What 5G Upgrades Mean For Cybersecurity

We’re closing out National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, an annual collaboration between the government and industry leaders to raise awareness about cybersecurity. While cloud security issues and biometric authentication are major cybersecurity challenges today, 5G technology may be the foremost cybersecurity threat of tomorrow. 

While carriers are starting to roll out early stages of 5G this year, they expect to roll out on a massive scale in 2020. At up to 10x times the speed of 4G, 5G networks will enable government to create new and exciting solutions — but also redefine how they evaluate cybersecurity. 

Here are a few of the unique challenges 5G presents to cyber safety:

Everything online. 5G’s promise of “ubiquitous connectivity” means hackers can target more devices and instigate widespread cyber attacks. 

From hardware to software. 5G’s focus on software-defined network components complicates  the concept of a universal cybersecurity solution, and no more centralized point for cybersecurity inspection.

Internet of Things (IoT). Experts predict more than 36 billion new devices will be connected to the Internet following the 2020 5G launch — and that’s 36 billion new vulnerabilities. IoT devices can be anything from a security camera to your Alexa, and they offer an easy and unprotected access point to valuable data. 

Government is already rising to meet the challenge with support from both sides of the aisle. According to Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va, the potential threat is great enough to create a bipartisan awareness on Capitol Hill and an understanding that traditional market forces may not resolve the issue. 

Although 5G comes with new risks, it’s widely agreed that 5G is still the safer, more secure option. 5G offers better data encryption and network user verification as well as better support for smart grids and remote medicine.


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