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5G ushered in new tech advancement opportunities and innovation – as well as new security concerns.

5G is faster than its predecessor 4G, more responsive, uses less power, has much lower latency and can carry more devices. In other words, 5G is a massive step forward for cellular.

But 5G security is a massive headache for organizations trying desperately to deflect cyber-attacks.

Some of the security worries result from the network itself, while others involve the devices connecting to 5G. But both aspects put consumers, governments and businesses at risk.

For one thing, Pre-5G networks had less hardware traffic points-of-contact, which made it easier to do security checks and upkeep. 5G’s dynamic software-based systems have far more traffic routing points. To be completely secure, all of these need to be monitored. Since this has proven difficult, any unsecured areas might compromise other parts of the network.

Another principal 5G security issue centers around the reality that many IoT devices are manufactured with a lack of security. 

Not all manufacturers are prioritizing cybersecurity, as seen with many low-end smart devices. 5G means more utility and potential for IoT. As more devices are encouraged to connect, billions of devices with varied security means billions of possible breach points.

Smart TVs, door locks, refrigerators, speakers, and even minor devices like a thermometer for a fish tank can be a network weakness. A lack of security standards for IoT devices means network breaches and hacking have the potential to run rampant.

Fortunately, efforts to improve security are happening alongside the initial rollout of 5G. But because society needs real-world results to refine the protections, work will continue long after 5G is totally deployed.

5G cybersecurity specialists believe consumer education on IoT cybersecurity is mandatory.The wide variation in security quality means product labeling standards are badly needed.

Because users have no way to easily know how safe IoT devices are, smart tech manufacturers might start to be held accountable with a label system. The FCC grades other forms of radio transmission, so the growing market of IoT devices may soon be included.

Also, users need to be taught the importance of securing all internet devices with software updates.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Fundamentals of 5G and 5G Security Training, a 2-day course designed for systems engineers, hardware and software engineers, managers, and employees with little or no 5G or 5G security experience. The course is also useful for those who have experience with 5G or 5G security but have never had any formal training on the standard.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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