As a technology standard for broadband cellular networks, it is reasonable to think of 5G as a hardware-based entity. However, much of the 5G architecture and network mechanics are based on software components. In fact, the focal point of 5G is the joining together of precisely designed pieces of software code.
The formation of 5G itself is a complex procedure, as is its broader deployment to the world’s growing population of smart Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the planet’s user base of consumer-grade connected mobile devices. .
The need for forward and backward compatibility in 5G development
An important consideration at this point is the need to develop 5G in a way that is both forward and backward compatible. This is the opinion of Adam WeinbergCTO and co-founder of FirstPoint Mobile Guardan Israel-based cellular cyber protection specialist.
Weinberg says this forward and backward compatibility mandate needs to be coupled with an effort from progressive DevOps teams that insist on following industry protocols. This will streamline operations and ensure obvious vulnerabilities are addressed early on.
“Where developers need to be diligent is to make sure they understand how devices will communicate with networks to minimize the chance of creating a larger attack surface,” Weinberg said. “The complexity of 5G means that companies must have comprehensive tools to manage, control and secure their 5G cellular-connected assets to ensure reliable, secure and stable connectivity.”
What we can take from this “toolkit needed” message is a call to action for the developers themselves. Code gurus from all disciplines approaching 5G will need to work hand-in-hand with cybersecurity teams to ensure that all code is easily manageable and achieves a strong security rating before it resides on IoT devices. the company at the network level.
Also read: The future of 5G fixed networks is now
Considering the vulnerabilities and risks of 5G
Obviously, there are many different types of attacks that could manifest within a 5G infrastructure, all of which could have a disruptive effect on mission-critical supply chains or, in the case of life-critical systems, put lives at risk.
According to the FirstPoint Mobile guard team, device tampering is a concern in the development of 5G. As developer-architects now code the 5G technologies that our new networks will be based on, there is potentially a new stream of opportunities to exploit loopholes in network and access control features. As this is what botnets are initially looking for, it is a risk that needs to be considered for the future of 5G.
“Thinking about how 5G system development will need to be aware of data channel diversion attacks is another prudent (if not essential) act to consider here,” Weinberg said. “Attackers can discover and manipulate sensitive information by altering the data path on its way to or from the attacked device on the 5G cellular network.”
In short, developers must work closely with network engineers who will be managing IoT devices to ensure that the network itself has additional security protection.
Also read: IoT faces new cybersecurity threats
Location Tracking Frustrations With 5G Networks
Using the mobile network, attackers can use a powerful tracking capability to remotely track any mobile device anywhere in the world. As a software-based network, 5G doesn’t always know who it’s communicating with. As a result, Weinberg says developers need to make sure their eSIM and SIM-based devices have room to add subprograms in the letter.
Additionally, these powerful tracking capabilities leave devices vulnerable to information theft. Mobile cell phones with GPS, camera, microphone, and/or screenshot capabilities enable real-time intelligence gathering when active. This allows attackers to gain access to private or business data on the device through apps, stolen credentials, and more through malware and social engineering.
When building specialized devices for the 5G era, Weinberg and his team say that, keeping in mind the possibility of data theft, the software code itself must work at the user interface level to enable easy power-on and power-off capabilities. and to provide greater control.
“These types of attacks take advantage of the inherent vulnerabilities of the 5G network. Having a comprehensive solution that can recognize anomalies like this is critical,” said Weinberg.
Also read: 5G and new business security threats
The future of 5G technologies in key industries
While claims from industry vendors about 5G are optimistic, no one is sure how real-world application use cases will evolve.
In some cases, commentators and telecom futurists have suggested that a 5G network, at least in its early stages, will only perform as well as a good 4G network. And many talk about the application of 5G as a key enabler for autonomous driving and other connectivity considerations related to the automotive industry.
The justification for this suggestion is that, in practical terms, networks so far have been really good at allowing users to send emails, post images on social media platforms, and even stream videos and cloud games online. But for the ubiquity of autonomous driving, there needs to be an order-of-magnitude upgrade at the network level, which is what 5G is supposed to represent.
Other key industries likely to benefit alongside auto include retail, manufacturing, and logistics, all of which are verticals where machines, goods, production lines, and market changes move quickly. If an environment is ripe for the application of biometrics, wearable telemetry, and augmented reality, it will logically be a good low-latency implementation target for 5G technologies.
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