5G Technology and Cybersecurity

Rina Richell
SEO Analytics Manager

The rave that came in with the advent of 5G Technology was well-founded with the promise of promoting smart cities, a much faster internet connection for cell phones, and faster data download and upload speeds. This technology, by every standard, deserves to be received and celebrated. With the advancement of 5G came new possibilities not previously seen in technology. 5G Technology provides the possibility of increased speed of operation. Furthermore, Network Virtualization (NV) unifies hardware and software network resources into one virtual network to make the best use of network services.

However, as 5G Technology provides tremendous opportunities online, it also poses cybersecurity challenges. This begs the question: What are the challenges with 5G Technology and Cybersecurity?

5G Technology and Cybersecurity Challenges

The release of 5G has brought about increased insecurities in network systems. The network’s swiftness and its advantages over other networks opens up users to cybersecurity issues. Some of these include the following:

1. Increased Bandwidth Size and More Connected Devices

It is great news that 5G Technology comes with faster speed and higher bandwidth; however, cybercriminals will use this to their advantage. The higher the bandwidth, the more bad actors have the proclivity to attack an organization’s network. 

Moreover, with the promise of faster speeds, also comes the inevitable fact more devices will continue to be connected. This also brings more risk, as connected devices are some of the main targets of cyber-attacks. If competing manufacturers are in a race to release their newest devices (5G Tech means more potential for IoT/connected devices), not all are concerned with security. With a lack of security concern for some IoT devices, even minor devices (think Smart thermostats, baby monitors, speakers) can be a targeted weakness. Cybercriminals now have more sophisticated weapons at their disposal due to 5G Technology.

5G Tech increases the attack surface for cybercriminals, thus introducing newer vulnerabilities available for exploitation. Furthermore, an unintentional vulnerability introduction can be caused to the 5G supply chain.

2. Ineffectiveness of Manual Operations

5G’s infrastructure is a complex security system; therefore, making manual interventions not effective enough to stop threats. Multiple levels require security, such as the numerous domains and combinations of various deployments. This sophistication makes security far more automated and far less manual.

3. Lack of Responsibility

Builders of technology should be responsible for implementing specific security measures. There were many participants in the race to build this new network. Different parties tried to get it launched first for political and economic reasons. Each participant in the race was dependent on the other.

Notably, with a limited 5G Tech marketplace competition, more third-party solutions will be developed from unreliable vendors.

4. Legacy Technology in a 5G Technology World

5G Technology is 100 times faster than its predecessor, 4G Technology, and this can be a considerable disadvantage to network users. Imagine protecting your data with 4G Technology while a cybercriminal is trying to hack into your data with 5G Technology. Your data encryption may not stand a chance against the sophistication of the new network. This new technology implies that the user has a more serious responsibility towards data encryption. 

Karsten Nohl, founder of the security research firm SRLabs says “5G is a big step forward on several fronts, but won’t actually provide a full security upgrade until we see pure 5G networks with no legacy tech—so not for another 10 years or more.”  

How to Maintain Good Cybersecurity Posture in a 5G World

Every user of 5G Technology will realize at some point or another that securing their data is ultimately their responsibility. This being the case, ignorance will not save against hackers and other cybersecurity threats. Conscious efforts must be made to ensure your data security. What do you do to ensure that your network systems are protected in this 5G world?  Consider the following:

Technology Upgrade

Individuals and companies alike must consciously make efforts to secure their data through sophisticated means. If not, users will be left vulnerable to bad actors. Upgrading devices, systems, and networks must be of utmost importance. Furthermore, keeping all IoT devices updated with security patches is also a must.

5G Technology and Cybersecurity: Tools to Explore

Explore options with residential proxies and Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Along with proxies, which your data can be secured, using a VPN is a highly effective means of data encryption and, ultimately, cybersecurity. VPNs protect the user’s IP address and hides their location information. This improves chances of securing your information and hiding your system from becoming a target of cyber-attacks. 

Maintaining security is an ongoing task and one that should be approached with best practices. Another option to explore is Zero Trust framework. Zero Trust can be understood by the name itself, ‘zero trust’, meaning the framework trusts no one and nothing. Even though 5G Tech is active, there is still a necessity for proper IoT cybersecurity education for consumers. Such a new technology will continue to have improvements. 

Conclusion

There is no doubt that 5G Technology is an enormous addition to the cyber world. It provides newer and faster opportunities/benefits for all users. However, like many other developments, it comes with downsides. To protect against increased threats, users must explore cybersecurity options and tools available to thwart cyber-attacks. 5G Technology and cybersecurity has its challenges; however, it also has its advantages.


Rina Richell

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