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Mitigating the Security Implications of 5G and IoT

By CIOReview | Friday, May 3, 2019

The future of connectivity is here with 5G— bringing higher speed to devices—with more data and lower latency. One of the most anticipated benefits is that 5G will allow more Internet of Things (IoT) devices to come online and encourage more connections. This promise of more connectivity smoothens IoT user experience and more devices online meaning that there are more avenues for cyber attacks. From an innovation standpoint, 5G is a beacon of light, but from a cybersecurity standpoint, it is a hotbed for a new era of intensified cyberwar.

The new connected environments will have severe consequences for security, and the most significant challenge will be the sudden growth of attacker surface due to the expansion of IoT devices and edge-based computing. Any device can become the weakest spot in the security chain and expose the entire organization to risk with billions of IoT devices connected across an edge environment. Addressing this risk will require a fundamental shift from the conventional perspective of networking and security. The best practices include

•  Security will need to be edge-to-edge across the enterprise network and public clouds. Everything connected to the enterprise ecosystem needs to be identified, and their security status must be confirmed. Also, the requests for access to the network must be verified, validated and authenticated.

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•  Security must support hybrid systems combining conventional strategies with innovative approaches. Network segmentation is a proven method for containing cybersecurity risks and protecting critical resources. IT teams should evaluate the management of complex systems as they implement 5G networks and public cloud services.

•  Sharing threat intelligence and correlating event data will require the development and adoption of comprehensive security architecture. AI, ML and automation will be vital to accelerating decision making and closing the gap between detection and mitigation.

•  Interoperability between different security systems will require new open 5G security standards that can be centrally managed to see security events and harmonize security policies.

Organizations that began preparing for the networking and security implications of 5G will be far ahead of their competitors, and in the new market place, this is critical.

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