5G Adoption Expands Cybersecurity Risks

by Carolyn Mathas

According to a recent Deloitte poll, 5G’s faster bandwidth is expanding cyber-attack surfaces and consequently, the risks associated with its adoption.

Poll results include:

  • Most professionals admit that organizations are concerned about cybersecurity risks related to 5G adoption (76.4% currently use 5G and 80.7% expect to adopt 5G in 2021)
  • For those currently using 5G, availability of talent is the biggest challenge to 5-G adoption (30.1%)
  • For those planning to adopt 5G, top cyber challenges were data (26.8%) based on an increase in the volume and diversity of data created from 5G-enabled segments, data mismanagement risks, and third parties (24.3%)
  • For those using 5G, 32.2% increased adoption speed
  • Adoption speed decreased as a result of COVID-19 disruption for 21.8% for organizations planning to adopt 5G in the year ahead

More than 500 professionals participated online during a Deloitte webcast, “Preparing an integrated cybersecurity approach for the advent of 5G,” on Oct. 29, 2020.

Although early adopters are seeing competitive advantages to 5G deployment, the technology also expands attack surface areas substantially. Mitigation of such risks as a lack of sophisticated encryption, decentralized operations, or security monitoring functioning to the detriment of performance speeds, are critical. Successful mitigation will depend on attracting the right talent and leveraging AI and ML to automate security policy configuration, compliance monitoring, and threat and vulnerability detection.

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