Experts list global security measures for 5G rollout

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As Nigeria and other countries across the world begin preparation for 5G rollout by 2020, global experts have listed security measures and scalability that countries must adhere to in order to achieve successful 5G rollout.

From the second, third and fourth generation networks, also known as 2G, 3G and 4G networks, operators anticipated the need to roll out the fifth generation network (5G) by 2020, which comes with higher speed of operations, and unique features that will address smart city projects, where connected devices will communicate with human to determine health status of individuals, among other benefits like machine-to-machine communication and human-to-machine communication.

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, had in November last year, announced Nigeria’s preparation for 5G rollout by 2020.

Ericsson, a global technology solution provider, in a report noted that with “the inherent security of the 4G/5G networks, we are creating an overall system security that can scale to many new use cases, connections and devices.

“With a solid underpinning of standardised 3GPP security including privacy and data protection, we have added analytics, intelligence and capabilities to orchestrate security from device to cloud.”

Based on 5G technologies and standards, service providers will be well suited to address some of the emerging security challenges, the experts further stated.

Addressing the issue of privacy has been of high priority in the 5G system from the beginning so that subscribers’ privacy is included by design.

The devices and the network mutually authenticate each other and use integrity-protected signalling.

This setup makes it unfeasible for an unauthorised party to decrypt and read the information that is communicated over the air.

The most important new privacy feature in the 5G system is enabling a home operator to conceal a subscriber’s long-term identifier, roaming or not, while simultaneously complying with regulatory duties, the report noted.

Commending nations that are already making preparations for 5G rollout, experts also listed security measures that individual countries must adopt in order to experience hitch-free rollout.

“With the digital transformation of industries, we are entering the cyber-physical domain through robots, sensors and autonomous cyber-physical processes, which will further introduce new dimensions of attack vectors and vulnerability through these connected digital systems.

“Novel types of attack, as well as new privacy and cybersecurity regulations, may take many industries by surprise.

“The expectations of the public and governments regarding security and privacy are very high. At the same time, information security is a top concern among enterprises on a digital transformation journey.

“Organisations need to be secured from the start, protecting personal information, company secrets, and critical infrastructure. Regulators need to walk a fine line between protecting privacy, safeguarding national security, stimulating economic growth, and benefiting society at large.

“To succeed with the transformation that 5G brings about, industries need to gather competence and understand new threats and how to mitigate them,” the experts said in a document that was recently released.

 

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