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5G AND THE RISKS OF CYBERSECURITY


A modern Cybersecurity program must have Board and Executive level visibility, funding, and support. The modern Cybersecurity program also includes reporting on multiple topics: understanding how threats impact revenues and the company brand, sales enablement, brand protection, IP protection, and understanding Cyber risk." - Demitrios 'Laz' Lazarikos, Founder and CEO, Blue Lava, Inc., at SecureWorld Philadelphia


In our previous week’s blog, we discussed how the transformation from 4G to 5G will bring a monumental change in the way we use the Internet. We discussed various aspects like the key differences between 4G and 5G, the main advantages of 5G, the challenges of 5G, the impact of 5G on businesses, costing and affordability of 5G, and briefly, we discussed 5G and the risks of Cybersecurity. If you haven’t read the previous blog, please read it from here.


This blog will further elaborate on the risks of Cybersecurity as businesses start moving towards 5G.


IMPORTANCE OF ‘INTERNET OF THINGS’ (IOT) DEVICES

Nicole Eagan, the CEO of Cybersecurity company Darktrace, told the WSJ CEO Council "There's a lot of internet of things devices, everything from thermostats, refrigeration systems, HVAC [air conditioning] systems, to people who bring in their Alexa devices into the offices. There's just a lot of IoT. It expands the attack surface and most of this isn't covered by traditional defenses."


However multiple reports suggest that IoT devices are vulnerable to Cyber-attacks. A compromised IoT device will put various aspects of the business which is using it at risk. Read about the news here.


An unnamed casino was hacked in 2018 due to a smart thermometer in its lobby aquarium. The hackers gained access to the database due to the thermometer. Read about the news here.

Let us look at why IoT devices are vulnerable and can cause business risk. Read about the news here.

  1. As IoT devices rely on wireless connections, they are inherently vulnerable.

  2. An attack may often go unnoticed due to the wireless connection.

  3. More than half of companies, cannot detect an IoT breach.

  4. IoT devices while being manufactured are not installed with proper security protocols resulting in them being exploited by Cyber-attacks.

As IoT devices are going to drive 5G expansion, there is an imminent Cybersecurity threat that organizations face. The more devices become smart, more hackable they become.


WHY 5G EXPANDS CYBERSECURITY RISKS?

Payton, the CEO of Fortalice Solutions and a former White House CIO, noted that the Cybersecurity landscape has been shaken.

“Everyone is in reimagining mode,” she said. “I know each of your organizations are. I know those of you that are in government are, whether it’s state, whether it’s local. The businesses in your area are also in reimagining mode. And personally, each one of us is in reimagining mode. Guess who else is? Cybercriminals. They’re in reimagining mode too.”

  1. As 5G networks require a large number of transmitters to operate effectively, this basically increases the surface area needed to be defended against Cyberattacks.

  2. Higher speed of 5G services could be used by hackers to enter systems quickly.

  3. 5G poses a direct Cybersecurity risk as more and more critical infrastructure comes online.

5G system network is based on digital routing using software and not on hardware. Hence for a Cybercriminal gaining control of the software will be sufficient to gain control of the network. Read about the news here.


HOW TO BE SAFE FROM CYBERATTACKS?

“How many IoT devices exist, with how many computing devices do they share data? How many others have access to that data and what decisions are being made with this data? No one really knows. We just don’t know.” - Rebecca Herold, CEO, The Privacy Professor

  1. Install an anti-virus to secure your system at all times.

  2. Using a Virtual Private Network can help to prevent strangers from spying you online and from accessing your data.

  3. Always use strong passwords to secure your system.

  4. Keep all IoT devices updated with the latest security patches. Read about the news here.

FURTHER STEPS TO MITIGATE CYBER RISKS DUE TO 5G

“If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.” - Bruce Schneier, American Crytpographer.


IoT MANUFACTURING

A process must be set up in place by the government to incentivize adding updated security features in IoT devices to offset the losses allegedly the manufacturing companies may face due to this. IoT devices need to be updated in order to be ready to face the risks associated with 5G network. Read about the news here.


COLLABORATION

Network providers need to collaborate more with Cybersecurity firms to develop various solutions to protect the network from Cyber risks. Read about the news here.


CONSUMER AWARENESS

Consumers need to be made aware of various Cybersecurity risks due to 5G. Companies must conduct awareness sessions with their employees to make them aware of various threats so that they can work in a safe and secure environment. By investing in awareness sessions, companies will indirectly protect their businesses from Cyber threats as their employees will be aware of how to respond to a Cyber threat situation. Read about the news here.


CONCLUSION

The purpose of this article is to make businesses alert to the real problem we all are facing which is Cybersecurity and how with the advent of 5G these threats could materialize. However, it is not to discourage companies from switching to 5G; it is just that if proper precautions are taken then all of us can take full advantage of 5G services and businesses could be powered using high-speed connectivity.


Gorisco has a wide range of experts who have various solutions to help organizations mitigate their risks and solve their problems. At Gorisco, our motto is 'Embedding Resilience' and we are committed to making the organizations and their workforce resilient. Reach out to us if you have any queries, or clarifications, or need any support on your initiatives.


To read our other blogs, click here. More importantly, let us know if you liked them or not through your comments.




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