The rollout of 5G in Australia is here and its impact on productivity and economic growth is going to be transformative. At its fullest peak, 5G will play a game-changing role in the facilitation of the convergence of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to overhaul the way businesses communicate, work, and engage with customers and partners.

However, preparing for comprehensive 5G coverage will need organisations to have the right next-generation networking solutions in place to use the latest iteration of mobile technology to its full benefit without introducing unnecessary security risks.

As the uptake of 5G is forecast to occur slowly, businesses will have a range of legacy devices and applications still in play for the near future, alongside deployments of newer, 5G-ready technology. To manage this complexity effectively, businesses need a smart solution that can make decisions at the network or connectivity level, as well as manage edge and IoT devices based on the performance requirements of applications. Secure software-driven wide area networking (SD-WAN) has emerged as an ideal approach to help navigate these new business demands.

Increasing complexity of securing SD-WAN

Like every new technological innovation, SD-WAN comes with its own set of challenges. These challenges only increase with the inclusion of 5G. For example, the faster network speeds benefit malicious actors just as much as legitimate users, which means attacks can be launched faster than ever. To keep up with 5G’s ultra-low latency, superfast speeds, and potential cyberthreat vulnerabilities, security must function faster than ever.

This requires a service infrastructure that integrates networking and security into a unified solution. However, achieving this level of security can be easier said than done.

To meet these new performance requirements, businesses should leverage a purpose-built secure SD-WAN solution that can support 5G speeds without interrupting business-critical communication or opening security gaps. It’s not enough to rely on the central built-in security features of 5G networking solutions. Instead, organisations must deploy integrated, end-to-end security to protect themselves from the evolving threat landscape.

When carefully chosen and deployed, the right secure SD-WAN solution can combat networking and security challenges to help organisations increase business productivity and reduce IT costs. Some of the top benefits of secure SD-WAN include:

  • Managing and prioritising network traffic: secure SD-WAN solutions can manage network traffic to prioritise applications that are most important to the organisation to minimise downtime and disruption. This will help businesses maximise the value of 5G by ensuring applications that need superfast speeds perform according to industry expectations. Less-critical applications can be directed to slower connectivity options without affecting user experience.
  • Flexible networking for a changing world: a secure SD-WAN solution intelligently connects users to applications and can determine the requirements needed to establish the appropriate connection. If the primary connection fails, rather than manually switching connections, secure SD-WAN can seamlessly switch it out for another without any downtime.
  • Maintaining critical security: when it comes to cybersecurity and 5G, there are some concerns. A secure SD-WAN solution can effectively manage and secure continually changing environments in real time, giving organisations flexibility to make changes in their networks for optimised outcomes. Without secure SD-WAN, security will struggle to keep up as connection and application requirements change, creating critical security gaps that open the door to cyberthreats.
The bridge to a 5G future

The fifth-generation mobile data network is in the midst of rolling out in Australia. With it comes new opportunities for exponential growth. However, businesses must not overlook the critical importance of implementing a secure SD-WAN solution to prepare for a new world that 5G will create.

Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN tightly integrates an organisation’s network infrastructure and security architecture, letting networks transform at scale without compromising security. Leveraging the security-driven networking approach, organisations can take steps to mitigate risk as they navigate their 5G journey.

To find out how Wavelink can help your business alleviate network complexity, increase bandwidth, and reduce security costs with the support of Fortinet’s Secure SD-WAN, contact the sales team today: