5G: New Possibilities, New Threats

Aashish Yadav | May 19, 2022 | 246 views

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5G is the next generation of mobile networks, and its introduction marks the beginning of a new era in the world of networking and cybersecurity. The fifth generation of mobile networks is not only faster than all the previous ‘Gs’ that were launched but also offers new and exciting opportunities for businesses. It is expected to be a game-changer for the business world because of its capabilities to expand business offerings and connect to the IoT.

Let's delve into the insights about the new possibilities 5G technology brings for businesses.


New Technology: Possibilities 5G Technology Brings In for Businesses

Among the most significant benefits of 5G technology is the potential for employees to achieve more in less time, which increases revenue and reduces costs. The tremendous jump in connectivity provided by 5G will generate considerable opportunity for a wide range of industries from healthcare to retail to fintech. According to a study by IHS Markit, the global economy will be worth $13.2 trillion by 2035. This will create 22.3 million jobs in the 5G global value chain alone. 


Increased IoT Capabilities

IoT devices are notoriously vulnerable due to their ease of use and connection.
In 2020, Forescout Research found 33 IoT vulnerabilities affecting four open-source TCP/IP stacks (FNET, uIP, Nut/Net, and PicoTCP). According to Forescount, these stacks power millions of devices worldwide.

The enormous development of IoT systems has been fueled by consumer devices, business network appliances, and industrial IoT (IIoT) devices. 5G will improve various IoT functionalities and provide critical upgrades to entire networks without pausing functionality, freezing operations or overloading servers.


Bridging the Skills Gap

Because of advancements in video and remote technologies, 5G will also tremendously benefit small businesses by enhancing hiring processes and assisting business owners in hiring suitable talent to contribute to their business development and help their businesses grow. 5G breaks down barriers to hiring by letting companies find, interview, narrow down, and hire the best people worldwide.


Cost Savings

5G is expected to enhance the battery life of devices such as laptops by up to ten times. As a result, companies will see cost savings by lowering the quantity of hardware and IT infrastructure required. This represents a move away from a hardware-driven economy and into an economy that is majorly anchored on software and systems. Savings on decreased administration and other operations can permeate the organization and eventually contribute to the bottom line.


New Threats: 5G Cybersecurity Risks

Like every technology born, even 5G networks face various threats. Some are passed down from previous generations and legacy standards, while others are new threats associated with the software-defined networking technology owing to 5G. Below are some of the 5G security issues that businesses can tackle with the help of additional cybersecurity measures.


Inherited & Emerging Vulnerabilities

Compared to earlier generations of wireless networks, 5G is designed to be more secure. For backward compatibility, 5G must still be able to communicate with older standards. In the absence of a security-minded approach, this compatibility requirement assures that the flaws discovered in the outdated SS7 and Diameter protocols utilized by 2G and 4G networks can still haunt a new 5G-based network architecture.


Growing Supply Chain Concerns

As a result of government intervention in the development of telecom equipment, 5G security risks have been politicized. The use of 5G infrastructure equipment sold by Chinese vendors like ZTE and Huawei is banned in various countries, including the United Kingdom, India, and the United States. These regulations were put in place because of fears that Chinese governmental control over these 5G equipment vendors could undermine the design and data security of 5G equipment offered by these companies.


Decentralized security

In 5G networks, traditional security checkpoints like hub-and-spoke hardware-based routers have been replaced by cloud of software-defined digital routers that can't be looked at or managed. With more routing points and devices, as well as quicker speeds that favor smash-and-grab attackers, security teams must depend on automated monitoring and create innovative methods to address the rising security vulnerabilities.


More IoT Devices

Not all manufacturers are emphasizing cybersecurity, as seen with many low-end smart devices. 5G means more effectiveness and possibilities for the Internet of Things (IoT). As the number of connected devices grows, so does the number of prospective areas of attack. Devices such as a fish tank thermometer and a smart TV are examples of devices that might weaken the network. Network breaches and hacking could become more frequent because of the absence of security standards for IoT devices.


Overcoming 5G Security Challenges

Even if the new 5G technology doesn't fundamentally impact the measures that businesses must take to secure their assets, it does reduce the margin for error and raise the stakes in the event of a failure. Many strategies for dealing with existing network security issues apply equally well to 5G security threats.


Strengthen Existing Cybersecurity Measures

As we know, most security threats to 5G technology originate from previous generations. Businesses should continue to use existing security techniques to combat such attacks. Businesses must strengthen their existing security equipment to make those strategies more effective. Also, it is essential to educate users in order to minimize human errors that can compromise data and network security.


Regular Infrastructure Audit

When it comes to data exfiltration, a bad actor's dream is a company's blind spots. You'll need to audit your company's personnel infrastructure. You should also keep an eye on 4G-related vulnerabilities that could continue to harm older devices and networks.


Deploy AI & ML for Protection

Security providers are embedding AI and machine learning (ML) into their products and services to combat more complex cyberattacks. Experts believe that AI and machine learning systems can grow with the threat matrix, learning to detect and eliminate threats before they breach critical systems and put lives and sensitive data at risk. This will greatly help secure the network and safeguard the data stored in the cloud.


IoT Management Solutions

As 5G devices become available on mobile device management software, it is essential to control them to ensure device security. To secure the devices that will use 5G technology, you must look for a device management system that can evolve with the demands of your business. Look for a system that focuses on IoT management particularly.


