The impact of 5G on wireless security

Ever since the arrival of 5G, one thing that experts agree on is that the fifth-generation wireless network will usher in a new era of applications and services. The speed and potential of 5G could be a major factor in starting the fourth industrial revolution. Simply put, with 5G the possibilities are endless and the only real limit is our imagination.

However, a coin has two sides which means that while 5G is a breakthrough in wireless networks, there are certain things to be noted. With the assurance of millions of more data and billions of new internet-connected devices, comes the threat of hackers and others looking to profit from stolen information, which makes cybersecurity a top priority. Hence developers have been working from the get-go to ensure users don’t have to fret over security breaches.

The vice president of cybersecurity at wireless comms, John Marinho, made the following statement, “You now have a standard which provides security by design, privacy by design, from the very beginning.”

He further adds, “Networks continue to evolve. We saw it with 2G to 3G, and now on a larger scale with the introduction to 5G. There will be a point in time when people come to wonder, ‘Why did we ever use wires to connect anything?'”

Your Identity Stays Private

4G had some major security gaps and one of them is how stingrays and other “IMSI catcher” devices could capture phone calls without much difficulty. These devices could replicate cell towers and scam close by wireless devices into connecting to them. They aided in intercepting calls and identify the caller ID.

5G networks will change that. The fifth-generation wireless network will take aid from a key embedded in the SIM card that encrypts that same IMSI before sending it to the network, meaning all that information is protected from cybercriminals – they won’t be able to read the code in transit, nor unlock the decryption key. Consequently, your permanent ID will not be exposed or vulnerable.

More Powerful Encryption over Air

Whenever you share data from your device or call someone, your voice and data stay confidential because an algorithm is used to disrupt it. 5G will ensure that your data stays protected at all costs by reinforcing the algorithm. 128-bit encryption will be taking over while within a few years it is expected that 256-bit will be widely used.

This encryption will not only aid in scrambling and reassembling your calls but will be a great help in monitoring security threats.

Advanced Software Running the Network

Another change that is worth mentioning is that 5G will no longer rely on specialized hardware from a single company but will depend on flexible software from an open community of specialists. Whenever you make a call, it will be directed through virtualized” network nodes, basically a set of switches and hubs that can be shifted from one physical location t another with ease if an issue occurs.

The advantage of such a system is that it will reduce the chance of one company or country accumulating too much influence. Additionally, vulnerable patches can be taken care of efficiently and swiftly. Whereas, it will be easier to isolate issues and fix them without causing more damage.

Mobile Edge

The fifth-generation wireless network will take advantage of the Mobile Edge. In the simplest terms, it is the latest and prospering development with the capability in the network that is nearby and decreases the delay on mobile applications. From a security perspective, it brings threat detection closer to the key source of attacks (devices on the network).

So what’s next?

5G is not all about speed. It is a game-changer and once it is integrated into all aspects of our lives, a new era will begin. Technological advancements will increase triple-fold while the entire business model will change. To ensure that these new advancements are not hampered due to security threats and breaches, precautions have been taken from the day on to make sure that nothing disrupts this new revolution.

The fifth generation of the wireless network is set to the user in the fourth industrial revolution by surpassing its predecessors in every aspect. The true implications can only be determined once the technology is widespread and accessibility increases but one thing is for sure, major changes are coming.

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