There is no doubt that with the introduction of the 5G network, you will be able to avail seamless services, smarter technology, and faster phones. However, the question of making the privacy of the users vulnerable has also been raised. The launching of 5G is just around the corner. It promises its access around the smarter cities, virtual reality and self-driving cars. All of the promises that we heard of are its advantages only. However, until now, we have not known any of its negatives. It will provide high 5G internet speed to professionals, normal users as well as hackers.

However, we must not let fear take over and stop us from using 5G network connectivity. You have to understand the true nature of 5G and the actual problem that it can possess.

Risks Involved with 5G Security:

As the release date of 5G is drawing near, our government needs to test the 5G security systems thoroughly. So, let us see what are the risks that we can potentially face with the introduction of 5G.

  • The surface of the attack remains the same  

One of the things which are not changing in 5G is the basic physical infrastructure. This means that the antennas of the 5G will be connected by the fiber optics cable to the internet. These internets are controlled by internet providers. These providers are interconnected with other broader Internet and ISPs with the help of fiber optics. All this indicates that the exploitation of data by the companies or the government will still be possible. 

However, 5G security has improved the standards to safeguard the communication between the antennas and the devices. With the help of these improvements, the deployment of IMSI catcher or the abuse of signaling protocols will be prevented in a much better way than 4G. 

But, this improvement will not solve the problems in a single go. For these protocols to be effective, it will have to coexist with the 2G, 3G, and 4G protocols. These older protocols are still vulnerable. So, this will provide great problems with 5G safety and security. 

The security threat can occur due to a downgrade attack. It can also occur when a device is tricked to operate on the older protocols. Additionally, it can also occur if there is no 5G present. Another reason can be because the devices use older networks to operate. These devices are generally the industrial control systems or payment devices.

Another problem with the 5G is that you cannot ignore the shorter distance between the antennas. This will lead to ease in pinpointing the location of a particular user. Due to this, there will be greater problems with 5G safety and security.

  • Your device will be not under your control

Adopting 5G will give birth to problems of its own. This is not regarding the new protocols, but the lower latency, and increased speed offered by 5G. This will increase the number of connected devices like the IoT. These IoT devices are mostly connected directly to the network and there are no users involved between them.

The researchers have found that the wide adoption of IoT will have great security and privacy risk. This means that most of the devices will be connected by default and there will be no intervention of the users. Some auto driven cars have this feature already. Although these car companies will maintain a high level of security for their products, that may not be the case with other small industries. They will not pay that much attention to their design and it will lead to some serious design flaws. 

In this kind of design, the chance of design flaws increases considerably. These flaws can range from unpatched vulnerabilities to hardcoded credentials. The unpatched vulnerabilities will allow the skilled hackers to access your device no matter in what way you have configured your computer. Additionally, the hardcoded credentials use ‘master password’ which can be exploited by anyone. Besides high 5G internet speed, all these will pose a serious threat to 5G users. By seeing these drawbacks, you cannot say that 5G is completely safe.  

  • This will make the corporate exploitations easier

Apart from the risks of security from the connect-by-default devices, another major problem is that the users will not be in control of the devices. This will make the users powerless and will increase the chance of abuse. 

All the devices are connected with each other directly without any issues of connection density. This will make the manufacturers connect their devices with mobile providers directly. When this happens, people will lose more control over their devices. 

This losing control of their devices can also occur in a more literal way. For example, if we buy an appliance on an installment and we are due on our installment, it may choose not to work until we clear it. This is one of the many problems with 5G. With the introduction of 5G, we might enter a dystopic future. In this future, you may see a radical change in the meaning of property. Here, you will not actually own a device, rather you will use the service of the device. 

5G security will be even worse with the use of devices that are being controlled by some other person outside. This will lead to many domestic and gender violence. The people in the house will not be able to disconnect the device as they are not the user. These devices can be like cameras and other objects which can be easily concealed in a house. This will make the monitoring of the activity within the house easier for that person. Although this can be also used for safety purposes, one cannot deny the negative use of it.

Some Suggestions that can be Used to Make 5G Safe:

These suggestions are for the policy-making bodies, government, and corporations. By following these suggestions, the users can finally say that 5G is safe. 

For the Policy-making Bodies and Governments

  1. The discussion of 5G must start with the safety and privacy of the users. Debates on national security should be conducted from the perspective of human rights. 
  2. Guidelines should be issued by the Data Protection Authorities. They should also conduct investigations on the data processing activities and the functionality of the connected devices. 

III. Keeping the improved accuracy of 5G in mind, the authority of selling location must be given only to the judicial bodies.

  1. If there is any requirement of removing policy and legal barriers for research, there has to be a law of Cybercrime, which will make ethical hacking criminalize.      

For Corporations

  1. Improving human rights and corporate transparency when they are adopting new protocols for communication. 
  2. The digital security matter must be approached in a more holistic manner. This will make the security of the networks, devices and ultimately the people stronger.

III. Providing information to the users about the working of their devices and the network. This will make them privy to all the information about the network. Hence, they will be able to protect themselves in a much better way. 

  1. They should conduct assessments for security and privacy risks. This will help them to put up security measures more effectively.  


So, now you know about the security risks apart from the high 5G internet speed. However, if the government and the corporations do their job and put up the correct laws and protocols, the security problems with 5G will be reduced to a great extent.