The Impact of 5G Technology on IT Services and Cybersecurity

5G supports millions of devices, changes the telecommunication game and introduces new capabilities to build a connected ecosystem such as smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and driverless cars. 

This wireless network capability presents many benefits such as low latency, higher speed, and improved performance. 

However, it does come with various cybersecurity attacks for businesses and individuals.  

Therefore, you need to manage cybersecurity risks.  

As organizations are jumping on the trend of digitalization to become more efficient, there is a need to monitor such networks, keep an eye on threats, and take proactive measures. 

In this blog, let’s talk about 5G networks, their impact on IT services along with a few data protection strategies to help you deal with these. 

Also Read: What is an Insider Threat? Definition, Types, and Prevention

What is a 5G Network? 

What is a 5G Network? 

5G network is an advanced cellular technology that operates at a speed of 100 times faster than 4G.  

CNBC defines 5G as the software network which does not mean that it creates an end for cables. Rather, it might replace the need for them.   

Downloading a film using a 3G network takes around 2 hrs. While a 4G network roughly takes around 40 minutes to download the same.  

With a 5G network, you can access the downloaded content in just 35 seconds. Isn’t superfast with high-speed data connectivity? 

It’s faster than you think and changes the way you interact with software, applications, and digital products. 5G network connects users with businesses.  

With its massive data speed and low latency, it enhances the user experience. 

5G brings game-changing benefits as compared to the previous generation-  

  • Offers speed upgrades meaning you can download high-resolution movies in a few seconds not minutes. 
  • 5G when combined with IoT technology gives birth to smart cities and smart homes. Moreover, users can seamlessly interact with applications and devices. 
  • Improved connectivity enables businesses to create faster products/services and speed up the innovation process. Faster product launch brings more revenue for businesses.  

Impact of 5G technology on IT services 

Let’s talk about how 5G technology creates an impeccable impact on IT businesses-  

1. Increases Data Capacity 

In the world of digitalization, devices are interconnected with each other.  

An increased network capacity means that 5G provides immense support in connecting hundreds and thousands of devices. 

Businesses can do a faster product launch. 5G delivers 100x more capacity than 4G which means companies can develop innovative applications quickly and connect with more devices.  

Even 5G network connectivity brings companies closer to data.  

2. Makes Businesses More Efficient 

As 5G operates at a faster data transfer speed, organizations can create complex systems with ease. 

Moreover, when a tech-based organization is operating globally and has hundreds of branches, they require faster networks that facilitate fast data transfer at higher speeds with low latency. 

They want cellular technology that supports real-time collaboration and people can connect virtually.  

THANKS to 5G technology, businesses can become 2x more efficient resulting in increased productivity. 

3. Rise of Cloud Computing  

Cloud computing is not the FUTURE, it’s the NOW. A lot of businesses are shifting to cloud computing because it eliminates the need for having physical servers and infrastructure.  

5G is making waves in cloud computing as it reduces the time lag and facilitates real-time data streaming and storage capabilities.  

On top of that, 5G helps businesses that deal with vast amounts of data to store things and support instant download of data from the cloud.  

4. Cybersecurity  

In this ever-evolving business landscape, 5G takes the front seat in identifying the unknown threats and vulnerabilities that an organization is likely to face. 

As 5G offers increased connectivity, cybercriminals can take advantage of such networks to weaken the company systems and networks. They can use the 5G network to steal confidential customer and employee information.  

However, organizations can deal with such cyber threats by investing in cybersecurity solutions. 

What Risks does 5G Create in cybersecurity?  

Although 5G offers multifaceted benefits, it comes with various cybersecurity challenges.  

A data report states that 5G connectivity will fundamentally change your lives and is likely to add value of $1 trillion to the global economy in 2030.  

Let’s discuss some of the cybersecurity risks that 5G creates-  

1. Cyber-attacks are on the Rise  

This emerging technology (5G) creates various security risks for businesses. As 5G powers low latency and higher data speed capabilities, it results in various types of cyber-attacks such as data breaches, ransomware, and denial of data attacks (DDoS).  

Cybercriminals can think of new ways of launching attacks and it can cause system downtime. 

As 5G offers higher network speed (100x faster than its previous generation), and if the attackers get access to one network, there are high chances of data breaches which presents huge financial losses for the company.  

2. Vulnerabilities in the Supply Chain  

In the 5G network, there are various supply chain vendors involved.  

With such a faster speed, there comes the issue of negligence on the part of the supplier.  

So, you won’t know which supply chain, and which part from which supplier is vulnerable to attacks. 

When multiple intermediaries are involved in the supply chain, you don’t know which standards and security protocols they follow. 

Maybe they use weak security protocols which becomes a matter of concern. Hence, hackers can disrupt the security system by attacking weak points in a supply chain.  

3. Increasing Privacy Concerns  

5G powers interconnectedness between devices and each device generates huge amounts of data which includes sensitive personal and corporate information.  

When hackers get unauthorized access to such networks, they can misuse such information and pose negative consequences for both individuals and organizations.  

4. IoT Vulnerabilities  

The proliferation of 5G networks gives rise to security risks in IoT devices.  

With an increasing number of IoT devices, it becomes harder to manage and secure those devices. Most IoT devices are exposed to security threats if they aren’t updated from time to time.   

As IoT devices have limited security, hackers can attack such devices to steal sensitive information. 

Also Read: What is Cloud Security? 9 Cloud Security Best Practices in 2024

5G data protection strategies in managing cybersecurity risks  

You all know that 5G brings tons of opportunities for every sector and every industry, but it comes with several drawbacks. 

So, organizations should follow best security practices to manage 5 G-related cybersecurity risks- 

1. Set up Encryption  

5G powers a lot of devices and these devices generate vast amounts of data. Data encryption should be adopted to ensure that data in transit remains secure at all stages. 

The absence of encryption protocol results in data breaches including data saved in the cloud or the one that travels through a 5G network.  

If there are no encryption practices, then hackers are likely to steal your data and even find out which devices users are using.  

2. Implementation of Zero Trust Policies  

5G has higher bandwidth and it connects to a wide range of devices, which increases more cyber-attacks from inside and outside. 

This policy follows a never trust, always verify principle meaning everyone involved in the 5G ecosystem be it a subscriber or management user undergoes various authentication processes. It means that less privilege is provided to each user.  

How can a zero-trust policy help you secure a 5G network?  

  • Use biometrics and blockchain. 
  • Use security tools such as Firewalls and Malware protection.  
  • AI-powered risk detection tools minimize vulnerabilities and prevent unauthorized access. 

Thus, you can build a secure and strong 5G network by incorporating a zero-trust policy approach meaning every employee or contractor requires authentication to access the network.  

3. Conduct Security Testing  

Another way to treat threats is by performing security testing and conducting regular security audits to detect vulnerabilities. Then, craft mitigation strategies to deal with such threats before they affect your business financially.  

As digitalization is at its peak, emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain get 5G support. 

Wrapping Up  

Now, you understand that 5G is a game changer for communication service providers (CSP). On the flip side, it comes with several cybersecurity risks that result in data breaches and bring financial losses for businesses.  

But the good news is that 5G networks can be secured by adopting some of the best data mitigation practices such as zero-trust policy, data encryption, and much more.  

Switching to a 5G network is a good move; companies should be diligent enough to monitor how networks are being used sometimes. 

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