A survey conducted by GSMA and Trend Micro shows that many private 5G networks are not equipped with adequate security capabilities. Entities that plan to roll out 5G include think factories, smart cities, industrial IoT, utilities and more.
According to the survey released at Mobile World Congress on Monday, security is expected to be a key issue for enterprises as 5G networks roll out in the next couple of years.
Around 68 percent of mobile operators offer private wireless networks for enterprise customers, according to a study. The rest plans to do so by 2025.
Despite the advantages of 5G, its security challenges are still a major stumbling block for mobile operators. For instance, 41 percent of operators said they face challenges in addressing the various issues related to 5G network virtualization.
Almost half of the respondents said they don’t have the necessary tools and expertise to prevent exploitation. Another contributing factor is the lack of mobile-network security experts (39%).
“The bad guys will try to take over the 5G network by either sneaking some rogue software into the mix, using a supply-chain attack like SolarWinds; or sneaking past authentication to launch their own processes that can cryptomine (stealing resources), exfiltrate data or set off a ransomware attack,” William Malik, vice president of infrastructure strategies at Trend Micro, said.
Even though many operators are still struggling with security, they are more concerned about boosting their security than ever before – 45 percent compared to 22 percent in 2020.
As much as 44% of operators said that they have seen an increase in demand for security services due to COVID-19, with many of them claiming that their clients are now more concerned with protecting their networks.
According to 77% of operators, security is a top revenue opportunity, with 20 percent of 5G’s total revenue forecasted to be coming from security add-on services.