“There is a slew of new security threats, not due to 5G’s internal structure but because of what technologies 5G enables,” says Babak Beheshti, Ph.D., dean of New York Institute of Technology’s College of Engineering and Computing Sciences.
He explains that, unlike 4G and its predecessors, 5G is not about a fairly uniform and monolithic network. This complex ecosystem of services, applications, and uses are provided by many different vendors.
“When it comes to networks involving the Internet of Things (IoT), many layers are vulnerable as potential targets of security attacks. These layers, if not designed and managed properly, will create security threats in the 5G network,” Beheshti explains.
With increased smartphone use, these threats will only continue to grow. Reports estimate that the number of global smartphone users will hit 6.8 billion in the new year.
“Assuming an average of 40 apps per phone, it is not difficult to predict an extended attack surface provided by apps downloaded from the app store. Android devices have experienced 50 times more infections than IoS. As an example, banking threats have risen by 80 percent in Android devices,” he says.
“So, the security landscape remains challenging as more devices are brought ‘online,’ whether the underlying network is 5G or something else.”