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Securing 2024: The Future of Endpoint, Mobile, and SASE

This guest blog was contributed by Mary Blackowiak, Director of Product Management and Development, AT&T Business As our digital world continues to transform, the year 2024 indicates a landscape shaped by the evolution of our interconnected world. The workforce will remain dispersed despite some return to workspaces initiatives. Thus, in 2024, safeguarding against cyber threats demands unparalleled attention. Businesses will prioritize endpoint security, mobile security risks will grow, and SASE will undergo significant transformation.


Mapping out the progression of endpoint security

The distributed nature of today's workforce amplifies the complexity of safeguarding against cyber threats, with a glaring challenge being the lack of visibility into the multitude of devices accessing organizational networks. The difficulty in effectively protecting what you can't see remains a fundamental principle in the cybersecurity industry, which is why the first step in any endpoint security strategy should be conducting an inventory of all the devices that are accessing the network. This can be accomplished with a unified endpoint management (UEM) solution. Curated security policies via a UEM and endpoint security technologies can be applied once you know the kinds of devices you’re working with. Rogue asset discovery tools are also helpful for identifying endpoints behaving in a manner that would indicate malicious intent.


As we look ahead to 2024, organizations must understand that endpoint security is not just a necessity for risk reduction but a strategic investment in safeguarding the digital future.


Navigating the top mobile security threats

The landscape of mobile security threats looms large with phishing attacks, insecure Wi-Fi networks, and data-hungry apps posing significant risks. While businesses recognize the paramount importance of endpoint detection and response, the alarming truth is that fewer than half have fortified their security with mobile threat defense software. The lack of security controls for mobile devices presents a massive vulnerability, considering how much sensitive information flows through them each day.


In 2024, organizations need to transition from policy enforcement to active defense. While mobile device management (MDM) and unified endpoint management (UEM) play pivotal roles in enforcing standards like operating system updates, their inability to detect and block threats create a critical gap. Mobile threat defense (MTD) solutions offer protection against four main categories of threats: device-level, network-based, app, and content threats, and I suspect more organizations will deploy them. 


Analyzing the evolution of SASE

The concept of SASE was first introduced to the market back in 2019 and focused on a few core principles: a shift away from the data center as the network core with migration to the cloud, identity-based data access, the necessity of global points of presence to support a distributed workforce, and consolidation of vendors and management platforms to reduce the complexity of management. While the progression towards cloud-hosted applications and the rise of zero trust have been evident, there remains a cautious stance among businesses, particularly larger enterprises, to embrace the consolidation of network and security controls to a single or even a few vendors. These organizations, often maintaining separate networking and security teams, will lean towards a 'best of breed' strategy, prioritizing advanced capabilities over consolidation of network and security controls. The perceived risk of relying on a sole vendor for their entire security stack further contributes to this hesitation.


Looking ahead, I predict a twofold trajectory. Networking and security vendors will increasingly invest in cross-platform integrations, even with competitors to foster a more interconnected security ecosystem. Simultaneously, businesses, recognizing the complexity of managing diverse security stacks, will turn to managed service providers (MSPs) for streamlined deployment and operational efficiency. The future of SASE promises not just innovation but a collaborative approach, ensuring businesses can navigate the evolving security landscape with agility and resilience.


In the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity, the road ahead in 2024 brims with challenges, but also solutions. As organizations navigate the intricate web of challenges and solutions, proactive measures that outperform the traditional realms of defense must be put in place. The collaborative efforts between innovative technologies and adaptive strategies will pave the way for a fortified cybersecurity landscape, ensuring resilience in the face of evolving threats.

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