Cybersecurity professionals are worried about 5G.
For one thing, the dramatic expansion of bandwidth that makes 5G a game-changing reality also makes 5G more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
The issue is that low-cost, small-cell antennas deployed throughout urban areas become new hard targets for cyber criminals. These small cell sites use Dynamic Spectrum Sharing. This is where multiple streams of information share the bandwidth in what is known as slices. Unfortunately, each slice has its own degree of cyber risk associated with it.
An additional problem area involves software. Essentially, the 5G network is moving away from centralized, hardware-based switching to distributed, software-defined digital routing. Previous networks were hub-and-spoke designs in which everything came to hardware choke points where cyber hygiene could be practiced. In the 5G software defined network, however, that activity is pushed outward to a web of digital routers throughout the network, thus denying the potential for chokepoint inspection and control.
When software allows the functions of the network to shift dynamically, cyber protection must also be dynamic rather than relying on a uniform lowest common denominator solution.
It also doesn’t help security concerns that the 5G network is essentially being managed by software that in itself is a vulnerability. Cybercriminals who gain control of software that manages the 5G network essentially will be able to control the network.
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