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Time to Rethink 5G Security Approach
Planning for security in 5G networks requires a whole new approach compared to previous-generation networks to protect network infrastructure, according to a new technical report on 5G architecture and security published by the U.K. government. With 5G rollouts planned in some form or another around the world this year, the very fact that the architecture opens up opportunities for multiple players to operate on the network (rather than just a single network operator) could significantly increase the attack surface for connected devices, autonomous vehicles, and other use cases flagged up for 5G. Hence, the report suggests that a whole new mobile security strategy is needed and makes four significant security-based recommendations that the authors believe will protect vital infrastructure. "Since the age of 2G, mobile networks have been some of the most secure things on the planet, helped by the fact that each one is controlled by a single network operator," said Peter Claydon, project director of AutoAir, one of the 5G testbeds in the U.K. that contributed to the report. "5G opens up mobile networks, allowing network operators to provide 'slices' of their networks to customers. Also, customers’ data can be offloaded and processed at the edge of the network without going through the secure network core. This report is a timely reminder of the security challenges that these new features raise."
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