As technology advances and new frontiers such as the use of Big Data, the Internet of Things or the environment in the Cloud become more widespread, threats also evolve and become more difficult to detect and combat.
In the case of 5G technology, the same thing happens. The fundamental or at least most noticeable difference in performance between current technology and 5G is in speed and latency, with connection speeds between 1 and 10 Gbps with latencies between 1 and 5 ms. These features will allow the global hatching of the IoT, and will also make it easier to develop solutions for 100% autonomous cars, among many other things.
Like all new technology, myths and hoaxes about suspected health risks continue to emerge, but what should really concern us are the threats to data and communication security facing this new network. of communications.
Potential Risks To Which 5G Is Vulnerable
- Although it may seem trivial, on a fundamental level, 5G is vulnerable to the same potential risks as its precursors. That are risks in areas such as authentication, accessibility, data security, and confidentiality.
- For the development of 5G, technical specifications have been inherited from the previous networks – 3G and 4G – therefore, the unexploited vulnerabilities of those generations will also be inherited. Network degradation attacks pose a significant risk. It may be possible that if the initial connection phase does not have secure authentication, an attacker could downgrade their target’s network to 4G or 3G, allowing them to exploit existing and unresolved vulnerabilities.
- There will be new 5G exclusive security challenges. The most immediate of these is the impact of scale on safety. That is, the impact that the emergence of devices that will require authentication to function will have, which will number in the millions and billions in a short time. These devices will have a long lifespan and will need low power security so that they minimize consumption.
- With 5G, the applications, networks, and services offered by the various manufacturers and developers will also be very diverse. Therefore, it is necessary and mandatory to develop a spectrum of security solutions sufficient to cover possible cases of 5G use. Effectively separating network “sectors” with different levels of security will be one of the challenges to consider.
- Other known security features, such as encryption, hashing, and secure protocols in virtualized environments, require “extra cost,” that is, excess computing time, memory, bandwidth, or other resources. With 5G technology we have talked about that the speeds and latencies are, respectively, very high and low. Therefore, if we want the applications not to suffer by adding the typical security layers, they must be high-performance, light in terms of those computing and resource needs. And very, very fast.
- As we see, 5G will bring us new technologies and developments of benefits never seen before, but it will also entail certain security risks that will have to be controlled and mastered before the final deployment of these communication networks. Correctly identifying the risks and threats to make the safest designs is essential in this current phase.
Blockchain as a Solution to Protect Wireless Networks and 5G
- The rise of wireless networks has a lot to do with 5G networks. We have already spoken on several occasions about the importance of this new data network that will change so much the appearance of the cities and that will be the great facilitator of the arrival of autonomous cars.
- All these new systems and technologies have their enormous advantages and their great challenges, such as security. With the growing trend in cyber attacks we are experiencing, keeping wireless networks and user data secure is a high priority for everyone in the industry.
- This is where Blockchain comes in. As we know, Blockchain is a technology that makes it possible to have a “book of operations”, or a distributed register, in which the different operations that are carried out in a safe and univocal manner are recorded. This technology allows secure transactions without intermediaries outside the system, and therefore it is a perfect technology to secure wireless networks.
- In particular, you want to protect the information involved in sessions between users and devices. Cisco filed a patent application last June for a Blockchain platform that could be natively integrated into wireless networks. The purpose: manage data sessions between users and computers.
- In addition, this Blockchain interface allows supporting “network segments”, so that multiple independent virtual networks can be implemented that run on the same structure, without interference and as if they were the only network present.
- The use of Blockchain to protect user data is natural since this blockchain ensures that the information entered is immutable, or that changes to the information are fully documented (and that they are only possible by agents authorized).
- The security of wireless networks is a hot topic, given that the arrival of 5G and its wide range of possible applications (from IoT to autonomous cars and management of intelligent transport systems) will multiply sessions and connections by several orders of magnitude. current.
- These sessions, needless to say, are crucial for the systems described to work perfectly, efficiently and, above all, in complete safety for the end user. The use of Blockchain in this sense will be more and more frequent in services as widely used as instant messaging applications (WhatsApp or Telegram type), chats and any other sensitive application.
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