The new U.S. State and Local Government, and Higher Education (SLED) focused Cybersecurity Insights Report, released by AT&T Cybersecurity, highlights how leaders are budgeting differently for the industry’s top edge use cases (including public parking and the use of augmented reality for more immersive learning opportunities), along with their expanded approach to securing edge computing.  

The recent report is a special industry report with a focus on U.S. SLED and derived from the quantitative and qualitative research and analysis conducted for the full 2023 AT&T Cybersecurity Insights Report: Edge Ecosystem. Between July and August 2022, 1,418 security practitioners were surveyed from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, India, Singapore and South Korea.

According to the surveyed SLED respondents, the primary edge use case is building management, which involves hosted HVAC applications, electricity and utility monitoring applications, and various sensors for large buildings. This is a shift from last year’s report, which indicated public safety as the primary use case.

Other report highlights

  • Mobile devices are the top endpoint choice for SLED, accounting for 46% of the device category. In addition, 89% of respondents utilize 4G/LTE cellular networks for edge connectivity. Notably, 51% of the respondents use a combined cybersecurity and networking function located on premises.
  • The top perceived threat in this context is the exfiltration of personal information for the purpose of financial gain or extortion, among other purposes. The vast amounts of personally identifiable information (PII) that is revealed through interactions with many SLED edge computing use cases reinforces the need to protect this information.
  • 84% of SLED use cases involved external firms in crucial project planning processes, and 85% relied on external expertise during production. External advice can streamline processes, save time, and reduce costs (while ensuring data integrity).