With 5G poised to become widely available across the globe, enterprise organizations need to seriously consider the security implications of deploying the technology.
Over the next few years, 5G networks are expected to play a central role in enabling new digital transformation initiatives and in supporting new business use cases that are beyond the reach of current 4G-network technology. Driving much of that change will be 5G’s speeds of up to 1Gbps, its 1-millisecond latencies, and its support for up to about 100 times more connected devices per unit area compared to 4G.
Katell Thielemann, vice president at Gartner Research, says the first impact of 5G will be in the form of enhanced mobile broadband services with up to ten times faster speeds than current technology. Over the longer term, expect 5G to enable ultra-reliable low-latency communications for applications such as autonomous vehicles and to support massive machine-to-machine networks with billions of connected sensors and other devices, she says.
Many of these capabilities are still far away from being fully realized. Despite the hype, communication service providers are still building out their 5G networks and some of the standards associated with the technology are still evolving. Even so, security is an issue that organizations should be planning for right now, analysts say.
“5G is emerging as both an accelerator to deployment and as a cautionary tale from a security standpoint,” Thielemann says. “As is unfortunately usual, speed to market and cost considerations are taking precedence over security considerations,” Thielemann notes.