5G Networks Lack Adequate Cloud Security

5G systems provide accelerated communications, but they can be a target for cyber attacks if they are not properly secured. 5G, with its promised high-speed, low-latency performance, is finally here and with it a plethora of intriguing cloud computing developments loom.  

It seems almost impossible to overstate as 5G’s impact on the ability to create, store, use, and share data will be felt across most business sectors, especially those using the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and machine learning.  

Already redefining business networks, 5G will also shift the role that cloud computing and networks play in storing, moving, and accessing data as innovation drives and creates more technological applications for digital business transformation. However the nature of 5G networks exacerbates the cyber security threat. Fifth-generation networking is inherently cloud-based and the recommended mitigations go far beyond the implementation of multifactor authentication to validate user identity. 

5G systems provide accelerated communications, but they can be a target to cyber attacks if they are not properly secured. 

Major US federal agencies have released the first in a series of reports detailing their expectations for providers of fifth-generation networking equipment and services. Addressing cloud providers and mobile operators, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said: “5G networks should assign unique identities to all elements (and preferably to each interface) that will communicate to other elements in the 5G network”.

The report focuses on preventing and detecting lateral movement so that if one cloud resource is affected the entire network doesn’t become compromised.

Overcoming confusion around the shared responsibility model for cloud security has been part of the challenge. “Cloud providers and mobile network operators may share security responsibilities in a manner that requires the operators to take responsibility to secure their tenancy ‘in the cloud,’” the report says.  

Military Application Of Cloud Enabled 5G

The US Dept. of Defense and its component forces are focused on the need for increased connectivity in their military operations and the Pentagon has been planning a shift to fifth-generation communication technology. The technology that is being used to advance commercial industries has various applications in the military field.

A 5G-enabled “network of networks” established by Lockheed Martin integrates military and enterprise networks, and leverages existing telecommunication infrastructure technology. Lockheed aims is to enable seamless, resilient and secure connectivity and data flow across all battlefield assets in order to deliver prompt and decisive action on the battlefield.

5G networks are designed to be more secure than previous technology generations by providing link layer protection to prevent eavesdropping and tampering of data in transit. but no network technology provides end-to-end security. 

CISA and the NSA said that 5G service providers and system integrators must measures to block and detect lateral movement in the 5G cloud. To counter threats it is vital that 5G cloud infrastructures be built and configured securely, with capabilities in place to detect and respond to threats, providing a hardened environment for deploying secure network functions. 

GSMA Intelligence:    ITPro:    Nextgov:    I-HLS:   Brookings:    I-HLS:   Bleeping Computer:   IT Business Edge

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