What is 5G? And How Is It a Cybersecurity Threat?
Updated: Aug 11, 2022
Right now, there's a revolution happening in your homes. The digital world is changing as we know it, and it won't just affect the devices you use but healthcare, transportation, almost anything, and everything. The new 5G network is here to stay. This blog looks at 5G, how it'll change our world, and some potential cybersecurity threats.
What is 5G?
5G stands for "5th Generation" of mobile networks, as in there was a 1G, then a 2G, 3G (we all remember this one), and then 4G (this one is also another favorite). This latest updated version of mobile networks will genuinely change the world, connecting anyone to anywhere, whether machines, different objects, or other electronic devices. It's all possible with 5G.
A New Wireless Experience
Experts define this change as "5G wireless technology to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users."
Whoa, that is a mouthful; was anyone out there who was left scratching their head? I was puzzled; this meant a new digital world was coming. From safer transportation, remote healthcare, precision agriculture, and digital logistics, 5G will change everything.
How Is It a Cybersecurity Threat?
As more and more 5G towers keep appearing in cities across the globe, our wireless devices will see a new level of speed and security. There can be bumps along the way when it comes to growth moments. Initially, it was assumed that 5G and 4G could work together in harmony, but the reality is the 4G users aren't able to keep up.
Below are some of the biggest cybersecurity threats that 5G:
More Points of Entry for Hackers
As excellent as 5G is, there are some drawbacks. One of the biggest potential threats is that 5G networks give hackers more options for entry. A network that connects more devices and industries has more connections making it easier to breach. Imagine a bicycle wheel with many spokes; a 5G network is like a central hub with these minor pathways, making cybersecurity futile.
Internet of Things (IoT) Has Zero Security Standards
The dictionary defines the Internet of Things or IoT as "the interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data."
At the moment, many IoT devices have no cybersecurity measures. The threat here is that as we become more reliant on machines, hackers could have a much easier time getting their hands on sensitive information with no effort at all.
A More Complex Network means More Problems.
What 4G network systems did to lower the risk of cybersecurity threats was it would use a "partition method." With 4G, it used a "divide and conquer" motto. If there was a threat, it was quarantined or isolated, helping to limit the attack.
These new 5G networks use short-range, affordable, small-cell physical antennas covering a specific area. The problem is with many other antennas, which can be hackers' access points. But with 5G, it's a whole different ball game.
Hungry for more? Join me each week, where I'll break down complex topics and dissect the latest news within the cybersecurity industry and blockchain ecosystem, simplifying the world of tech.