Normal day-to-day life was brought to a halt by the COVID-19 pandemic, which greatly impacted the lives of virtually all people worldwide in unprecedented fashion. As people have stayed home and isolated themselves to avoid contracting and spreading the virus, there has been increased reliance on virtual connectivity due to a sharp increase in remote work and people performing their daily transactions over the internet.

This situation is now leading to an accelerated adoption of 5G architecture, resulting in a 5G-based Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. The 5G-based IoT ecosystem is a system of connected devices that reside on the 5G network. The benefits of the 5G network include providing new technology capabilities, allowing for higher productivity compared to previous mobile technologies, transferring and delivering 1,000x higher mobile data volume per area between devices, connecting a higher number of devices with a higher user data rate, providing 10x longer battery life for low power massive machine communications, and 5x reduced End-to-End (E2E) latency.

Due to the increased digital usage and the already existing risks and threats associated with current and previous cellular network technologies, there has been a higher number of data breaches and cyberattacks, with malicious actors taking advantage of citizens and businesses during the pandemic. Some of these identified risks/threats that lead to data breaches and cyber-attacks include:

  • Bidding down attacks, which weaken existing authentication mechanisms
  • Malicious network connections to networks by rogue user devices
  • Pretense of user devices roaming on networks
  • Sensitive data vulnerability due to poor data encryption or no encryption
  • Higher risk of attackers due to new remote access threats
  • Authentication traffic spikes due to acts by malicious actors

Source: Digital Security and 5G Security Architecture