How can we make sure 5G is secure?

The roll-out of 5G is fundamentally changing the world we live in. With this technology enabling us to be more connected than ever before, we can expect huge advances in autonomous vehicles, connected homes, and eHealth.

Yet with all these new devices connected to the 5G network, it is important to understand what cybersecurity risks could occur on this vast network and how to address them – as this will be the key to protecting end-users. Learn more about the cybersecurity risks of 5G and what can be done to mitigate them below.

 

How do the security risks of 5G compare to 3G and 4G?

When looking at the cybersecurity of 5G, it is important to understand that many of the security threats surrounding 5G, for example, eavesdropping, denial of service and man in the middle attacks, also existed for 4G and 3G networks. As such, 5G developers have been able to consider these established threats when designing and deploying the network – in order to give it the best protection possible.

However, because the nature of the network is more complex than its predecessors, all the new elements that needed to use the technology must also be secured.

 

Why does 5G present security risks?

There are two key use cases of 5G that will need to be secured for the first time on a big scale with 5G, as they were only possible in a limited way with 4G or 3G. These are slicing and network virtualisation.

Slicing – A network slice is an isolated end-to-end network tailored to fulfil your requirements with a customised latency and bandwidth. For example, you can have one slice specifically for mobile broadband, and another for machine-to-machine connectivity. Each of these would have different speeds and capabilities, optimised for the use case.

Network Virtualisation – Cloud native virtualisation is the technology that creates these slices by partitioning the network. By replacing hardware-based network functions with software-based ones, virtualisation reduces system cost, provides power savings, and increases flexibility.

We must be able to ensure an adequate level of security on these slices and networks to fully secure 5G.

 

How to mitigate security risks from 5G

For starters, the regulation and standardisation of 5G is exceptionally important to the overall security of 5G. Governments and industry bodies across the world have already begun defining what the mitigation measures will need to be in place before the widespread roll-out of 5G.

Next, companies seeking to provide their customers with devices that will use 5G, highly secure tamper-resistant, certifiable hardware like 5G SIM cards is a vital way to help bolster security for users.

And finally, on the network side, companies will need to use Hardware Security Modules to keep data encrypted and secure operations consistently within and between the cloud.

We hoped this post helped you learn more about the cybersecurity of 5G. If you have any other questions leave a comment below.

You can also read our other 5G posts here: