Access and Feeds

5G and IoT Security: Proliferation of Devices Open Huge Attack Edge for Hackers

By Dick Weisinger

Deployment of 5G networks is becoming widespread. The advantages of 5G over 4G include much faster speed and lower latencies compared to 4G. And the capacity of 5G is significantly larger, as much as 20 times, which means that many more simultaneous connections can be supported.

The lurking problem with 5G is that huge numbers of IoT devices are being brought online. By 2025 there will be nearly 70 billion IoT devices, about 8 connected devices per person on earth, according to an estimate by Frost. But IoT devices have been notoriously poor in how they are set up to handle security. Devices are shipped using default login credentials and very few people change the default ports used by the devices. The sheer number of devices mean that IoT devices open up a much wider attack edge for hackers seeking access into a network.

Monique Becenti, Product Marketing manager at Pondurance, said that “devices are open right now and susceptible … so there are more potential entry points for attackers that are scanning for open ports in the devices’ software so they can deploy malicious bots and scripts.”

A Teal Communications blog posting said that “although there have been gradual advancements in IoT security, most connected machines and devices have been built with security as a second thought, where basic minimum standards are ‘good enough’. It is truly a wonder that massive scale is projected on eSIM platforms on the backs of trust-based networks and applications that authenticate without hardware security.”

Neal Cook, VP of Security Products at Open-Xchange, said that “as 5G adoption continues to grow, it’s vital that we treat it just like any other network and apply the same security measures that anyone would expect of a home broadband connection.”

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