June 14, 2019

5G and Cyber Security

What is 5G?

                 The new fifth-generation cellular network, known as 5G, is a long awaited update for many mobile phone users. 5G is the new updated and improved mobile phone network to replace the current 4G network. 5G will have far faster speeds than 4G, which has caused a lot of excitement for mobile phone users. Additionally, the extra bandwidth accompanying the new wireless 5G will enable more devices to connect faster to the network with practically zero lag time. With 5G mobile device users will be able to stream videos instantly or download movies in a matter of seconds whereas 4G would take significantly longer. Though there are many benefits that a 5G network will bring, potential risks and threats to cybersecurity need to be taken into account.


5G Concerns for Cybersecurity

Greater Attack Surface

                 The new 5G network contains much advancement with connectivity. The ability of 5G to connect more devices to more networks in less time increases the amount of network endpoints. This could result in potential entrances for a cyberattack. Due to the new high-speed, connective ability, and larger scale of 5G, cybercriminals have greater capabilities to infiltrate networks and gain access to communications and sensitive information. Another concern is that portable devices will have the ability to take down large networks and protected hosts with the 5G network.

Botnet Attacks

                 Botnet attacks on IoT devices are ranked as a top concern by the Neustar International Security Council (NISC). The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is comprised of numerous digital devices other than mobile phones, such as the Amazon Echo, refrigerators, and in-home lighting systems that are connected to one another and are able to share information. Security professionals and organizations are worried about 5G’s ability to compromise IoT devices thus allowing cybercriminals to create stronger Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) assaults. With an increase in connectivity and speeds, 5G opens the doors to botnet attacks.



                 As advancements in technology occur more rapidly than ever, there is growing concern for the current cybersecurity community’s ability to mitigate against new risks and vulnerabilities. The cybersecurity landscape needs to prepare for changing cyber threats in order to reduce the vulnerability of data and communications. New developments in technology, such as 5G, show the importance for businesses to have improved cybersecurity practices and standards for proper defense against cyber risks and threats.