Some praise it; others fear it (to the point of releasing false claims about 5G cybersecurity). Whichever group you belong to, it’s undeniable that the fifth generation of cellular networking is here to deliver the biggest tech advancement we have seen in years.
The opportunity is also present for hackers, who will start to use its vulnerable recency to widespread their cybersecurity.
Let’s see what 5G offers and what is lacking.
But first of all…
What is the 5G Connection
5G is the wireless network technology everyone’s talking about. It’s based on the 802.11ac IEEE standard. Sounds complicated?
To keep it simple: 5G connectivity transmit a considerably higher amount of data than 4G LTE. This translates into fast, consistent, and more powerful connection signals.
It will be capable of supporting more devices than before while consuming less energy.
I know. Your internet connectivity is probably fast enough to not suffer loading issues, but this project aims to avoid the LTE network overload in major cities, where there are more smart devices than people. Also, it plans to reach further geographical capacities.
Think about it: better, faster, and cheaper internet data.
But how good exactly is, in comparison to 4G?
What is the Difference Between 4G and 5G
Here you’ll find the most notable differences between 5G and 4G. Let’s compare the benefits.
- 5G is faster (more bits-per-second traveling the network): Better upload/download speed translates into getting your information in seconds (not minutes or hours).
- 5G is more responsive: It takes less time for devices to connect to network communications.
- 5G uses less power: it switches rapidly to low-energy when omitting cellular radios. It translates to longer battery life (when unplugged) and lowers energy expenses.
- 5G might be cheaper: Less stress on the network, data costs will fall lower than 4G ones.
- 5G is more reliable: expanded radio waves make it possible to connect more devices, at further distances, than 4G.
I think it makes more sense why 5G represents a massive step forward (in comparison).
But not everything in life is perfect. In this case, the most notable challenge with it is its difficulty to install and deploy: more transmitters are needed to cover the same area as 4G.
That only brings a small delay on its rollout. However, it’s Achilles heel resides on the 5G cybersecurity, which must be rethought to avoid a huge collapse as soon is implemented.
What worries cybersecurity experts about 5G?
Top Four 5G Cybersecurity Concerns
With great powers comes great responsibility.
That’s exactly what happens with 5G, where overall upgrades could also mean bigger risks.
Put simply, this affects governments, consumers, and businesses as well.
So we must ALL be aware of the top five 5G cybersecurity concerns listed below:
- 5G’s dynamic systems have more traffic routing points, which makes it harder to do security checks and keep up with its health. And because monitoring is more difficult, then it might get compromised more often than not.
- More IoT devices = more risks to the overall population. Internet of Things gadgets aren’t insecure by default, but it’s true to say that the more connected, possibly more breaches will open as well. You mention it: speakers, door locks, refrigerators, and so… Almost every device that you got at home already has a “smart” version.
- Early adaptation is lacking advanced encryption. Because 5G remains in a middle point of development, then it’s just now easier than ever to target attacks against it – and it will take a few years until all networks are fully secured altogether.
- Volume. Tens of billions of hackable smart devices will connect to 5G very soon. And every industry will cross in-between (medical, transportation, entertainment) so there’s a slight chance of big attacks occurring, all over the world, thanks to smaller unnoticed vulnerabilities.
But don’t fear… Because experts in the field are working day and night to release the most secure version of it. It’s not even the first tech development of its kind.
We have learned a lot from previous generations, so most of the early mistakes are absent from the newest release.
So after all, not everything is a grey color. There must be a way to use 5G in a safe manner.
How To Win The 5G Race
This remains to be the million-dollar question today. The answer?
New approaches towards securing 5G technologies. Down below, you’ll find ideas and expected techniques to improve the approach to 5G cybersecurity.
First of all, we must reverse the cyber-risks underinvestments. What do I mean by that? There’s not a better time than this to invest in protection. Bad actors will also benefit from more advanced technology, which is quite different from traditional means.
This investment must be directed to both the front-end/back-end infrastructure of products and services.
Second, organizations and government leaders must protect 5G providers. As well as support on the planning and implementation of the valuable technology.
Third, everyone needs to let the experts implement the communicational improvements, and for us, to adopt with ease and trust to the deployment. Of course, this is only possible if the two previously mentioned steps are put in place, and we all get prepared.
Fourth, faster improvement and implementation of AI & Machine Learning. If you are familiar with both technologies, then you should know by now that the real-time communication of 5G networks goes hand in hand with AI and ML.
Cameras, sensors, radars, and more gadgets that will perform much better and smoothly.
Fifth, Inspection and certification of individual smart devices. Bigger entities should maintain strict control over all devices manufactured by companies (with no monetary interest).
Only certified items should be shipped and sold.
Too Long; Don’t Read (TL;DR)
Four generations have brought new levels of connectivity and protection, but everything can be seen as a blessing and a curse (depending on where or how you see it).
This is the case with 5G (faster, cheaper, and more powerful) and its cybersecurity (I’m willing to say we aren’t completely ready for it).
So, the best that companies and governmental entities can do, is to make sure it’s deployed the most complete as possible. And for us, to accept its adoption with trust.
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