The 5G network — conspiracy theorists call it doomsday, while the rest of us can’t wait for the boosts in speed and connectivity.
But 5G is nothing to worry about… as long as you’re ready.
Cybercrime will take on new and frightening forms as 5G replaces network fuel tanks with nitrous. You get a massive bump in download speeds, so cybercriminals do, too.
So, how exactly will cybercrime change alongside 5G? And, what cybersecurity protections will adjust with it?
In this article, we’ll tackle the basics of 5G and six ways it will likely impact the world of cybersecurity. Let’s dive in…
What is 5G?
5G is the rightful heir to the throne, upon which 4G sits now. It’s the 5th generation of mobile networks and worlds faster than 4G (up to 100x), which creates the connectivity between devices that we use today.
4G download speeds tend to cap out at around 1Gbps, whereas 5G aims to hit at least 10Gbps. That means with 5G, you’ll be able to download a whole season of your favorite show on Netflix in mere seconds.
4G vs. 5G
What makes 5G different from the 4G we know and love? When switching from 4G to 5G, you can expect:
- Faster upload and download speeds;
- Catered connection depending on the connected device;
- Improved consistency with fewer outages;
- More connections possible per km2;
- Intense processes are handled by the network instead of device.
This is the very tip of the 5G iceberg — strap in for the multitude of changes and improvements that 5G will make on our beloved 4G network.
6 ways cybersecurity will evolve alongside 5G
Sweeping updates that arrive with 5G will inevitably affect cybersecurity around the globe. Let’s take a closer look at six major shifts in cybersecurity that will be influenced by 5G networks.
1. Attacks will get faster with higher speeds
Huge decreases in latency and lag, as well as boosts in uploading and downloading, means attacks will get faster. High-speed attacks will be difficult to defend against at first due to inadequate detection software.
But soon after, we’ll see 5G-powered detection software and updated response plans to safeguard against the rising threat.
In the near future, cybersecurity tools like antivirus and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) will become mandatory minimum protection on 5G networks.
2. As the attack surface grows, attacks multiply
Widespread device compatibility is one of the biggest achievements of the 5G network. Past networks have prioritized mobile devices and, therefore, aren’t optimized for other devices with small batteries (smartwatches, etc.) or heavy machinery.
5G can essentially customize the connection to suit the specific device, meaning that millions more devices will become internet-connected.
With waves of new devices connecting to 5G, there’s more to attack — the larger the attack surface, the higher the chance a hacker can find a vulnerable target.
3. Encryption helps to hide the bad guys too
Encryption is the process of converting your data into unreadable code. All secure networks will use encryption to secure your private data, and unsurprisingly, 5G will improve encryption even more.
However, this also means criminal activity will be done through more encrypted channels and can be hidden much easier.
Do you want your data encrypted at all times? Read more about the benefits of VPN to discover how you can hide your private data behind military-grade encryption.
4. The mass migration to “Zero Trust” architecture
Big-tech juggernauts like Microsoft are all turning to “Zero Trust” business architecture, and for good reason. With the mass introduction of new users and internet-connected devices, how can you determine a legitimate user?
Well, you simply can’t — that’s the very purpose of Zero Trust. It requires every user to verify themselves before accessing a company’s network.
As 5G is rolled out, it will become standard for online businesses to fully adopt Zero Trust architecture.
5. DDoS attacks increase in size and aggression
A Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attack consists of overwhelming a network with the intention of making it unusable. 5G will improve bandwidth and speeds massively, so DDoS attacks will likely only get more destructive.
Large-scale attacks on corporations and government systems will increase in speed, size, and impact.
DDoS protections are sure to improve, too, but not before a new wave of 5G-optimized DDoS attacks wreak havoc.
6. AI to develop hand-in-hand with the 5G network
We’re all waiting and watching the evolution of AI right before our eyes. Thanks to massively increased processing speeds, 5G is set to exacerbate this progress even more.
Unfortunately, we can assume that AI will be used in tandem with 5G to create some pretty new and powerful cyberattacks.
Yet, AI will be vital in online threat detection over 5G — machine learning computers will analyze vast 5G datasets to find this suspicious behavior before it grows.
The ultimate rise of 5G will lend power to the dark side of the internet. While protections will improve, it will be impossible to stop the growth of 5G-powered cybercrime.
The only thing left is for all of us to buckle our seatbelts and prepare for the rollercoaster that is 5G.