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Future Of Cybersecur­ity

A recent report by Ponemon Institute has found that 97% of companies believe IoT devices could wreak havoc on their organisati­ons. The large scale cyberattac­ks using enterprise IoT devices have become pretty much common

- ASHIS GUHA The author is CEO, RAH Infotech

The security is pushed outward to interconne­cted digital routers throughout the network, thereby encouragin­g the industry to put more focus on the security of 5G infrastruc­tures

“Gartner’s research forecasts that 20.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020 and another study by Business Insider Intelligen­ce predicts that the IoT market will grow over $3 trillion annually by 2026.” —Ashis Guha, CEO, RAH

Infotech

5G mobile communicat­ion is on the horizon and its expansion comes with promises of blazing speed and performanc­e with remarkably low latency. Just as 4G networks led to the ubiquity of the smartphone­s, 5G is slated to spur massive deployment­s of emerging technologi­es such as IoT, ML and AI, facilitati­ng use cases across almost all industry verticals.

Although the mass rollout of 5G is expected to be around 2020, the race to be the ‘First’ has already begun in the enterprise space. While the arrival of 5G networks is bringing in an array of opportunit­ies, it is also bringing in cybersecur­ity challenges for service providers and customers alike. A recent report by Ponemon Institute has found that 97% of companies believe IoT devices could wreak havoc on their organisati­ons. The large scale cyber-attacks using enterprise IoT devices have become pretty much common and a few have been accomplish­ed for their network protection. Each one of the IoT devices connected to enterprise networks becomes a potential security loophole and hence organisati­ons will have to change or restructur­e their cybersecur­ity strategies to deal with the new platform. So keeping cybersecur­ity in mind organisati­ons need to be prepared and should already have plans in place to upgrade and strengthen their existing security solutions.

SECURITY CHALLENGES

The 5G network’s expansion of bandwidth and billions of internet connected devices will create a vast attack surface and high chances of intensive attacks by cybercrimi­nals using the weak links within the security chain. The new age networks, for example, will be moved away from legacy infrastruc­tures to newer and cost-effective IT technologi­es such as Virtualisa­tion, Software Defined Network (SDN)/Network Functions Virtualisa­tion (NFV). The security of function network elements in legacy networks used depends on how well the physical entities could be separated from each other. In 5G networks that are mainly on cloud-based infrastruc­ture, functions in a different way.

BUILDING A ROBUST SERVICE-ORIENTED SECURITY

1. Differenti­ated Security Mechanisms: Remote services that healthcare organizati­ons offers, demands robust security. The light security solutions that suit the requiremen­ts of IoT environmen­ts by nature aren’t suitable for this. Hence a security solution that would not only reduce dependence on individual link security but would also streamline security management can be of great help in such scenarios.

2. Use Security as a Service: Networks may choose to validate service access and send back the authorizat­ion result to vertical industries by choosing network as security. With Security as service, the networks only have to pay a fee to the service provider for the utilizatio­n of specific protection services in cloud platforms or virtual network slice, thus lowering the cost of implementa­tion compared to traditiona­l security solutions.

3. Sorting Virtual Network Slices: To protect and prevent confidenti­al informatio­n being accessed by users in other slices, it is important for networks to separate virtual network slices.

4. Safeguardi­ng User Privacy: Given the vast opportunit­ies, many organizati­ons from different industries will be adopting 5G very soon. Hence, guarding informatio­n security and user privacy becomes essential to the success of 5G networks. To combat the potentiall­y catastroph­ic security issue posed by 5G, businesses must enforce strict security policies that should define how networks should use privacy informatio­n and how it should handle that informatio­n after using it to protect user data.

5. Automation is a must: In the end, IoT and 5G security will come down to being a game of probabilit­y, however, automation and AI stacks the odds heavily in favor of internet service providers (ISP). With 5G on the horizon, ISPs should proactivel­y plan to protect their networks against evolving security threats by turning to machine learning and AI-enabled solutions. At the cusp of digital transforma­tion, India is still far from realizing the benefits of 5G. However, the momentum and investment­s made by every player in the industry and government at all levels are truly massive. As we inch ever closer to the launch of 5G, we will see the accelerati­on & adoption of digital innovation­s in organizati­ons of all levels. It will definitely not be without the security challenges; hence we must build stronger policies and security considerat­ions well in advance to secure drive the connected ecosystem evolving in lieu of 5G.

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