5G Will Disrupt Cyber Security

Cyber security has become an essential part of business and organisations need to strategically plan their investments in technology for both cyber security for commercial development and IT security. The introduction of 5G networks will enable the connection for billions of new devices, sensors, and systems that will intelligently connect to the network based on their time sensitivity and computational needs. 

Digital transformation needs to be planned so businesses can stay competitive and they should invest in 5G technologies to create new opportunities for cyber security protection. This is really important, as  cyber criminals are constantly devising new ways to hack into a system and steal confidential data and personal information. 

5G will be a physical overhaul of our essential networks that will have decades-long impact. Because 5G is the conversion to a mostly all-software network, future upgrades will be software updates much like the current upgrades to your smartphone. Because of the cyber vulnerabilities of software, the tougher part of the real 5G “race” is to retool how we secure the most important network of the 21st century and the ecosystem of devices and applications that spring from that network.

5G Technologies & Benefits 

Organisations and businesses that use 5G architecture are in the best position to protect themselves from being targeted and hacked.  The engagement with 5G offers new possibilities for the business world and its ability to enhance security measures and battle cyber criminals. The use of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT), all enabled by the strong backbone network provided by 5G and this will help IT teams prevent new cyber security threats to operate entire business networks more securely. 

5G will also leverage network virtualisation (NV), which consolidates hardware and software network resources into a single virtual network, to help manage problems remotely and optimize network services. Organisations will need to take advantage of NV to make their networks nimbler and more responsive, and NV will give them the ability to provide real-time services to their clients. 

The high speed offered by 5G will also enable implementation of cyber technologies such as deep packet inspection (DPI), a type of data processing that interrogates in detail all data being sent over a computer network. 

5G-Based Vulnerabilities 

While 5G is transformative with its high speeds and connection capabilities, there are different ways in which 5G can also open doors to new vulnerabilities. 5G will lead to the explosion in IoT and IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) where cybersecurity will be of paramount importance.  5G technology is two pronged in that it can serve to protect organisations from cyber-criminals looking to exploit network vulnerabilities, but at the same time, it can also create vulnerabilities for businesses as well. 

With this extremely complicated problem in mind, organisations must redefine their cyber security strategic planning to ensure that they can utilize 5G for the greatest good and continually upgrade the nature of their networks to protect themselves from future attacks. Cyber planning and protection must be dynamic rather than reliant on a uniform lowest common denominator solution. 

5G Cyber Resilience 

The challenges of securing organisations from cyber attacks have risen dramatically amid the pandemic as ‘working from anywhere’ has been accepted as part of the ‘new normal’ in modern corporate culture. Unfortunately, with such a large population of the workforce spending time online from home and elsewhere using multiple devices that are susceptible to attacks, cyber criminals are easily finding ways to outsmart their victims. 

Through social engineering scams such as phishing email attacks, hackers are even using devices such as a mobile phone as a weapon against its owner. That is why it is imperative that organisations pro-actively educate their employees against cyber attacks. At the same time, organisations must also educate their customers and make them aware of social engineering schemes that can manipulate them into divulging confidential data using their own devices. 

While the rapid shift to a remote workforce has created new opportunities for cyber criminals, organisations having foresight are proactively shoring up their investments in 5G technology solutions to combat cyber crime and prove that they can operate successfully in a virtual capacity. 

For organisations trying to stay one step ahead of cyber- attacks on their networks, the need to detect and prevent cyber crime before it has happened is no longer optional but mandatory. 

As the US moves closer to widespread 5G adoption, both government and industry must begin to consider the security implications for the new wireless technology.  To help with that, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published a report with the aim to secure the state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure from bad actors.

The transition to 5G presents a wealth of opportunities and new capabilities, changing the way the world communicates and shares information. With increased capabilities like faster download speeds and ultra-reliable connectivity, 5G networks will spark an industrial revolution that will enable the development of many new and enhanced services like autonomous vehicles, smart cities, augmented reality, and remote surgery. 

Given the potential for various applications and reliance of the network for future infrastructure, the stakes for safeguarding the network against these vulnerabilities could not be higher. 

Brookings Institute:         CISA:         GovTech:       Infosecurity Magazine:      Image: Unsplash

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