Whether you are a tech expert, or technologically challenged, you cannot overlook the rising buzz around 5G. You must have heard about 5G’s data capacity, increased speed, lower power consumption and so forth. But let us look at what 5G actually means.
The new 5G network will offer faster data, a wider coverage, stable connections, a longer battery life and better video quality among a host of user requirements, besides allowing you to connect more devices. Simply said, it will make cities smarter. But its availability will be limited in 2019, while iPhone users may have to wait till 2020 for it.
But, apart from bringing you all the good news, the 5G network world will bring its own set of cyber security challenges. Cyber criminals will be on the lookout for ways to hack into user data and sell these to earn big. With a large number of devices connected to the Internet, hackers will have access to this huge space, making it easier to find the weak links in this chain.
Geoffrey R Morgan, co-founder of Fairchild Morgan Law, while talking to CPO Magazine, said, “The exponential increase in speed, density and efficiency afforded by 5G technology will cause a dramatic rise in cyber security concerns, particularly by industries that first use it.” Moreover, the ability of hackers to cause widespread harm and destruction will increase manifold with the increase in self-driven cars in big cities.
However, Babak Beheshti, IEEE member and interim dean, College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, New York Institute of Technology, says, “According to T-Mobile US, 4G information being carried across mobile networks wasn’t always encrypted. But, in 5G, end-to-end encryption is intended to provide much stronger safeguards for data privacy.”
Experts say better technologies are coming, but how do you secure your present Internet of Things (IoT) setups?
While talking to Express Computers, Kayne McGladrey, IEEE member and director of security and information technology at Pensar Development, said, “Consumers should use the ‘guest’ network of their home Wi-Fi routers as a dedicated network for IoT devices. So, if one of those devices is compromised, the threat actor can’t easily pivot to more valuable data.”
That was the case for newer devices, he said. “For older, cheap, IP-based security cameras and digital video recorders (DVRs), the easiest way to secure them is to recycle them responsibly because, most of the times, their security updates aren’t available,” he said, and went on to add that the ability to update devices over their lifetime was essential to security and should be factored in while buying a device.
Another IEEE senior member and professor at Hohai University, Han Guangjie, supported this and said people should check and update their IoT device firmware. If IoT devices have exploitable vulnerabilities, manufacturers often identify and fix the problems before a hacker can access the device’s environment.