The cyberthreat from 5G networks
If you thought that the change from 4G to 5G simply meant you’d get quicker downloads on your mobile, think again. Unlike all the previous generations of mobile data, which required hardware and physical infrastructure when an upgrade to a network was needed, 5G heralds an era when upgrades will be software driven.
It’s more convenient, of course, but crucially, the hardware elements that earlier systems used to mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks have been replaced by software, and sadly more software means more risk.
When the US Government chose to ban Huawei, fearing vulnerabilities in the company’s processes, it was recognising the potential problems. Hackers have more to attack and single providers can be viewed as too risky for critical processes. Instead of putting all their eggs in one basket, organisations are favouring multi-vendor or open network cores. But in terms of the specific risks to your organisation, what are they, and what can you do to minimise them?
Essentially risks fall into the same groups as previously: data breaches, thefts of information and systems being taken down. However, the nature of 5G and its speed means it could be more challenging to detect or stop a cyberattack. A lot of information can be stolen very swiftly on a fast network. Furthermore, because 5G allows us to connect far more devices, there are more places where security can be breached. This is especially risky because many devices, including wearable tech and smart-home gadgets, don’t have inbuilt defences.
It’s never been a good idea to underestimate the threat posed by cybercrime. But now 5G, along with its obvious benefits has changed the threat landscape. Providers must step up to the task of defending their networks and their customers.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can best protect your systems, your devices and your organisation, do get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.