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According to a new report by AT&T Cybersecurity, 75% of security leaders are either planning, have partially implemented, or have fully implemented an edge use case.

Edge networks are being implemented for specific use cases to help drive competitive business differentiation. In the report, respondents weigh in on security controls and anticipated investments within the chosen edge network, the perceived risk, and benefit cost considerations of new and legacy security controls. Survey findings indicate surprising momentum toward implementing more and more edge use cases, despite considerable perceived risk of deploying and securing edge computing. 

Business leaders who are evaluating alternatives and making edge security decisions will benefit from understanding that edge network definitions are in flux. It’s more important to think about the essential characteristics of an edge network, including a distributed model of management, intelligence, and networks. This also involves applications, workloads, software-defined deployments, and hosting that’s closer to users and assets that are generating or consuming the data, all of which can be on-premises and/or cloud-based.

Security is a critical success factor for edge initiatives. More edge network projects are underway — and completed in production — than one might anticipate. The report indicates that over 40% of the surveyed population are in the mature stage of adoption on specific edge projects, with many edge use cases partially or fully implemented across industries and geographies using diverse network environments and security controls.

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While edge deployments continue to have momentum, there’s still a high level of perceived risk and overall impact to the business. Across all vertical industries surveyed, respondents resoundingly reported they believe there is a high likelihood of a cybersecurity attack and a high impact to the organization as a result. Despite these perceived risks, organizations see the competitive benefit of edge deployments. The high number of edge deployments is encouraging and shows that cybersecurity is no longer an activity performed by a select few. The rapid business and digital transformation of the last two years moved cybersecurity from being a technical issue to a business enabler and requirement.

This report is based on a survey of 1,520 security practitioners from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, India, Singapore, and South Korea conducted during September 2021. Respondents come from organizations with 1,000+ employees, except for public sector and energy and utilities verticals.

Read the full report by AT&T Cyberecurity.

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