5G presents a rare opportunity to reinvent cybersecurity


By: Dave Grady, Chief Security Evangelist

Cybersecurity leaders are paying close attention to the arrival of 5G, working hard to understand if and how 5G will change the ways they secure their organizations. Alex Schlager, Verizon’s Executive Director of Security Services, understands the concerns. "I think a healthy degree of concern is always appropriate, but one of the big differences with 5G is that a lot of the learnings we took from 3G and 4G when it comes to security have been embedded into the 5G architecture," says Schlager. "The standard, which was created by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), is really centered on security. So there is a large number of new capabilities and architecture concepts that have been built into 3GPP, and therefore into 5G, to help network transport be inherently more secure."

Schalger adds that 5G also enables Zero Trust, which, is the concept that no component of the network can execute any action or transmit any data to another entity without being authenticated first and authorized to do so. Additionally, 5G incorporates comprehensive encryption standards and encryption methodologies, so data is secured and encrypted in transit.

The advent of 5G, Schlager says, is a "is a perfect opportunity to abandon our historical approach of building security from the bottom up and hoping that it’s good enough." Instead, he says, "it’s time to really flip the logic and say "’ want to start with the use case; I want to determine the risk exposure and the worst-case scenario that that use case presents. How do I protect these use cases to a minimum degree proportional to the risk, and how do I enable a very fast and effective detection capability?’ If you look at all these new use cases, they represent a lot of potential disruption for private citizens—and for corporations, because consumer trust is paramount. And we will not achieve consumer trust if we can’t demonstrate that we can detect compromises and protect those 5G-enabled environments accordingly."

For more information, download this comprehensive technical white paper on 5G security from Verizon.

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