Securing India’s 5G Future: The Cybersecurity Imperative

As we witness this ever-increasing continuous exchange of information and data among users and devices, the world has become more of a vast interconnected digital space.

And this wouldn’t be possible without telecommunication networks, which have become the foundational cornerstone of informational exchange in the modern world.

Now, as we witness the brink of the 5G era, the technology being 100 times faster than 4G itself, unfolds an ocean of opportunities for transformation in India’s digital space along with the telecommunications industry.

India’s 5G Vision

5G is the fifth-generation mobile wireless technology, which is all set to boost India’s digital economy. It is expected to offer 100 times faster download speed coupled with 10X lesser latency as compared to 4G. The aggregate economic impact created by 5G alone is estimated to be around half a trillion dollars.

The fact that 5G networks are capable of handling the connectivity of billions of devices, including the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices.

5G holds power to transform our work, life, and play alike; businesses of all sizes are looking forward to optimizing their operations for better performance while harnessing the power 5G offers.

5G is More Than Just a Network Upgrade

5G networks hold the capability to support up to 1 Million devices per square kilometer compared to only 100,000 for 4G networks. With its ability to handle massive amounts of data in real-time, it’s imperative that IoT devices, like smart devices, homes, sensors, and autonomous vehicles, among others, will soon become a part of our daily lives.’

5G is undoubtedly faster and more efficient, complemented by other intelligent technologies and software-based architectures, resulting in near-zero latency, better device support, up to 20Gbps speed, and response times as low as 2 milliseconds; it is bound to revolutionize various industries.

With the introduction of new technologies and business models becoming increasingly dependent on applications, cybersecurity has become a prime concern, irrespective of the scale of the business.

The Cybersecurity Imperative

According to reports, India ranks 5th when it comes to the list of most cyberattacked countries in the world, experiencing nearly 193 million cyberattacks on the Application Program Interface (API). More precisely, these attacks have been focused on the financial, e-commerce, and digital media sectors.

While the country facing a massive increase in the number of cyberattacks across various domains, necessitating the need for taking strong preventative measures in the current technological transformation era.

5G technology, both core and RAN is software-based, built to be cloud-native, and designed to facilitate the evolution of mobile broadband. The software world is susceptible to attack by threat actors, and any single misconfiguration or security gap in the software might be a serious concern, necessitating the need for the right security controls with adequate monitoring while preventing data intrusions and breaches.

The 5G involves multiple operators, vendors, users, service providers, tools, etc., working together to develop networks, services, etc. Discrepancies, misconfigurations, and compromised software can possibly pose a danger to the performance of the overall network. In addition to that, the amount of processing that happens at nodes and edges acts as a gateway for attackers.

Increasing cyber-attacks on 5G networks pose grave threats to our daily life, asking for industry leaders to join hands in fighting these threats. 5G security policies must focus on bringing visibility into critical aspects by incorporating security methodologies, threat intelligence, and interoperability, among others.

Private sectors, largely owning and controlling the telecom networks in the country, must assume responsibilities to ensure full-proof security measures are women at each level of the 5G infrastructure. And the public sector must responsibly handle the application while following all the security measures.

Wrapping Up

Several advanced facets of 5G offer software-based infrastructure, built-in security, and up to 256-bit encryption, allowing for better threat detection, monitoring, and security at every step. Owing to its unmatched advanced benefits, 5G is set to impart an accelerated boost to various industrial applications, including medicine, mobility, agriculture, military, and more.

Once 5G becomes widely available, it is poised to enable digital transformation at a large scale, connecting entities more than ever before. With the ripple effects that come with the transformation, we need to keep cybersecurity on top priority to ensure protection and security in every aspect of our business and lives.

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