5G Technology: Driving the Cybersecurity Evolution

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While the proverb ignorance is bliss may be welcomed in situations when one is happier not knowing, in the cyber world, wilful ignorance can cause tremendous harm, opening oneself up to manipulation and attack. Cybersecurity is an essential part of business today, so it is imperative that corporations invest heavily in technology to protect themselves and their clients from a growing legion of sophisticated cyber-criminals who are constantly devising new ways to hack into a system and steal confidential data and personal information. 

This is extremely troublesome in normal times but especially problematic as the world continues to battle a global pandemic that has forced organizations to disperse their employee populations to remote working environments, leaving themselves even more vulnerable to attack. Not surprisingly, cyber-attacks have increased exponentially. 

Cyber-resilience, the ability for a company to deliver intended results despite cyber-attacks, will be very important in this current environment. Digital transformation is a key driver and enabler of the cybersecurity evolution; and for businesses to stay competitive and scale up to their full potential, they must invest heavily in 5G technologies to create new opportunities for cybersecurity advancement. 

5G-Based Technologies and Benefits 

Organizations implementing new security measures and utilizing 5G architecture are in the best position to protect themselves from being targeted. 

It is essential that organizations make a substantial investment in new technologies and IT practices for a robust cybersecurity framework. In addition, they need to have cybersecurity solutions that can scale appropriately as they continue to grow and adapt to the changing work environment. 

The deployment of 5G promises exciting new possibilities for the business world and its ability to enhance security measures and battle cyber-criminals. The use of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT), all enabled by the strong backbone network provided by 5G, will help IT teams prevent new cybersecurity threats to operate entire business networks more securely. 

5G will also leverage network virtualization (NV), which consolidates hardware and software network resources into a single virtual network, to help manage problems remotely and optimize network services. Organizations will need to take advantage of NV to make their networks nimbler and more responsive, and NV will give them the ability to provide real-time services to their clients. 

The high speed offered by 5G will also enable implementation of cyber technologies such as deep packet inspection (DPI), a type of data processing that scrutinizes in detail all data being sent over a computer network. For example, telecom service providers could use DPI to check and handle malicious traffic inserted by cyber-criminals who connect via OTT (over-the-top) channels (providing content over the internet) to spread malware. 

5G-Based Vulnerabilities 

While 5G is transformative with its high speeds and connection capabilities, there are different ways in which 5G can also open doors to new vulnerabilities. 5G will lead to the explosion in IoT and IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) where cybersecurity will be of paramount importance. For example, with these new medical technologies powered by 5G, doctors could put a patch with a cardiac sensor on a patient’s chest, from which they will be able to live stream the ECG (electrocardiogram) data to a cloud server for analysis and interpretation. This is critical data that, if compromised by hackers, can be manipulated, which could lead to an incorrect analysis, diagnosis, and prescribed medication. 

5G technology is two pronged in that it can serve to protect organizations from cyber-criminals looking to exploit network vulnerabilities, but at the same time, it can also create vulnerabilities for businesses as well. With this extremely complicated problem in mind, organizations must redefine their cyber strategy planning to ensure that they can utilize 5G for the greatest good and continually upgrade the nature of their networks to protect themselves from future attacks. Thus, cyber planning and protection must be dynamic rather than reliant on a uniform lowest common denominator solution. 

Cyber Resilience Powered by 5G 

The challenges of securing organizations from cyber-attacks have risen dramatically amid the pandemic as ‘working from anywhere’ has been accepted as part of the ‘new normal’ in our modern corporate culture. Unfortunately, with such a large population of the workforce spending time online from home and elsewhere using multiple devices that are susceptible to attacks, cyber-criminals are easily finding ways to outmanoeuvre their victims. 

Through social engineering scams such as phishing email attacks, hackers are even using devices such as a mobile phone as a weapon against its owner. That is why it is imperative that organizations proactively educate their employees against cyber-attacks. At the same time, organizations must also educate their customers and make them aware of social engineering schemes that can manipulate them into divulging confidential data using their own devices. 

While the rapid shift to a remote workforce has created new opportunities for cyber-criminals, organizations having foresight are proactively shoring up their investments in 5G technology solutions to combat cybercrime and prove that they can operate successfully in a virtual capacity. For organizations trying to stay one step ahead of cyber-attacks on their networks, the need to detect and prevent cybercrime before it has happened is no longer optional but mandatory. 

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