Does 5G Threaten Cyber Security?

New introduction of technology brings new innovations, but it also creates new concerns around security. With 5G connectivity expanding around the world, cyber security has become a topic people cannot stop talking about and rightfully so. Some are wondering if 5G will open the doors for more significant cyber attacks and breaches of personal information. Is 5G a threat to cyber security? The answer to this question is undetermined. Because there isn’t a lot of data supporting one side or the other, it’s hard to provide the customer with a definite yes or no answer. Although the possibility of a threat is undetermined, it helps to know as much information as possible.   

With the promise of a faster and more reliable connection comes the uncertainty of its threat to cyber safety. There are a lot of concerns over cyberattacks and unwanted surveillance through the Internet over Things (IoT). These can be baby monitors, security cameras, and generally anything in your home that is connected to the internet or requires an internet connection during setup. Since security for some of the IoT devices can be spotty, it can be easier for hackers to tap into devices, especially ones that are of lost-cost and low-power. Hackers can scan thousands of devices looking for default security passwords devices already come with like “guest,” “admin,” and even “password.” Tapping into your device is also made more accessible when the device is not set up correctly, giving hackers an open door.

 The ability to gain personal information is another concern, as well. With 5G, there will be more devices connected to the same network at the same time. Because of this, it increases the chances of personal information being stolen, like customer information and your location. It is also anticipated that robocallers could have AI technology which could mimic family and friends so you’re not aware of who you are talking to, which could result in more scams. We encounter the internet on an everyday basis making it hard to avoid the negatives surrounding it.      

Lawmakers are looking to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to hold wireless carriers responsible for ensuring public safety is looked at closer before everyone is able to access the network. The FCC can regulate carriers in the use of public airwaves, especially when public safety and national security have the potential to be affected. Some feel the FCC should require carriers to encrypt anything sent through the 5G network to ensure the safety of the user and nation. The FCC has yet to make a call on this matter, but it’s under review.

Cyber security is a big deal because not only does an attack affect us on an individual level, it also affects the national level. With many countries having access to the same network, we will have to protect ourselves and remain more diligent against possible attacks coming from other countries. Everything we use in our homes to our places of work that are connected to the internet are under a potential threat. The conversation must be had about how 5G can be a threat to cyber security and what steps we can all take to ensure we’re protected. 

Article Originally published on CNet and Financial Times