditional office setting receding as the epicenter of corporate communications or the sole domain of work.

Understanding the Built-In Security Advantages of 5G Connected Laptops

From our view, 5G connected laptops are delivering breakthrough, built-in features for security, manageability, and performance, further strengthened by PC mobile processor and platform innovations. We discern that only devices, such as laptops and notebooks, using 5G subscriber identity module (SIM) cards provide secure, tamper-proof assurances across 5G networks backed by 3GPP standardization and are essential to achieving complete security across the entire workforce.

Moreover, mobile processors and their underlying architecture play a critical role in determining the security, manageability, and performance capabilities of connected laptops. From our view, the 32 new 13th Gen Intel core mobile processors bring extensive improvements in security and performance across mobile platforms, especially including connected laptops.

Further bolstering the security features of 13th Gen Intel core offerings is the latest version of Intel’s vPro platform, which provides the integrated platform key to improving cybersecurity through active measures and out-of-the-box features underpinned by unique Intel security capabilities and validation.

Key Takeaways: The Time Is Now—5G Connected Devices Are Essential for Security Assurance and Peace of Mind

5G device security is not optional or a luxury in overall IT and cybersecurity planning. Clearly, organizations cannot afford a security breach that can cause massive financial pain or even closure of business. As a result, we identify that the requisitioning and purchasing of 5G connected devices, including laptops and notebooks, is of high priority.

The T-Mobile and Intel alliance ensures the built-in firmware protection that is vital to countering the multitude of vulnerabilities that malicious actors seek to exploit. The Intel vPro platform’s support of Intel Hardware Shield provides a suite of security technologies key to safeguarding the entire compute stack.

Overall, we believe that T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G SA network, which remains the only nationwide 5G SA network in the US, uniquely provides the anti-tracking and spoofing features that prevent manipulation of individual device connections, further reinforced by a robust security portfolio that encompasses countless solutions, industries, and use cases. Through T-Mobile’s 5G network security profile, businesses can have the peace of mind that comes with integrity protection, automatic authentication of their mobile devices, and increased identity protection.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

With a focus on data security, protection, and management, Krista has a particular focus on how these strategies play out in multi-cloud environments. She brings approximately a decade of experience providing research and advisory services and creating thought leadership content, with a focus on IT infrastructure and data management and protection. Her vantage point spans technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her work has appeared in major publications including eWeek, TechTarget and The Register.

Prior to joining The Futurum Group, Krista led the data center practice for Evaluator Group and the data center practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research. She also created articles, product analyses, and blogs on all things storage and data protection and management for analyst firm Storage Switzerland and led market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

Krista holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Journalism with a minor in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire.

Ron is an experienced, customer-focused research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets, working with businesses to drive consistent revenue and sales growth.

He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including a wide range of topics across software and services, infrastructure, 5G communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues.

Prior to his work with The Futurum Group, Ron worked with GlobalData Technology creating syndicated and custom research across a wide variety of technical fields. His work with Current Analysis focused on the broadband and service provider infrastructure markets.

Ron holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from University of Nevada — Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts in political science/government from William and Mary.

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