Impact of 5G network on cyber security

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cyber security
cyber security 

The implementation of the 5G mobile network without proper care could lead to an increase in the number of malware attacks and cyber threats.

5G technology is a surpassing step concerning what 4G networks have offered us. The improvements are especially significant for the use of the internet on mobile devices. This new development in the mobile network implies greater bandwidth, faster data uploading and downloading lower energy use, and more versatility in the type of connected devices (cars, for example).

The new technology promises to speed up to 100 times higher than the current 4G, which could facilitate countless innovations in artificial intelligence, big data, robotic surgery, and smart cities, to name a few examples.

But, being a relatively new technological advance, it still faces certain obstacles and limitations in terms of cybersecurity that will have to be addressed by both governments and telecommunications companies. Companies like Kaspersky or Cisco have already mentioned the most alarming concerns of 5G networks.

cyber security
cyber security 

Here are some of them:

Difficulty detecting threats in online traffic. As a mobile network is too fast, it will not be possible to monitor threats in real-time in the same way as is currently done with the 4G network. Security vendors will need to develop new protocols and faster malware detection products.

API communication at risk. The 5G network will allow the interconnection of different types of devices (Smart TVs, vehicles, and iintelligentigentt lights, among others). But not all companies prioritize cybersecurity, so a misconfiguration or development of API integration could put the entire network at risk.

Greater supervision at contact points (decentralized system). Unlike the 4G network, 5G requires a greater number of touchpoints to direct online traffic, which implies greater control and supervision at access points.

Lack of encryption. Experts indicate that at the beginning of the connection process there is a narrow time slot in which the data sent by the device is not encrypted. This is a vulnerability that hackers can take advantage of to extract information.

cyber security
cyber security 

Strategies to strengthen cybersecurity in 5G networks

At least in Spain, a 5G cybersecurity regulation that came into force on March 31, 2022, has already been ratified. Under this regulation, technology providers will be classified into low, medium- and high-risk 5G providers according to Spanish government cybersecurity standards. Companies with high-risk equipment, products, or services will have five years to replace them.

Additionally, while companies, providers, or governments take other measures, it's worth downloading a VPN. Virtual private networks (VPNs) increase the security of mobile networks with strategies that include encrypting online traffic (at all times of connection), redirecting traffic through servers anywhere in the world, or hiding the IP address, among others.

4G and 5G networks are vulnerable because of their mixing with older technologies (

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