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3 5G security myths debunked

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5G security myths debunked

5G promises to bring the future of communication to a wide range of entities; from your TV, central heating or car; to entire private business and public networks.

The promise of 10Gbit/s is simply impossible to ignore when considering how future business networks will need to continue to meet projected increases in appetite for data over the coming years.

Yet, in an ever more connected world, there's the nagging issue of security. How can a complex ecosystem of devices be secured? How should we approach attacks on networks by thousands of small IoT devices weaponised through firmware updates or cloud-based threat prevention?

These are big questions that quite frankly give me a headache to even think about, so let's start small and debunk 3 of the biggest myths around the subject of 5G security.

Myth One: Investment in 4G security will stop because 5G is here

It's simply not realistic to ignore security on the 4G networks and only work on developing more secure 5G networks, simply because the 5G network is still very much in its infancy and may require up to a decade to reach a critical mass of subscribers to replace 4G.

Plus, some current 5G deployments have been made possible by leveraging existing 4G architectures for a more rapid launch of 5G services, while standalone greenfield deployments take place in the longer term.

4G network security simply cannot be ignored just because a 5G baby was born in 2019.

Myth Two: Just make sure your existing security elements perform at faster speeds

You have to admire the simplicity of this idea, but sadly the range in complexity of the evolving potential threats on the 5G networks make this idea as dated as using physical wires to connect networks!

Disconnected security solutions can't be applied consistently enough to scale to meet the brave new world of complex 5G mischief that tomorrow promises to bring.

This bit by bit security approach will not be enough to meet the security demands of tomorrow, and, therefore, a whole new holistic approach to security is required to meet the scale and range of threats.

Myth Three: CGNAT's got it covered

CGNAT at the Internet Edge has been assumed to offer some protection to unprotected mobile network infrastructure. Whereas, in reality, CGNAT offers very little protection to IPv4 devices and traffic and none for their IPv6 counterparts.

These network devices are vulnerable to DDoS attacks and CGNAT devices can be the first to fail during these attacks.


5G's potential is beyond exciting. Once we have been released from the shackles of today's wired networks and their limitations, it promises to bring a new integrated world of possibility that will improve almost every aspect of our daily lives.

Yet, the power it brings threatens to promote a whole new world of security threats if left unchecked.

Our existing bit by bit approach to security almost certainly will not scale to the vast variety of threat of tomorrow and current CGNAT devices won't be enough to cover us at the Internet Edge.

It's up to the 5G network providers to plug the gap and develop an ecosystem that has security built into it should 5G realise its potential and become the driving force that will improve our work and private lives in every way.

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