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The 5G threat landscape is complex because it combines the 5G stack with traditional IP-based legacy threats as well as threats introduced by virtualization technology.

Various studies, including the ENISA Threat Landscape for 5G Networks, provide in-depth analyses of technical and other threats. The biggest security challenges stem from innovations at the core of 5G technology and the emergence of a new supply chain of multiple individual software vendors. In the global context, one important factor is a lack of trust in the small group of 5G core infrastructure suppliers.

One specific challenge involves new supply chains and the heavy reliance on software vendors. This is because 5G makes use of Software Defined Network technology (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), entailing a shift from hardware specialization to specialization within the software stack.

While this makes software patch updates easier, it also clears the way for many new developers to venture into the 5G market. The degree of reliance on and the quality of these software vendors thus determine the robustness and security of 5G applications. Critical factors in this respect are the software development life cycle (SDLC), secure coding principles, and assurances concerning software vendors’ security management processes.

A lot of thought has been going into 5G cybersecurity measures especially in regards to the infiltration of portals made possible by massive IoT connectivity. One solution is Authentication Systems.

To identify various devices on a 5G network, providers could use authentication systems, which have also undergone significant evolution between 4G and 5G. Many authentication models are supported, all of which are radio access network (RAN) independent, meaning they can run, for example, over Wi-Fi.

Given the number of devices gathering data in massive IoT networks, like connected city infrastructure and hospital systems or smart offices and homes, strong device authentication is essential for 5G security.

Investment in secure biometric authentication systems can prevent identity theft and unauthorized access to devices.

Additionally, 3GPP has designed and specified the 5G Core Network to include many new cybersecurity features and capabilities that improve upon 4G LTE. These new features are intended to strengthen the security posture of the network while addressing known risks associated with previous generations of mobile networks.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers 5G Cybersecurity Training Bootcamp, a 4-day course that  focuses on 5G cybersecurity issues and mitigation techniques.

The scope of this training is to leverage the 5G security features which are defined in standards to provide enhanced cybersecurity capabilities addressing needs for service providers, network equipment manufacturers, software vendors and end-user devices. 

Tonex offers more than three dozen additional courses in 5G Wireless such as:

5G Network Essentials (2 days)

5G Position and Location Services (2 days)

5G RF Engineering Training Bootcamp (3 days)

5G for Federal Government (2 days)

Fundamentals of 5G Network Slicing (2 days)

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