2023–24 Thought Leaders: Tim Karamitos
What opportunities do you predict for the growth of your industry in 2024?
Demand for connectivity in emergency services vehicles has been building for a very long time and while the development of the PSMB capability will support better connectivity for critical communications, the rollout of this capability is still several years away. Cradlepoint has already seen increasing demand for in-vehicle cellular connectivity in various industries across Australia. With the advent of LEO satellite technology in Australia, this option is even more attractive for emergency services vehicles. Cradlepoint enables emergency services organisations to seamlessly combine the likes of Starlink with 5G and other WAN sources such as LTE and Wi-Fi as WAN. In moving vehicles, Cradlepoint enables critical applications to move from 4G/5G connectivity in urban areas to LEO satellite in remote areas where there is no cellular connectivity available. Likewise, where a LEO satellite service is degraded or unavailable due to challenges with getting a clear line of sight to the sky (due to buildings for example) or if there are adverse weather conditions, Cradlepoint will switch back to cellular connectivity. Emergency services will start to take advantage of this capability next year.
The benefits don’t stop in vehicles. We’ve seen that on the outskirts of small rural towns in Australia, there is already limited cellular coverage. So in many cases, emergency services can quickly find themselves with no connectivity at all. Using cellular and LEO satellite connectivity together will enable emergency services to have reliable connectivity in rural areas, connecting to cellular towers where they’re available and switching to LEO satellite connectivity where there is no cellular signal, and then back again, in order to keep satellite data costs to a minimum. Cradlepoint also provides a central network management platform (NetCloud Manager), which features true cellular intelligence. It provides a single pane of glass to manage sites, vehicles and IoT by orchestrating policies to ensure applications use the best available WAN source and have the appropriate security protection applied.
What is your company doing to make critical communication accessible and affordable in the current economy?
Whether an organisation’s IT team is large or lean, managing configuration changes, installing security updates, or setting one-off policies on each router within a fleet or across dispersed sites can quickly become expensive and operationally unsustainable. Cradlepoint Wireless WAN solutions are simple to install and manage. NetCloud Manager enables single pane of glass management, with centralised monitoring, configuration, traffic management and troubleshooting for network administrators and IT teams — including a wide array of dashboards with abundant insights and analytics about connection links and security incidents. Because devices are managed through the cloud, it’s far more accessible for organisations with distributed sites, large fleets or lean IT teams.
How can critical comms users protect themselves against data breaches and cyber attacks?
When human factors come into play, achieving absolute foolproof security is challenging. Even with meticulous attention to patching, configuration, implementation of multi-factor authentication and sophisticated threat detection systems, vulnerabilities such as zero-day exploits can pose a challenge. The most robust defence always lies in prevention as opposed to detection, particularly in the realm of the web. Cradlepoint’s Ericom isolation-driven solutions create a barrier between endpoints and the web, where websites are activated and scanned for activated malware in isolated cloud containers, delivering only a safe rendering to the end user. This approach proves equally potent against unaddressed zero-day vulnerabilities and aligns with various E8MM (Essential Eight Maturity Model) mitigation criteria.
What are the biggest challenges or threats facing your industry in 2024?
The biggest threats and challenges arise when organisations don’t embrace change. Everything in technology is changing. The connectivity infrastructure is changing and with that, organisations face new risks. For example, as the use of 5G for business increases, the cyber-attack surface is increasing. To succeed, organisations need to acknowledge that and then embrace it by acting accordingly. SASE and zero trust are especially critical for IoT devices, which are exploding in number and are rapidly becoming favourite targets of bad actors. In-vehicle use cases often transmit confidential information, requiring the data to be secured from end to end. Fixed sites and remote workers also need the broad protection provided by SASE and zero trust because of their frequent web activity and cloud application usage.
As 5G/cellular continues to gain momentum within the enterprise market for both 5G WAN and private cellular networks, Cradlepoint is uniquely positioned to deliver a complete end-to-end 5G/cellular SASE stack. Cradlepoint architecture offers connectivity with 5G; inherent security through zero trust; network slicing-based steering with 5G SD-WAN; and operational simplicity through NetCloud Manager.
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