Home Deep Dive A Reality Check of Security Aspects of 5G Technology

A Reality Check of Security Aspects of 5G Technology

by CIOAXIS Bureau

Mobile security experts have always been looking for potentially threatening vulnerabilities in the 5G technology. Let’s have a look at the recent security aspects of 5G technology…

From Singapore to India to South Korea, organizations and telcos across APAC region are planning for the next major leap in mobile connectivity, which aims to boost business operations and people’s lives. 5G technology also lays the foundations for a comprehensive IoT ecosystem, enabling organisations to leverage data in previously unthinkable ways and governments to provide better services to their people. According to estimates from International Data Company (IDC), there will be over one billion 5G connections by 2023.

Need for 5G Security
With the introduction of 5G technology, a new age of digital transformation begins and in this process security cannot be ignored. However, in order for 5G technology to be the success story that many predict, a number of security threats must be tackled and mitigated.

Mobile security experts have always been looking for potentially threatening vulnerabilities in the 5G technology. This process is done to provide mitigation before widespread implementation of the 5G technology.

A fundamental security flaw on a mobile operator’s 5G network has the potential to allow data access and Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks across different network slices, making business customers vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks.

Recent Critical Security Flaw
A recent research post from AdaptiveMobile Security has publicly revealed details of a significant security vulnerability in its 5G and virtualised network functions architecture. AdaptiveMobile Security looked at 5G core networks with both shared and dedicated network functions, and discovered that when a network has these “hybrid” network functions that support several slices, there is a lack of mapping between the device and transport layers identities. If an hacker has access to the 5G service-based infrastructure, they will be able to access data and conduct Denial-of-Service attacks through several slices as a result of this security flaw in Industry standards.

AdaptiveMobile Security is looking into whether the mechanisms established in the current 5G standards would be enough to stop an intruder. As a result, it discovered three major attack scenarios based on the security flaw, none of which can be mitigated using today’s technology.

CISOs Role in 5G Tech
Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) must take a comprehensive, risk-based approach to 5G security and track the maturity of their security implementations on a regular basis. CISOs should be ready to assess the security risks and enforcement requirements, integrate them into their risk registry, and handle them whether they serve telecom operators, digital service providers, IoT suppliers, or some other part of an ecosystem that integrates 5G technologies.

Any digital transformation project involving 5G technology should include risk management to resolve cyber risks quickly, avoid hidden costs, or, even worse, make inefficient and irreversible decisions in sensitive areas like vendor selection and diversification, or architectural design.

Vertical 5G use-cases, such as connected vehicles and healthcare, intensify the issue by adding essential Industry-specific security standards. Simultaneously, 5G technology relies on virtualized networks, which must be controlled by reliable protocols.

5G technology offers a huge business potential, but this is much more complex to secure. Meanwhile, organisations must be aware of 5G security concerns and threats in order to plan for its launch. Although 5G technology will undoubtedly have numerous advantages, one thing is certain — the technology will necessitate a greater emphasis on protection.

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