Sangfor explored the innovative and security options available to 5G adopters back in March 2019 with the article “5G Enables Business: Learn How to Secure Your Network Ahead of the Curve” – and 5G has gotten no less press and hype since then. Articles about the future of 5G from Qualcomm, Nokia, and Xiaomi are released day-by-day and sometimes hour-by-hour, but hidden in the hype are the doubters – and their fears are legitimate.

In his article “Are Smart Cities Secure?”, Guy Rosefelt, Director of International Product Marketing for Sangfor wrote, “It is common knowledge that IoT devices are built for functionality and not security. Even IoT devices that have protection do not have good security.”  Follow this up with California’s SB-327 Information Privacy: Connected Devices bill, set to take effect in January 2020 – just around the corner.

So, Just how far does California’s new IoT security law reach? This is the first security law passed in the United States aimed specifically at IoT devices. To sum up a rather fascinating read, all IoT manufacturers (think of key cards, smart-anything, security equipment, etc.) will be legally required to provide “reasonable security measures,” and this stems out to all manufacturing contract partners and potentially third-party software developers.

Former Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler is quoted as saying, “Networks have always been attack vectors—so why should we be surprised that the network of the 21st century is a new attack vector? We ought to respond accordingly,” Wheeler said. “I mean you have no choice, you must evolve.”

So, on the cusp of a 5G society, where does the APAC region sit on the spectrum of IoT safety? In early 2019, Vodafone’s IoT Barometer report found that the APAC region led IoT adoption with 43% of companies already utilizing IoT, but noted that most IoT adoption was classified as “Intermediate” or “beginner” in a scale of sophistication. A Gartner survey of CIOs in Southeast Asia conducted simultaneously reported that 11% of CIOs ranked IoT as their “top game-changing technology,” while 21% said they would increase spending on IoT in 2019.

Mr. Wheeler’s words have never been so true as when applied to the APAC region, which is obviously jumping to adopt IoT technology, but sadly in many cases, not maintaining the same momentum in adoption of IoT security regulations. We all know digital maturity takes time – but CIO’s should be pushing this particular form of security functionality at a much higher level in preparation for the obvious potential IoT boom – and corresponding theft and infiltration. APAC is in the unique position to educate consumers and businesses about the dangers of cyber-crime from day-1, as countries like Myanmar jump from a 0-G world directly into the world of 5G.

Why Sangfor?
It’s up to our APAC CIO’s to lead this charge through the adoption of cyber security products like Internet Access Management (IAM), Next Generation Firewall (NGAF) and Endpoint protection like Sangfor’s Endpoint Secure. Endpoint Secure Protect prevents the east-west spread of malicious activity by blocking suspicious or unauthorized network communications. Endpoint Secure integrates with Sangfor NGAF to stop both exfiltration to Command & Control servers and access to phishing sites at the perimeter by flagging unusual or malicious behaviour in Sangfor NGAF. In addition, micro-segmentation functionality to limit access across network boundaries is available via integration with Sangfor Internet Access Management (IAM).  Take control back control and keep your employees and business safe from the jump – and we can see the jump is coming – by educating yourself and adopting security measures early!  We can see where we are headed by looking ahead to California in 2020 – and APAC can be ready!

Founded in 2000 and a publicly traded company as of 2018 (SANGFOR STOCK CODE: 300454 (CH)), Sangfor Technologies is the global leading vendor of IT infrastructure solutions specializing in Network Security and Cloud Computing.

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