While discussing cybersecurity at the Canadian Wireless and Telecommunications Association 5G event, Nokia’s Patrick Rhude highlighted that due to the vast number of connections and the updated network architecture, 5G networks have 200 times more access points for hackers to attempt cyberattacks than 4G (via Financial Post).
Rhude explained that the difference with 5G is the magnitude of access points connected to the network, noting that some Internet of Things devices can be hacked in less than 15 minutes. “For a service provider, it’s not if I get breached, it’s when I get breached,” Rhude said.
BlackBerry’s chief technology officer Charles Eagan, who was also one of the cybersecurity panelists, agreed that network complexity and the expanded physical attack surfaces present a challenge for securing 5G networks.
“I don’t want to be doomsday, but … I like to say we’re tripping over the start line of a secure connected world,” Eagan said. “We’re going to make it fundamentally more challenging as we move into 5G.”
“Make sure all the components you’re using have good pedigree,” Eagan said.
Both BlackBerry and Nokia executives agreed that it’s not enough to build a secure network, but that telecoms must constantly monitor security so they detect threats or breaches as quickly as possible.
The latest security concerns with 5G networks come amid a political debate over whether Canada should ban Chinese telecom giant Huawei from its 5G networks. At the same time, Ottawa has also offered Nokia funding of up to $40 million for conducting research on 5G wireless technology in Canada.