Tuesday, October 19, 2021

5G and the internet of things: how will they affect your security?

In the world of telecoms innovation, the phrase “RACE FOR 5G” has become a part of everyday conversation. As mentioned, the technology will change the lives of millions and the money spent is forecast to grow exponentially. So, should private businesses be worried about the potential for cyberattack? Should consumers also be concerned about safety in a world of higher connected devices? Well, we will soon find out.

Whether or not the 5G network itself is the target of a cyberattack, the security of it is worth assessing. The need for good security cannot be ignored any longer. Sure, a well-secured network can ensure that things run smoothly, but when things go wrong, people go into a panic state. And in the case of not being able to verify the identity of someone accessing their own application, people tend to flock in droves, making the situation worse. This will only be exacerbated when people realise how vulnerable all the applications they use are and how complicated it is to secure them.

Having said that, 5G security is arguably even more important, as it will be responsible for the unblocking of the internet of things. From home appliances to clothes and beyond, connected and multi-purpose devices will be connected to the internet to transmit and receive data. As such, they are open to hacking and phishing attacks. So, in both the real world and the arena of the future, security will take centre stage.

For organizations that need to operate with their customers or potential customers, but also for partners and potential investors, then, inevitably, the importance of having a secure network cannot be overstated. The way that internet applications work has become increasingly security challenged over the years.

Make no mistake, maintaining and improving your security has never been more important than it is today. Anything you can do to reduce the risk of loss, loss of data and loss of financial assets through cyberattacks is best left to the experts. In Alarm and Security Services’ eyes, any risk would be best addressed by implementing the use of software-defined network (SDN) solutions to provide a secure network while implementing network security technologies.

As the industry, experts and industry players try to raise the bar in how enterprise IT operates, they often tend to make the biggest mistake when it comes to hardware systems – the massive amount of physical security devices being deployed across the business. We know that data and other business information are highly secured from this point of view, but what about the poor security of basic security tools? It can really be catastrophic when this happens. We know for instance, that one simple virus in a printer can cause a lot of damage. Hacking physical security devices can have serious consequences.

All this applies to M&E technology as well, where devices – from CCTV cameras to mobile cameras – bring significant risks to systems security and customer data.

Perhaps surprisingly, companies know that security is paramount but don’t always put it on top of their priorities list. Almost in unison, they agree that hardware security is more important than software security. But until they build effective barriers that defend against all types of cyber threats and not just physical attacks, they won’t be able to protect their end users from cybercriminals or prevent breaches of customer data.

The key aspect for business-as-usual is turning the remote access security concept on its head. Today, everything is so easy and accessible. A user asks, say, for a face-to-face information session on a USB stick. The correct software is applied, the device is booted, and the session begins, ready for the action to commence in seconds. But the instant-transfer scenario isn’t the one that matters – the essential issues that take minutes to resolve could be lost forever.

So security should not be relegated to “just about essential”; it should be top of the agenda for every company.

When it comes to solving the complex problems of decentralized and multi-purpose access points, security solutions must be software-based. But far too many companies are still exclusively spending on hardware solutions or solutions that focus on perimeter and encryption technologies, instead of on more ubiquitous and accepted software-based solutions.

This latest post was written by Ben Cowen, SVP Digital, Alarm & Security Services at Alarm. The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of the company.

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