5G Network and the Security Risks You Need to Watch Out For

  • How Does 5G Work?
  • Capabilities of 5G Connection
  • Difference Between 4G and 5G

People Using Mobiles

The 5G or the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks is starting to roll out in some countries. Many people are expecting that it will open up new possibilities and opportunities for tech advancement and innovation because it can support advanced technologies like the Internet of Things. 

However, many people are also worried about the security issues of 5G. 

Since 5G is still in its early phase, some hackers will try to exploit its vulnerabilities and use them as windows for cyber attacks. Many industry experts are also expecting this. 

With that said, is it safe to switch to 5G? Is this a better option than 4G? We will answer those questions in this article. 

Today, we will talk about the things you need to know about 5G. 

 

 

How Does 5G Work?

5G is the fifth generation of wireless cellular networks. It will bring a better connection than 4G. 

According to the wireless industry trade group Global System for Mobile Communications or GSMA, 5G networks are expected to be at least ten times faster than 4G LTE. 

As of now, network providers are using 5G along with 4G. But eventually, 5G will replace 4G networks when it's fully developed. 

The way 5G works is quite complicated. But for a simple explanation, 5G is transmitting lots of data over shorter distances than 4G LTE. 

To build a 5G network, telecommunications companies are installing tons of small cell sites to light poles, walls, or towers, usually in relatively small proximity to one another. Doing this provides better connection consistency and speed for their 5G network. 

Furthermore, 5G is using new radio frequencies. That's why transitioning from 4G to 5G may take time because it requires updating radios and other equipment on cell towers. But even though the process is expensive and time-consuming, many companies are still investing in 5G because its energy-efficient tech requires less power. 

Capabilities of 5G Connection

The 5G network is said to provide a better Internet experience because it will upgrade the Internet of Things or IoT. 5G can improve IoT because it will soon cover even hard-to-reach areas. The broad network coverage of 5G allows more devices to stay active and connected with fewer tune-ups. 

Aside from that, the 5G network can help in developing smart cities and industries. Improving the IoT can contribute a lot in creating a safer environment for everyone. 5G is the key to better infrastructure monitoring in cities since it can provide a faster Internet connection. Also, 5G allows factories to start using smart automation for more efficient and safe work processes. In fact, IBM and Verizon are working together to infuse AI with 5G to give solutions for industrial businesses. 

Difference Between 4G and 5G

People shouldn't hesitate to upgrade their 4G connection to 5G. Indeed, 4G is already powerful. Its speed and consistency are reliable. However, the demand for wireless connection is increasing, and we are currently pushing 4G to its limits. 

That is one of the main reasons why upgrading to 5G is necessary. 5G can solve the problems we have with 4G, like the slowdowns during the peak or busy hours. 

But aside from that, here are other reasons why 5G is better than 4G: 

  • 5G is faster than 4G - The 5G network can transfer more data in seconds. That means it will set new upload and download speeds. People could only wait for a few seconds to download large files. 
  • Low latency - An Internet connection from a 5G network will be more responsive because of its low latency. A low latency network connection is one that frequently experiences small delay times. 
  • 5G saves energy - Most 5G devices can quickly switch to a low-energy mode when not using cellular radios. Having this feature will extend device battery life. 
  • More connection reliability - With better bandwidth usage and additional connection points, 5G can provide a more reliable Internet connection. The less stress on the network can also lower down data costs. 
  • No more congestion - 5G can handle more devices because it uses more radio waves. With this, there won't be a slowdown even in peak hours because congestion can be minimised or eliminated. 

5G Security Concerns

The 5G network can improve a lot of things. It's a huge advancement from the 4G network. However, some people are sceptical about 5G and its safety. The reason for that is because even tech professionals are expecting 5G to be vulnerable. Currently, 5G is facing problems such as: 

  • Decentralised Security - Current 5G networks are having a hard time doing security checks and maintenance. 5G connection has more traffic routing points, and to secure them, the ISP must monitor them regularly.
  • Additional Bandwidth May Compromise Security - The increase in speed and capacity is challenging ISPs in filtering out cyber threats. 
  • IoT Devices without Security Protection - Many manufacturers of low-end smart devices are not prioritising security. The lack of security standards for IoT devices could start numerous network breaches and hacking. 

So does it mean 5G is dangerous

To answer that, Right now, tech companies are making significant improvements to the security of 5G networks. They are doing their best to avoid those mentioned about and cyber attacks like the following: 

  • Botnet attacks 
  • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS)
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) 
  • Location tracking and call interception

But aside from relying on tech companies and ISPs, consumers can also do pre-emptive measures themselves. 

How to Safeguard Yourself from Security Risks

Here are some things to do to avoid security risks when using 5G: 

  • Installing antivirus programs or apps on devices - Products like Kaspersky Total Security can prevent malicious programs from entering devices. 
  • Using VPN - VPN can prevent hackers from accessing personal data and online activities. 
  • Update and use strong passwords - Updating passwords regularly can further help in preventing hackers from accessing personal data. 
  • Keep IoT devices updated - Device program updates often patch the bugs and security risks. 

Final Thoughts

5G may soon replace 4G. But right now, 5G is still in its early phase. That's why there are problems and issues we are still not aware of when using this network. As soon as tech companies are ready to use 5G to its full capabilities, we need to arm ourselves with information on how to safeguard our devices from possible security breaches.  Before upgrading to the 5G network, make sure you are ready to face the unknown risks.