Responsibility for 5G security is likely to end up being shared between businesses and 5G service providers, according to a new report from AT&T Cybersecurity, previously known as Alienvault.
The report is based on a survey conducted by 451 Research with more than 700 cybersecurity professionals in North America, India, Australia and the UK.
Respondents’ number one security concern related to the potential for larger attack surfaces due to the massive increase in connectivity associated with 5G, cited by 44%.
Other key concerns were more devices accessing the network (39%), the extension of security policy to Internet of things (IoT) devices (36%), and authentication of such devices (33%).
Further worries included that perimeter security defences might be insufficient, that 5G might introduce as-yet unknown vulnerabilities, and that automated changes might be made to the network.
Discussing the findings in a blog post, AT&T Cybersecurity’s head of evangelism and communications, Theresa Lanowitz, said she believed that 5G will encourage a shared security model akin to the public cloud.
“The beauty of this is it shifts some security functions to the 5G service provider, freeing up enterprises from some concerns. The anticipated shared security model of 5G does require security pros to think differently, which will take time. However, in the end the shifting of some security functions to the 5G service provider may provide great benefits for enterprises,” Lanowitz argued.
“With the large number of devices associated with 5G, authentication and identity need to be considered in the scope of security, similar to the public cloud. The 5G service provider can help confirm device identity as well, because the network will know a device’s physical location. In a way, the 5G service provider uses the network itself as a security tool.”
Security that is “dynamic and automated” can address the new security threats of 5G networks more quickly and effectively than manual approaches, and virtualisation can help provide flexibility to respond to unknown future threats, Lanowitz concluded.
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