By Raj Sivaraju
India has ushered in the 5G era after years of waiting and constant developments in the technology space. Top telcos like Airtel and Jio recently launched 5G services in several cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata. Soon, other players will follow suit and extend this service to tier 2 and 3 geographies.
The 5G era promises to speed up industry developments and bring transformations like never before. But unfortunately, cyber risks also increase as a result. It is thus more crucial than ever for businesses and organizations to update their security protocols to stay safe in the 5G environment.
This article will discuss the top cybersecurity challenges that firms may face in the 5G-driven future.
What makes 5G prone to cyberattacks?
Just like 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency will enable many industries to operate more efficiently, it will also empower threat actors to launch more innovative and precise attacks.
The existing 4G and LTE networks offer limited speed and capacity, which means fewer traffic points of contact, making it easier for service providers to perform security checks. But 5G, on the other hand, has significant bandwidth and requires an increased number of access points and network edges – giving a broader attack surface for threat actors.
We must also understand that 5G is built on a foundation of legacy technologies (4G LTE). Hence, it is exposed to the same vulnerabilities as a 4G network. Similarly, 5G implementation calls for a risk management framework that syncs with the flexibility and programmability of network services and traffic flows.
Some expected cyber threats in the wake of 5G include Botnet attacks, DDoS (Distributed denial-of-service), and MiTM (Man-in-the-Middle). It will also allow attackers to track location and intercept calls even with access to a small amount of information. As a result, firms must pay close attention to these aspects while upgrading their infrastructure to 5G.
Possible solutions to tackle cyber threats
Indeed, 5G will transform the overall business landscape in India. But organizations still need to stay vigilant while adapting to this transition. They must invest in robust security measures like using a VPN to prevent strangers from accessing the device, updating IoT devices with the latest security patches, and setting up strong passwords from time to time to ensure trespassers don’t enter the system.
Companies must host training sessions and workshops to educate employees about recent cybersecurity developments and how they can quickly respond to attacks to minimize their overall impact. It is also recommended to onboard a leading cybersecurity firm that understands your security gaps and bridges them with top-notch incident response and advisory services.
Cyber threats are inevitable, and nobody is 100% secure. But despite this, it is wise to have a world-class security partner backing you as they will help you recover and restore normal operations within a few days while strengthening your cybersecurity infrastructure to combat future incidents.
The implementation of 5G is an ongoing process. Its country-wide adoption will take some time. However, organizations must be well-equipped to adapt quickly to this transition in order to stay relevant in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. They must be highly cautious in reshaping or upgrading their security infrastructure.
It is crucial to hire the right talent for your internal security/IT team and to train and upskill them regularly to stay aware of the changing threat environment and to offer the best solutions to address the problems.
The author is president, APAC, Arete. Views are personal.