Secure Your 5G Transformation with Zero Trust


Secure Your 5G Transformation with Zero Trust

At a time when cyber attacks get even more devious and destructive, is it even possible to fully protect our systems at all? Discover why zero trust has what it takes to protect the next generation of wireless connections.

When it comes to technology, great capabilities always come with unwanted technicalities.    

Businesses across the world are racing to migrate their infrastructures to 5G—certainly eager to transform our corporate and personal lives. Who wouldn’t join the race, anyway? 5G enables faster, massive, and real-time interconnectivity that can pave the way to even better emerging technologies like smart cities, autonomous transportation, and remote surgeries. It is something that innovative corporations shouldn’t miss out on.

But as fast as 5G is, that’s how fast cyber threats are, too.

By 2025, Gartner predicts that threat actors will be able to weaponize operational technology environments—enough to potentially cause harm to human lives. The stakes are definitely higher for 5G. Imagine user technologies like transportation, military, and healthcare technologies that rely on 5G’s uninterrupted, quick, and large-scale network. What happens if threat actors disrupt a vital surgery or medical procedure?

Do not let the worst happen to your most critical information and systems. To help you evaluate the possible risks and vulnerabilities in your 5G infrastructure, watch out for these three possible threat vectors according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the US.

Be Wary of These Three Threat Vectors to Your 5G Infrastructure

  1. Policy and Standards

Like other technologies, 5G needs open, transparent, and consensus-based policies to properly regulate 5G infrastructures. However, because it is inevitable for these policies to continue changing over time, companies might introduce more risks to their data.

5G policies will be revised according to new international protocols, which may or may not immediately address security or operational issues in 5G. Reviewing and revising these protocols turned out to be a race because threat actors can easily take advantage of new and unknown 5G vulnerabilities before authorities detect them.

  1. Supply Chain

The widespread deployment of 5G means billions of interconnected devices—and only one of those compromised devices can lead to massive data compromise. Extended supply chains like third-party suppliers and vendors might have counterfeit or flawed components, which cyber attackers can use to infiltrate systems.

In addition, weak security controls and audit during development, production, and delivery of new 5G components might be easily overlooked. Flaws or malware may have been placed during the development or production phases, which might be difficult to detect. And before your IT knows it, your 5G systems had already been hacked.

  1. 5G Systems Architecture

5G is actually built to be secured by design. However, only 5G networks are made to be secure. Other systems, devices, and components are entirely different security areas. Because 5G networks will utilize more and new ICT devices and components, cyber attackers have more areas to manipulate, disrupt, and destroy. With more diverse devices needed to power up the 5G architectures, corporations may also introduce new and unforeseen weaknesses to their existing cybersecurity measures as well.

Zero-Trust Practices to Secure 5G Connections Today

Applying zero trust to your 5G infrastructure enables comprehensive security monitoring, automation, protection in a dynamic threat environment like 5G. With zero trust, your corporation can successfully operate your 5G networks easier, faster, and safer.

Make your 5G infrastructure work for you, and not against you. Employ these zero trust practices to your 5G transformation today.

  1. Collaborate with local and international partners for 5G risk mitigation. Always work together with your partners and industry experts to discuss new trends, updates, or ways to detect and eliminate security weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your 5G systems.
  2. Mandate clear standards and regular inspections for new and existing supply chains. The main idea of zero trust is to never trust and to always verify, so your corporation should communicate new 5G policies, certifications, and inspections for both your new and current suppliers.
  3. Practice consumer transparency through concise 5G policies. Disclose to users about the data and features that they can view, access, or edit in your 5G infrastructure to effectively identify real customers and eliminate threats in consumer data.
  4. Provide incentives for all employees exercising their cyber duties. Accounting, marketing, research and development, etc.—all these company sectors have different cyber duties to fully protect your organization, and be sure to give rewards to each section that do their best to fulfill these duties.
  5. Develop, implement, and maintain resiliency and recovery plans for your 5G systems. Just like in securing other infrastructures in your company, be ready to take on 5G security incidents and still keep your operations functioning normally.
  6. Detect and prevent threats in all data or device transactions. Never skip on monitoring any process involved in your 5G systems, and continue to review and upgrade those monitoring and detection practices as necessary.
  7. Segment and invest on cybersecurity protection in all 5G devices. 5G itself is secured, but other necessary 5G components and devices may not—so it is better to implement and invest on cybersecurity protection in all of these interconnected devices.

Cyber threats never stop for anything. But corporations must not let these threats stop them from reaching the full potential of their organizations. Applying zero trust practices in your existing cybersecurity programs and plans can help mitigate and eliminate these unknown risks in the future.

 

References

https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/blog/2021/09/zero-trust-for-5g-digital-transformation/

https://www.ericsson.com/en/blog/6/2022/evolving-5g-security-for-the-cloud

https://www.techtarget.com/searchnetworking/tip/Integrating-zero-trust-practices-into-private-5G-networks

https://revolutionaries.zscaler.com/insights/5g-and-zero-trust-introduction-cxos

https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2021/09/01/zero-trust-5g-security-challenges/

https://www.esecurityplanet.com/mobile/5g-cybersecurity/

 

 

 

 

Patricia Mae M. Estenoso, Creative Copywriter, CXO Connect ME