Superfast 5G mobile broadband will power smart cities and the internet of things (IoT) devices, but as more and more get connected, telecoms security advisors warn that cyber-attacks could increase in severity and in frequency.
Smart homes adds to the risk
Homes are getting smarter with smart cars, thermostats, video doorbells, internal and external cameras, fridges, washing machines, the list is endless. All connected to the internet with the potential to have their significant quantities of sensitive data being intercepted, hijacked and ransomed.
5G superfast mobile technology is therefore seen as a speedometer that will highten the vunerability of these networks and how readily accessible they might become. Experts forcast that by 2025 there will be 25bn IOT devices connected and are therefore extremely concerned about the future cyber security risk, not just for London and not just for the UK, but across the world.
Security advisors believe that not enough is being done to improve the security of these IOT devices and that it’ll only get worse once they all become 5G connected. Potentially we’ll see increases in spam, phishing and cyber-attacks.
The BBC reported that the CEO of telecom security company Evolved Intelligence, Steve Buck, stated that “5G will power critical infrastructure, so a cyber-attack could stop the country.”
That is a pretty serious statement to make.
Native insecurity is a problem
The danger is that the insecurity of these devices will lead to easy access for hackers to cause enormous damage (remember the NHS attack last year?), compromise the code, hack networks, upload viruses and ransomware finally demanding payment to stop the attacks.
So what can be done about the native lack of security of IOT mixed with superfast 5G connection giving these devices high-speed access to networks, resources and data. Not-to-mention, that these networks will be delivering services across the nation, across the globe, causing thousands of weak spots in networks that could be compromised that will effect thousands of locations and millions of people around the world.
Forward-thinking technology steps are needed
Some experts believe that hardware security needs to be significantly improved to ensure actual chips, memory and CPU cannot be compromised as well as the core software itself.
Increased hardware and software security built into IOT by manufacturers will obviously lead to increased prices to purchase devices due to the high investment in critical security. Others believe that preventing inbound access to these devices is key and putting in place a middle bridge gateway to act as the intermediary to protect the localised locations. As well as monitoring technology that can sense a potential problem and terminate access immediately (for example, CASB software).
Implementing solid two-step verification, such as Two-Factor-Authentication (2FA) linked to our mobile phones will also become a weapon in defence of our devices that we can all setup now (and is already essential in the business technology workplace) and will help the future cyber security crisis. As well as launching tighter security standards for 5G that governments will have to be on board with and commit to, in the same way they have with GDPR.
To read more about the high risks of 5G and IOT, visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45952693