As enterprises march deeper into incorporating 5G for their digitization initiatives, the impact on security could turn out to be profound. Are you an enterprise getting ready to adopt 5G? Here, you’ll learn the top five security considerations to keep in mind when deploying 5G for enterprises.
A widespread perception is that only service providers and telcos are investing in 5G. The reality is that enterprises around the world are leveraging private 5G networks. In fact, 5G is now the catalyst of change for many enterprises, driving the future of Industry 4.0 digitization initiatives. Private 5G networks enable new enterprise use cases not previously possible, allowing for industrial-scale IoT networks with ultra-low latency, mission-critical reliability and a high degree of mobility. Due to its compelling value proposition as a major driver of business transformation, 5G adoption is growing rapidly across numerous industry verticals worldwide.
As enterprises continue to rethink connectivity and accelerate their digital transformation journey, we see them invest in 5G networks with a specific focus on driving digitization, accelerating IoT adoption and harnessing innovative techniques to deliver enterprise connectivity, improve productivity and increase operational efficiencies. Owing to IoT growth and development of smart cities initiatives, smart homes and smart industries, we see 5G has a key role to play with the potential to offer reliable, high performance solutions. Business and mission-critical applications for enterprise 5G will include use cases such as energy, utilities, critical infrastructure, manufacturing, logistics and fleet management. These are the beginnings of the 5G digital economy, a hyper-connected world full of possibilities – as well as cybersecurity challenges that should be addressed now.
There are plenty of great reasons for enterprises to adopt 5G. According to an ABIResearch report, “Private cellular networks for industrial use have the potential to boost gross margin by 5% to 13% for factory and warehouse operations that fully embrace Industry 4.0.” The graphic below shows more information about how 5G can transform various industries.
New enterprise 5G trends demand a new approach to security. The modern mobile IoT environment poses greater IoT security risks, with business-critical operations at stake. More devices and data mean more targets for cyberattacks. Cyberattacks grow innovative, automated and “defense-aware.” While the attack targets and techniques are constantly evolving, the most common threats faced by enterprises offering business-critical services are cyberespionage to gain access to control systems, spear phishing campaigns run by nation-states to gain key business intelligence, cryptomining and ransomware.
Cybersecurity is more important than ever when securing 5G. Businesses need to establish a strong security posture that can stop cyberattackers from infiltrating their networks, disrupting critical services, destroying industrial assets or threatening the safety of the environment. In mission-critical industries, security breaches cost more than just downtime, lost revenue and tarnished brands – they can put human lives in jeopardy. A high level of cybersecurity readiness will ultimately reduce the risk for private network investments.
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Cyberattacks take advantage of the speed and volume of traffic associated with 5G and challenge security teams to create novel methods for tackling threats. Three critical areas need to be secured in any enterprise 5G deployment:
To sum up, the proliferation of devices, vast increase in intelligence at the network edge and the aggregation of critical functionality at the network core bring out three main challenges that together contribute to a perfect storm of security risk in enterprise 5G deployments.
Enterprises should use the following key security practices to help navigate risks and secure their 5G networks, while enabling a seamless experience and advancing the digitization of the business:
A strong security posture portends successful digital transformation. Enterprises need to have constant real-time visibility and granular control of traffic passing through their networks. Only then can they detect and stop malicious activities and threats in 5G and build an effective and efficient scalable defense against IoT-based botnets.
Learn more about securing private 4G/5G mobile networks.