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Make no mistake, along with its multitude of benefits, the new 5G wireless network also comes with considerable risks.

Vastly increased numbers of devices and an elevated use of virtualization and the cloud will mean many more 5G security threats and a broader, multifaceted attack surface. To realize a strong and healthy communications future, it is advised that the wireless industry maintain a laser focus on 5G security.

For example, the much ballyhooed autonomous vehicles will be a marvel due to 5G’s interconnectivity and low latency. However, the threat of cyberattacks are expected to rise due to the increased interconnectivity of internet of things (IoT) devices and the vulnerability that comes with so many more entry points of attack.

The healthcare field is another example. Expanded capabilities of 5G technology will help with a faster transfer of large patient files, remote surgery and remote patient monitoring. However, associated risks include medical identify theft, invasion of health privacy and medical data management. A well regarded report stated that the healthcare industry was already the target of pre-5G attacks in 2017, suffering 40% of data breaches. Massive connectivity of things will not lessen the problem.

Smart home, another example, will require stronger methods of authentication. Some kind of rigid biometric identification could come in the form of everything from fingerprint-access door locks to voice/face recognition or even the reading of eyes.

In general, IoT devices and sensors will demand more complex authentication to prevent unauthorized access.

There is also considerable trepidation among cybersecurity personnel regarding the new cloud virtualization technologies. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) for example are expected to take off due to advances of 5G wireless networking. But the elements that make these technologies useful – open, flexible, programmable nature – also makes them a vulnerability.

For example, security experts fear a network element of an SDN such as the management interfaces could be used to attack the SDN controller or management system and bring down the entire system.

Want to know more about 5G cybersecurity issues? Tonex offers 5G Cybersecurity Bootcamp | 3GPP Version, a thorough 4-day course that is a combination of theoretical lectures and practical insight that helps participants gain in-depth knowledge about the current and future state of 5G mobile technology, architecture, protocols and 5G cybersecurity.

Additionally, Tonex offers nearly a dozen other Wireless Security Training courses.

Contact us for more information, questions, comments.

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