Wireless Security Getting Tougher As 5G Both Promises & Threatens

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The wireless industry is bolstering a wide variety of security solutions being employed today, covering virtually every still-active technology in existence, developing new ones, and doubling down on whatever investments it made in the segment over the last several years, according to a new global survey.

Authored by the Business Performance Innovation and sponsored by A10 Networks, the research appears to be rather clear in regards to the main cause of the new trend, stating network operators the world over are presently improving their cyber defenses primarily due to the fifth generation of mobile connectivity, more popularly referred to as 5G.

The technologies that are now on the horizon show great promise in terms of unprecedented performance meant to enable a broad range of new solutions, consequently creating millions of jobs and driving economic growth globally by a significant margin.

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However, the vast promise of futuristic technologies such as remote surgery, self-driving vehicles, and IoT sensors capable of running on a single battery charge for over a decade is also deemed a significant threat to the world as we know it; there's no denying the appeal of 5G and everything it entails, meaning malicious actors and collectives thereof are likely to be more adamant than ever to attempt compromising various Internet-connected systems.

In layman's terms, more online stuff simply means more stuff that can be hacked and 5G will inevitably lead to so many more devices receiving wireless capabilities that security experts are warning of catastrophic consequences if the industry doesn't approach the subject of secure next-gen networks seriously enough.

Fortunately, it appears telecom giants are taking the issue of wireless security more seriously than ever before as the advent of 5G promises great rewards for those who utilize the new tech correctly, which in this context mostly means "without compromising millions of people due to greed."

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Underscoring that point is the fact that nearly four in five wireless carriers in the world are presently factoring in 5G into their security investment planning. That isn't even to say the final 20-percent aren't bothered by the possibility their 5G networks may be vulnerable to attacks – it's just that they won't be rolling them out in the immediate future – the end of 2020, as the newly published survey defines the said period.

On the other hand 67-percent of all carriers around the world intend to take their first 5G steps within the next 18 months, with 20-percent more looking to do the same by mid-2021, as per the same report.

Virtually everyone in the business expects traffic to spike as a result of the new tech being commercialized, making guarding consumers against attacks a more daunting task. Scalable solutions hence remain of paramount importance, which may be unsurprising, but serves as yet another piece of evidence highlighting why proprietary "5G" (which isn't even 5G in the 3GPP's, a.k.a. the only wireless book that matters) will never truly take off.

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The same research also indicates most wireless carriers intend to approach 5G security from a fundamental level, or at least claim that core network security is a crucial component of their rollout plans.