Is the transition to 5G threatening the world of IoT security?


The future is completely open, and so is IoT. IoT or the Internet of Things has completely digitized the way we work or perform daily routines. We not only use IoT for recreation but also to keep track of our fitness and workout routines. Even our homes are becoming more intelligent and innovative and 5G wireless technology is being branded as the “next generation” wireless network. While 5G wireless technology provides a much faster way to connect IoT devices, it also introduces new security issues. This blog discusses 5G vulnerabilities with IoT devices and how improved cybersecurity is essential to ensure a secure 5G future.

What is 5G? What are its features?

The fifth generation wireless network (5G network) is designed to connect virtually everything with machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other IoT technologies. It is also called wifi-LTE and it is much faster than 4G. 5G brings many new features such as:

  • Reduced latency: Delay delivery as low as 1ms
  • Connection density: Enable 10x more efficient connectivity for IoT devices
  • Throughput: Bring uniform multi-Gbps peak rate
  • Low power consumption: Making network processes more efficient to optimize power usage
  • High power: Driving network hyper-densification with more cells everywhere

5G power

  • New machines have been built to monitor important systems of sensor technology that enable us to stop and start before other potential problems occur.
  • Increasing yields in agriculture, tackling pollution and working more efficiently are ways to use IoT on farms.
  • The vehicle automation system exchanges data across vehicles to avoid road collisions.
  • The most successful IoT product will be in the form of an uninterrupted combination of sensors that will detect natural disasters and alert users before a disaster strikes.
  • 5G-enabled drones are becoming a key tool for adding an extra layer of support for emergency response.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes sensors, physical objects, and a growing set of technologies embedded in them that enable these objects to communicate with each other via the Internet. The region has high expectations with less than 22 billion devices expected by 2025

Why is IoT so important?

In the last few years, IoT has become the most important industry we can imagine. Everything from kitchen appliances to cars to medical devices are connected to the Internet using embedded devices, meaning businesses and women can communicate seamlessly between people, processes and things with a powerful and reliable 5G network.

An important way that IoT helps people is to create a non-stop way to connect everyday objects, people and processes. For example, imagine that your phone has an app attached to your car’s “black box”. Based on the data recorded by your vehicle’s system, the app can tell you when things need to be serviced or allow you to compare your driving pattern with other similar drivers.

5G networks are more susceptible to cyber attacks than previous generations of mobile networks. Here are some key factors that may pose potential risks:

  • Attack surface of IoT devices:
    Common vulnerabilities on IoT devices are memory, firmware (in-a-computer), physical interface, network interface, and even software installation. Devices can also be compromised because their internal content is outdated.
    Attacks can come from channels that connect IoT components. Problems that exist in their current state The network protocols can affect the entire IoT system, including DDoS attacks and spoofing.
  • Lack of secure authentication on IoT devices:
    The big problem is that all devices of a particular model are delivered from the factory with the same default username / password combination. This means that if the consumer does not change those certificates, they can access all the devices of the specified model.
    Voice commands and facial recognition can also be spoofed on IoT devices using recorded / generated voice and person images.
  • Botnet Attack:
    A force of Internet-connected devices that act as one is usually combined to carry out attacks or other auxiliary tasks. Such networks are called botnets, and because of the lack of secure authentication and encryption, IoT devices are constantly exposed to botnet attacks.
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS):
    Unlike regular Internet devices connected to a web server, bots can request and gain access to IoT devices on their own or someone else’s behalf. At the same time by flooding a system with numerous bot requests, attackers can generate more traffic and dominate the targeted machine.
  • Man-in-the-middle (MiTM):
    When a third party interrupts an IoT device or communication channel, it is known as a ‘man-in-the-middle’ (MitM) attack. In this attack, an attacker secretly accesses the channel and alternates data back and forth from both ends without both parties being aware. This occurs when IoT devices communicate through channels or use protocols without encryption.

Potential Risk Summary:

  • In the past, networks were created with centralized hardware-based switches. Now they are built with digital architecture that transfers data between devices. This distributed structure means there are no choke points, making it much more challenging to control a threat that could trigger a DDoS attack earlier or cause a network disruption.
  • A network is a complex system of interconnected devices, software and services. New trends towards smart homes and vendors are increasingly leading to software-based solutions for their physical devices, leading to more security holes and cyber vulnerabilities.
  • Regardless of the security of your network, every single 5G device is powered by software. This means that devices are vulnerable to many different threats, they are also vulnerable to a threat that could come from within – an attacker with control over network management software!
  • The rapid increase in a network’s ability to carry traffic from heavy user traffic to 5G creates additional means of attack that hackers can take advantage of.
  • Increased visibility gives the Internet of Things a tempting opportunity for companies to prey on hackers who cannot effectively apply practices and methods to protect against security attacks.

The best practice to secure IoT devices

  • Stay up-to-date: To ensure that devices are constantly up-to-date with the latest software updates and corrections, we recommend keeping your IoT device (s) updated whenever possible.
  • Stay encrypted: IoT devices are vulnerable to attack by hackers. Encrypting your data is one of the best ways to secure it.
  • Disable unused devices: This is essential for minimizing the potential attack surface. In other words, new electronic devices and connected home appliances may be neglected at once, but they still pose a serious threat. Take the time to identify every tool on your network, even if you’ve never used it before, and make sure there are no breaches in your network security.
  • Change Default Certificate: Users must ensure that their secure passwords are changed or created in order to access their IoT devices.
  • Minimize bandwidth for IoT devices: When operating Internet of Things (IoT) devices, security measures should be considered to limit the network traffic that IoT devices can generate.

5G road map in India

According to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), 5G will be launched in 2023 in four major cities and other metropolitan areas. The department wants to conduct 5G spectrum auctions before launching 5G across India
With the help of well-known companies like Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea, trials have been made for 5G services running in some big cities.

To get things started, the most important element is the need for clarity about some regulatory decisions. The spectrum must be legally accessible and licensed to a qualified party to make it initially available for use. Creating a fair and reasonable process for the transfer of the mentioned licenses can help bring about the basic building blocks required for the success of this project. There are a lot of rumors around that the price is too high to access the spectrum.
5G will launch quickly as soon as the controller dust settles. Smartphones are already ready to go, and so are mobile carriers Specific terms for 5G demand need to be clarified before it becomes ubiquitous.

The government has recognized a portion of the spectrum for the public, ranging from 526 MHz to 698 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 632-4 MHz, 632-4 MHz and 3305-5. . As well as personal networks.

Private 5G networks are reserved for captive use in the Industry 4.0 concept. This is an idea that is considered a significant application of 5G networks when introduced to the world. Not only will public 5G networks serve all telecommunications users, but private ones will be connected to the Internet of Things. This will make it more efficient and secure than ever before with all the devices connected to work together through this latest version of the Internet.

Vijay Yadav

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