5G Adoption: Poll Throws Up New Security Risks

TECH DIGEST – Most professionals say their organizations are concerned about cybersecurity risks related to 5G adoption according to a new poll from consulting firm Deloitte.

The findings show those at organizations planning to adopt 5G in the year ahead are slightly more worried (80.7 percent) than those currently using 5G (76.4 percent).

For current users 5G, talent poses the biggest cyber challenge to 5G adoption (30.1 percent), as appropriately skilled security professionals will be needed for implementation, maintenance and operations.

For respondents from organizations planning to adopt 5G top cyber challenges are data (26.8 percent) — due to an increase in the volume and diversity of data created from 5G-enabled segments (such as IoT, ERP and sensitive data) as well as data mismanagement risks — and third parties (24.3 percent).

“For organizations leveraging 5G, cyber risk will mount quickly if challenges — like a lack sophisticated encryption, decentralized operations or security monitoring functioning to the detriment of performance speeds — are not resolved,” says Wendy Frank, Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory Cyber 5G leader and principal at Deloitte and Touche LLP.

“Securing the vastly expanded threat landscape resulting from 5G adoption will demand two equally important efforts: getting the right talent in place or upskilled; and, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate areas like security policy configuration, compliance monitoring and threat and vulnerability detection.”

Inevitably COVID-19 has impacted respondents’ organizational plans to adopt 5G. For those at organizations currently using 5G, 32.2 percent have increased adoption speed.

However, adoption speed has decreased as a result of pandemic-driven disruption for 21.8 percent of those at organizations planning to adopt 5G in the year ahead.

Frank concludes, “The faster movement of data, the creation of new types of data and the ability to develop countless new IoT devices through 5G networks will disrupt most industries.

But, just as with pandemic disruption, leading programs are working to keep security at the fore of 5G adoption.”


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