5G Security Poses a Thorny Problem

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5G security has become a matter of concern for every one now. Last month only, we saw the US Federal Communication Commission Chairman Mr. Ajit Pai focusing his keynote speech on 5G equipment security, at the GSMA MWC event held in Los Angeles.

The BEREC or Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, on the other side of the Atlantic, focused its event of annual stakeholders only on security of 5G.

A geopolitical aspect of 5G security has evolved. Basically, the security of 5G has become a very important issue now because 5G is going to become essential to the majority parts of our lives.

The expected use of 5G as a fundamental enabler of manufacturing, healthcare, smart cities, industry, agriculture and many important applications makes 5G a strategically vital part of the complete infrastructure of a country.

It is expected that 5G will shift the role of mobile networks from their current focus on moving data from one place to another to performing the additional function of control.

As such, the 5G network is going to be lot more secure than those mobile networks, which are operating under previous mobile standards. The security issues, from the air interface, which is the wireless part that connects the phone to the network by using radio waves, to the core network, which is the brain that controls, enables and manages the mobile network, have been properly addressed and mitigated during the process of standardization.

The 5G standards are set in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project or 3GPP, where the security issues have been addressed with the involvement of other expert bodies, such as the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Therefore, 5G will start from a much higher baseline than existing mobile systems. The Security threats are more because new technology and new ways of using it will give rise to new vulnerabilities.


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