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  • Thierry Spanjaard

Security is core to 5G

Besides the exhibition, we should not forget that the MWC is, at first, a Congress, a place to attend conferences, to exchange with people and to always expand our understanding of the industry.

As was mentioned this morning by Anand Oswal, from Palo Alto Networks, 5G is to be a transformative technology and as such it has to be secure! According to analysts, 5G is to represent US$ 1.5 trillion (EUR 1.3 trillion) in revenue by 2030, making it an unprecedented economic opportunity. As 5G opens to more digitization, more economic players will run their services on 5G, including among many others industry, healthcare, transport, finance, oil & gas, human life ... Just considering the upcoming weight of 5G usages makes them a primary cybersecurity target.

Traditional security cares more for human users than devices; as 5G is at the same time a technology for enterprise users and consumers, its security has to encompass all aspects. Security is to cover all types of uses, all layers, all locations, all attack vectors and all software stages. In other terms, this comes to a well-known principle of security: while the attacker focuses on one weak point, the defender has to find security solutions for the whole system surface.

5G can be seen as evolutionary on many aspects, but it is its use cases that make it revolutionary. The characteristics of 5G in terms of communication speed and low latency are the base of the development of numerous new applications, especially in industry automation and IoT. Each edge device is to be made as secure as the network and the cloud.

As huge amounts of data are to be taken into account, threat intelligence is paramount. Processes are to be set up to ensure the appropriate identification of all threats. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are at the center of threat intelligence. However, this threat intelligence can only work if all stakeholders collaborate with each other, and the willingness to do so of different players remains to be demonstrated.

In addition, while technology is common, each application field for 5G brings different security requirements and solutions are to be found for each use case. Typical risks include ransomware, phishing, compromised credentials, forged data, malwares of all kinds, etc...

Of course solutions have to include all subparts in 5G technology. Large systems integrators, cyber security experts and solution providers are ready to help. But they should expand their curiosity beyond their existing software culture and investigate hardware solutions as the ones coming from our secure transactions industry that have demonstrated their efficiency, security and reliability.

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