Does 5G’s expanded network capacity create a new set of security concerns?
More spectrum means an increase of devices and end-user units, which expands the threat landscape. For example, 5G should eventually support one million Internet of Things (IoT) devices per square kilometer, an order of magnitude more than what’s possible today. Networks are also becoming more important and more integrated into organizations’ operations, so any network disruption can have profound effects.
Is 5G more secure than previous generations of wireless technology?
5G is like a Zero-Trust architecture, in that the network is presumed to be open with no security from overlaid products and processes. All links are assumed to be exposed. To control for that openness, 5G mandates encryption of all inter- and intra-network traffic and provides for enhanced device and network authentication. There’s a great focus on roaming, which has been a security gap in the 4G LTE environment. For example, final device authentication in 5G is always by the home network, not by the visited network, and 5G uses public/private key pairs for authentication. 5G has greatly enhanced roaming protection and security compared with previous generations.
Tony Dolezal, Public Sector 5G and Multiaccess Edge Computing (MEC) Specialist, Verizon Business.
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