5G, IoT and SIMs Are a Dangerous Combination

An excellent blog by Craig Gibson of Trend Micro highlights how a 5G-powered internet of things will be built on shaky security foundations:

The volume of data that the IoT and 5G is expected to handle is over a thousand times as much as what was expected of 4G. But many of the security mechanisms found in traditional information technologies like 2G or even 4G are not designed for this volume. Consequently, 5G inherits and amplifies the risks from 2G, 3G, and 4G.

In particular, SIM cards continue to suffer vulnerabilities because of the ability to send instructions to them over the air. Such instructions may be used for denial of service attacks or to instigate the download of malware.

A key issue will be the limited capability of cheap and numerous IoT devices. Whilst smartphones can be enhanced with additional security functionality, the burden for protecting IoT devices will lie on the network. Telcos may respond by implementing security orchestrators: AI-powered software that soups up a lot of data and uses it to make rapid and fully-automated security decisions. Obviously such systems will need to be geared to not only absorb the vast amount of data obtained from all the IoT devices on the network, but to process it rapidly even when under maximum load.

You can read Craig Gibson’s blog for Trend Micro here.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Director of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.