The 5G technology offers fast-paced, low-latency connections that can be a step in the right direction to improving connectivity around the world. On the other hand, the shift to a new cloud and virtualization system leads to more security threats on various applications and industries. Whenever user input and data are involved, there is bound to be worry over the protection and privacy of users from hackers and opportunists.
With the United States banning Huawei’s entry into the country with concerns of protecting user privacy, transitioning from 4G to 5G may make users uneasy. Instead of eagerly moving to 5G, here are some facts you may want to check before making the switch.
1. Understanding Hardware Trade-offs
The development of new tech almost always phases out features of the older models. More modern incarnations of devices are letting go of the excessive number of ports, prioritizing the quality of mobile functions over the number of features. Laptops and tablets are cutting down on bulky hardware such as CD-ROMs and USB slots to go for more intuitive and portable design.
Upcoming releases of gadgets are adapting to designs that use a USB-C connection, gearing toward a universal format both for data and energy transfer. The new universal format allows for versatile applications from projector screen VGA output to higher charging capacities. Buying HDMI hubs has become a necessity to connect to multiple devices and pieces of external hardware, such as to monitor displays and the like.
Though tech compatibility is making docking hubs develop better features, not all technological advancements should be praised for their innovation. New technology is always prone to unchecked breaches in terms of performance and security.
2. Glaring Security Risks
Besides its impressive speed of connectivity and data transfer, one of the many advancements that 5G has to offer is the development of automated vehicles. Vehicle cybersecurity provides customer assistance to its drivers through emergency calls, direction requests, and intrusion detection for owners. Breaches in cybersecurity are not new to 5G, but 5G also does not free itself from being a target through old methods.
Researchers on 5G security threats show remote access from “stingrays,” which can actively access cell towers to spy on connected users’ locations and activities. Tests show that access doesn’t even have to be on a 5G device, as 4G devices are highly capable of exploiting the newer network’s vulnerabilities.
Individual 5G devices make use of a radio access network (RAN), which needs frequent updates for security and software patches. These devices are either always connected to the internet or only frequently in the cloud, making the possibility of a backdoor interception hard to prevent. Since 5G will mostly rely on the AI in the cloud, hackers can attack or change the transmission of these algorithms per device.
Incorporating 5G networks are making industries work double time on figuring out lapses and potential break-ins through their system to avoid misuse of the technology.
3. Doubting Huawei’s Intentions
From a business standpoint, Huawei’s involvement in the issue of implementing 5G is a cause for alarm. Huawei is the largest stakeholder of 5G, as it is also one of the integral companies needed for 5G’s mass production and implementation. Some may even say that there would be no 5G without Huawei.
At the very least, it won’t be very easy to progress with the technology without the assistance of the China-based company. As the sole proprietor of 5G technology as of now, concerns over monopoly are not hard to realize. But hardware assistance is far from being the only reason the US government is iffy over trusting the brand.
Huawei is facing a tangle of various violations and sanctions not just in the US but also in Iran and Poland.
Huawei allegedly deals in fraud, intellectual property theft from Cisco, and stealing trade secrets. There’s enough historical evidence to back up the US’s reluctance to let 5G’s leading supplier access industries such as the automotive industry and medicare industry.
4. Developing Preemptive Measures
Only around 28 percent of business owners are aware of the advantages and mishaps that 5G can bring to their ventures. The irresponsible application of 5G to these vulnerable industries is a cause for alarm for those who know the implications of data theft. Increasing security measures alongside the use of 5G can be a viable solution to avoid breaches in user data.
One of the potential solutions to avoid attacks on customer security is by creating identity storage through network authentication applications (NAA) on an independent network. Switzerland is putting the integration of 5G on hold until it can have a better grasp on how to handle it and its potential issues. As consumers, it may be best to read a little more on the advancements on 5G’s pros and cons before making the switch.