The Security Features Built Into 5G Networks

Business leaders are right to be wary of any new network technology that comes along promising the world. All new wireless network technologies are vulnerable in one way or another to exploitation by hackers. Cyber attacks are one of the biggest security worries concerning modern businesses. Hackers steal valuable data, launch botnet attacks, and hold companies to ransom regularly. 

5G technology – the 5th generation of wireless mobile data sharing – is being touted as one of the most important new developments in business. Businesses can use 5G networks to create interdependent robots, connected fleets of vehicles, and instant communications tools. While 5G is vulnerable to attack and exploitation in some ways, it was designed with security in mind. This article is a step-by-step guide to the security features incorporated into 5G wireless data sharing networks. 

Base Station Spoofing Prevention

False or ‘spoofed’ base stations are one of the biggest threats to devices connected to a mobile network. Using a spoofed base station, a hacker can send spam or track the activities of a device user. 5G was designed with base station spoofing prevention in mind from the outset. This consideration undoubtedly stemmed from the high quantity of spoofing occurring during the initial development of 5G technology. False base stations are still able to manipulate some 5G networks, which is why companies should always invest in 5G cybersecurity planning. When a base station is suspected of being a spoof, the location of the actual station is essential. 

Complex Access Management

Businesses using 5G don’t usually want to keep it secure from their trusted employees. After all, employee connectivity is typically one of the benefits of using a 5G network. Unfortunately, the more access granted, the bigger the risk of unauthorized actions. Complex access management protocols are built into the 5G system, allowing for the easy instigation of a zero-trust environment. Zero trust environments require positive authentication from any human or device seeking to access or make changes to a network. 

TLS Protection

Transport Layer Security is a protocol designed to guarantee privacy and data integrity between assets communicating via the internet. The inclusion of comprehensive transport layer security in 5G’s architecture was an important step taken to protect networks of devices and servers from man-in-the-middle attackers. Man-in-the-middle attackers intercept data as it is in transit. Even encrypted data can be intercepted this way. 

TLS provision usually involves a combination of encryption and digital handshake generation. Digital handshake generation is a cryptographic authentication method that is extremely secure.  

User Plane Integrity Protection

While user plane integrity protection is a standard feature in most networks, 5G is the first network type that makes user plane integrity protection completely mandatory. Although integrity protection is understood to be resource-demanding, the high speed and low latency of 5G networks should negate this issue. User plane integrity protection is another form of device to the server authentication method used to ensure that only authorized parties are able to access protected networks. 

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