5G is the technology which will dictate the course of 2020 tech. The birth of 5G will be bringing into the table numerous benefits that will further accelerate the growth and development in the tech industry:

  • better connectivity
  • smarter cities
  • smarter transportation
  • smarter energy
  • faster download and upload speeds
  • smoother online streaming
  • better public safety, infrastructure, and health care, with 5G strengthening smart city technologies.

These are just some of the few applications the 5G infrastructure has in store for us. Imagine a world where 5G is fully integrated into our cities and our homes. A world that is almost fully connected. It must be a great world to live in.

Or is it?

Great benefits, greater threats

Along with all the benefits 5G can offer is also a glaring threat — that of cybersecurity.

This is what was pointed out by Rik Ferguson, VP of security research at multinational cybersecurity company Trend Micro in the recently concluded Cyber Security Nordic 2019, an information security conference.

According to Ferguson, the hyperconnected world that 5G will create will be harder to oversee. He pointed out that in the future, things as seemingly trivial as street lamps will be connected via 5G to be controlled digitally.

Street lamps in a hyperconnected world will have dozens of sensors that it will use to alter it behavior or collect traffic or pedestrian data.

In the side of our city leaders, these data can be used to improve the city. In the wrong hands, massive amounts of information can easily be taken advantage of.

Now, if there are hundreds of thousands of street lamps in the city, making sure that each and every single one will not be hijacked is a difficult task.

Yet, street lamps are just one kind of the new sort things that will have to be monitored in a hyperconnected world. Without security measures, attackers can easily exploit the connectedness that 5G will create  in their favour.

Needless to say, for experts, the already humongous problem of cybersecurity will be exponentially greater.

A dealbreaker?

This is not to say that we should scrap the use of 5G. If anything, its dominance over the tech world is nigh-inevitable at this point.

Unfortunately, how these problems will be solved will be completely clear only when the 5G infrastructure actually takes over. Right now that 5G is just being introduced, we can only think of the possible solutions. What is important however, is that we have the awareness that these kinds of problems will arise in the rise of 5G. A mind set that is prepared for the quickly-changing, hyperconnected world of 5G is very much needed.

This is true not only for security experts. This is equally required of governments and businesses. The emergence of a technology of such power demands an equally powerful set of policies.

It is a matter of give or take. In our hands is an extremely futuristic technology which will eventually change the way we live. It is upon us to ensure that this change will be for the better.

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