Tech Manufacturers Should Develop Secured Products

5G will double the number of connected devices while increasing speed and bandwidth. Unfortunately, many IoT devices are fundamentally insecure, making them obvious targets for hackers. Each insecure IoT device on a company's network offers an additional possible attack route. To prevent IoT devices from being vulnerable targets for cybercriminals, manufacturers must make them more secure. Also, the IoT Cybersecurity Act, which applies to government contractors, was passed by the US Congress. However, regulation of industry suppliers is still not good enough.


Key Elements for 5G Cybersecurity for Businesses



 

Conclusion

5G technology will be embraced despite all the challenges since it promises to provide businesses with a powerful new tool capable of driving faster, broader IoT deployments and a competitive advantage in the market. One harsh reality of the digital age is that risks will always exist. In line with the birth of every new technology, new threats are also born, and in the same manner, even solutions emerge. Businesses can overcome all challenges and eliminate all 5G security threats by implementing proper measures. 5G, IoT, AI, and ML are all part of the global tech revolution; leverage these technologies today to position yourself as a leader of tomorrow.


FAQ


What is the frequency of 5G?

Verizon's millimeter wavelength (mmWave)-based 5G Ultra Wideband runs at frequencies between 28 and 39GHz. This is far higher than the frequency used by 4G networks, which ranges between 700 and 2500 MHz.


What are the fundamental technologies that makeup 5G?

OFDM (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) is a way of modulating a digital signal over several channels to decrease interference. 5G employs the 5G NR air interface in conjunction with OFDM principles. 5G also makes use of higher bandwidth technologies like sub-6 GHz and mmWave.


Why does a businessperson need 5G training?

Faster connections mean more efficient business operations for your organization. Employees can anticipate that 5G will improve internal and external communications, allowing for better flexibility and time efficiency. Employees should also expect less restriction on where they can work, open doors during office hours, the ability to work from home, and a much better balance between work and life.

Spotlight

rSolutions Corporation

Your trusted Information Security and Big Data Analytics advisors. rSolutions is focused on exceptional client experiences, fast time-to-value and on-going care after the sale to help companies maximize their investment and satisfaction with the technologies we help deploy. All data is security relevant where cyber security and business intelligence meet. We offer the power of Splunk Elite Partner status for those seeking to unlock the power of their data, with a impressive compliment of security product vendors that make the rSolutions security focus second to none.

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GuidePoint Security Launches Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security Service Offerings

GuidePoint Security | September 28, 2022

GuidePoint Security, a cybersecurity solutions leader enabling organizations to make smarter decisions and minimize risk, today announced the availability of its ICS Security Services. These service offerings include a Security Program Review, Security Architecture Review and ICS Penetration Testing that collectively are designed to provide an organization with a holistic view of their entire ICS security posture. Traditionally, Operational Technology (OT) environments were kept separate and isolated from the traditional IT infrastructure. Today, ICS environments have emerged from the combination of IT and OT (Industry 4.0), introducing new features and easier management, but also creating new vulnerabilities and attack vectors. For example, an OT environment can be breached by an attack that comes through the IT environment. With GuidePoint’s ICS Security Services, organizations can ensure they have visibility across not only their OT environment, but also their broader organization. “The convergence of OT and traditional IT infrastructure into ICS environments has led to easier operational oversight, but it also introduces new avenues for attackers to exploit,” said Pascal Ackerman, Sr. Security Consultant - Operational Technology. “Through the combined expertise of our Governance, Risk and Compliance, Security Architecture, and ICS penetration testing practices, we can provide customers with an assessment of their entire ICS security posture, evaluating every angle of their environment.” GuidePoint’s ICS Security Service offerings include: Security Program Review (SPR): The SPR evaluates and measures an organization’s security program maturity and is based on the framework chosen by the customer, including, but not limited to: NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), NIST 800 82, CIS Controls, ISO/IEC 62443, ISO 27001, C2M2, FERC/NERC-CIP, CISA TSS and ITU CIIP. With GuidePoint’s SPR offering, organizations can better assess their security program and its maturity level, and build or enhance their existing program to ensure it is right-sized to their unique requirements. ICS Security Architecture Review (SAR): The SAR evaluates an organization’s security capabilities to ensure deployed technologies are aligned with relevant compliance requirements. GuidePoint’s team of experts provides industry-recommended enhancements to an organization’s existing solutions as well as recommendations for new controls to augment and further mature security practices. ICS Penetration Testing: This service goes beyond a typical OT pentest by combining best-in-class IT and OT pentesting methodologies to form a holistic offering that will assess all security aspects of the production environment. Organizations gain real-life, actionable results based on proven ICS (IT and OT) penetration testing methods and techniques. These ICS Security Services round out a complete portfolio of cyber-focused Governance, Risk and Compliance offerings, Security Architecture Reviews, as well as Threat and Attack Simulation Services, to ensure the security of customers’ environments. About GuidePoint Security GuidePoint Security provides trusted cybersecurity expertise, solutions and services that help organizations make better decisions that minimize risk. Our experts act as your trusted advisor to understand your business and challenges, helping you through an evaluation of your cybersecurity posture and ecosystem to expose risks, optimize resources and implement best-fit solutions. GuidePoint’s unmatched expertise has enabled a third of Fortune 500 companies and more than half of the U.S. government cabinet-level agencies to improve their security posture and reduce risk.

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