5G technology and cybersecurity risks

5G technology and cybersecurity risks

The progressive and irreversible deployment of 5G technology will bring us closer to the Internet in a way never before known. But, like all new technology, we must be aware of the new risks that it will entail. Start to familiarize yourself with this technology without forgetting cybersecurity.

Spain’s determined commitment to position itself as one of the leading countries in the deployment of fifth generation communication networks (5G) will mean a revolution in our way of approaching the Internet through our connected devices (smartphones, wearables, IOT, etc. .), offering us new experiences of interaction with the Internet and its services. This hyperconnectivity will affect billions of devices and systems around the world, including strategic sectors such as energy, transportation, banking, education and healthcare.

In short, 5G will not only imply a new generation of communications networks, but it can become the definitive catalyst for the digital transformation of society and industry.

Advantages of 5G

Image 5G advantages The entire 5G telecommunications industry is already working to combine these factors into better content, applications, solutions and experiences focused not only on the user, but on cities and society in general. To get an idea of the technological dimension of this change, 5G will entail, among other things:

  • A transmission speed increase of up to 100 times over its predecessor, 4G.
  • Lower latency, which implies less delay in receiving responses from other systems, allowing more interactive applications in real time.
  • Much greater flexibility, which means you can better manage connected devices at the same time.
  • Low consumption of this technology, which will allow its use in small and isolated devices.

If you want to know more about the advantages that 5G will bring and the cybersecurity impact it will have, you can call the free and confidential number 017, INCIBE’s cybersecurity helpline.

Potential challenges for cybersecurity

Until this technology is definitively expanded, there are some challenges to be solved, among which cybersecurity is presented as one of the most interesting. In this sense, the European Commission already published in 2019 an evaluation study on the potential risks derived from the implementation of 5G where it warns about an increase in cybersecurity risks for users.

Specifically, the European Commission foresees that the deployment of 5G networks increases exposure to cyberattacks, since with 5G networks increasingly based on computer programs, more security flaws will appear in the systems that can be exploited. For example, those derived from a poor development of the software used by providers to manage their users’ communications.

On the other hand, the high dependence on a very limited set of operators increases the exposure to a possible supply interruption. In addition, in the case of companies from outside the EU that operate in Community territory, the risk or suspicion increases about possible vulnerabilities that allow spying on user communications.

It is clear that improvements in technology will not only open the door to legitimate purposes, but will also allow cybercriminals to build more powerful cyber weapons in order to benefit from the permeability of the new 5G in our society. For this reason, the great challenges in cybersecurity of 5G demand a review of the current policy framework applicable to the telecommunications sector and its ecosystem, which requires from all the actors involved, especially manufacturers and countries, a response appropriate to the circumstances.


The role of the user

The position of the end user, although it could be irrelevant in the great set of figures that is handled, or in the decision-making of large companies or countries, is instead vital in the practical deployment of 5G in society.

Practical 5g image for society A cyber-aware user who, as a consumer, becomes a demanding customer with the security of the products he purchases and services he consumes, is essential to raise the security of 5G to the level that corresponds to him.

In addition, following good practices to ensure that you have the latest update of the devices, always modify the passwords that come by default and know the latest trends of cybercriminals in terms of social engineering to recognize and avoid them, will help us as users to minimize the cybersecurity risks.

5G networks will constitute the future cornerstone of our digital society. Therefore, it is essential to ensure their safety. Both authorities and companies are working to promote the implementation of 5G without losing sight of the risks. However, the first defense, as in many other cases, will be the user and their ability to perceive the risks and threats to which they are exposed. As always, being informed is our best defense!

Do you have more questions about the security of the future 5G network? Do you think you are ready for the big jump? Share your opinion and experiences with the rest of the users and keep up to date with the OSI publications on cybersecurity to be able to enjoy the advantages of technology.

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