Trend Micro creates CTOne, a new subsidiary focused on 5G security

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Trend Micro started CTOne to focus on advancing 5G network security for enterprises. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Trend Micro established CTOne, a new subsidiary focused on advancing 5G network security for enterprises.

The company announced on Jan. 5 that it created CTOne because organizations need to integrate resources to combat emerging threats in private 5G networks more effectively.

“Safety today doesn’t guarantee safety tomorrow,” said Jason Huang, chief executive officer of CTOne. “While the communications technology market is booming, business operations are facing exposure to more complex risks. CTOne enables enterprises to secure private 5G networks against potential cyberattacks and build a high-quality industrial application ecosystem. In the future, we will collaborate with partners to maximize the advantages of private 5G with comprehensive security solutions.”

5G potentially changes the way applications are delivered, said Frank Dickson, who covers security and trust at IDC. Dickson said earlier generations of wireless standards would support connectivity for sensors or for compute devices with low “heart beat” data support requirements. High-volume data applications like video would struggle with latency or cost issues. 

“5G changes the rules of the game by enabling true ubiquitous wireless broadband, eliminating the needs for tethering technologies like Wi-Fi,” said Dickson. “The result is security needs to change from physical network-based, on-premises centric approaches to focusing on the new control points of digitally transformed organizations: endpoint, identity, applications, and data. Providing an integrated solution that addresses those control points for 5G is where Trend Micro should go.”

Bob Laliberte, a principal analyst who covers networking at Tech Target’s Enterprise Strategy Group, added that according to recent ESG research, 59% of organizations believe they will use public or private 5G to connect edge computing locations within 24 months. Laliberte said this means there will be a significant number of organizations upgrading an existing private 4G/LTE network or deploying a new private 5G networks.

“Given that this technology is largely a service-provider technology, these organizations will need help bridging their existing IT skills with communications technology,” said Laliberte said. “While many focus on the IT/OT space it’s good to see CTOne calling attention to the skills gap that exists in most enterprises and having a dedicated effort to provide solutions to deliver visibility and security across private 5G environments and ensure greater levels of operational efficiencies to an overall IT/OT/CT environment.”

Craig Burland, chief information security officer at Inversion6, said 5G-connected devices pose a serious new challenge for cybersecurity teams as they further redefine (or erode) the security perimeter. Today’s enterprise-class 5G solutions focus on connectivity with very little focus or awareness of traditional cybersecurity, said Burland. 

“5G-connected devices bring the internet directly into the office or production facility, bypassing existing network security controls,” Burland said. “They lack foundational capabilities like identity or asset management, compounding already difficult situations. Finally, many solutions come with the means to bridge 5G devices and the internal network, exposing unsecure devices to new threats and putting a huge burden on defense-in-depth strategies. Trend’s move here is a much-needed and forward-looking strategy that other security firms will likely follow.  Strong partnerships between the cybersecurity and telecom sectors can make 5G a game-changing proposition for smart offices and smart factories.”

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