5G – A Business Owner’s Dream, A Hacker’s Fantasy

5G is coming within the
next year. It will be so fast that it will make current fibre broadband speeds
positively snail-like.

That’s all good news,
isn’t it?

It is, but that’s only
half the story. What aspect of the 5G rollout could be bad news? Read on.

 

5G – Mobile on Steroids

The first-ever cars were
limited to walking pace – You had to have someone walking in front of the car!
Those cars didn’t need anti-lock braking systems.

Early cars had no steering
locks, cruise control or central locking. Today’s cars include all manners of
security features that 1920s drivers never even dreamt of.

Cellular Communications in 2020

5G will have lower
latency than 4G networks, meaning video callers and gamers will not notice any
lag at all. Networks will also be able to support more devices without slowing
to the speed of a Nokia NK 402.

Businesses will
increasingly use remote employees who will communicate with their offices over
5G networks. Your data such as customer orders and credit details will all be
there coming over the air for hackers to steal or destroy.

Hide Phone IMSI Details

Employees’ international
mobile subscriber identities (IMSIs) are the key to hacking any device.

Various parties from hackers
to government agencies can set up fake cell towers that allow them to inject
spyware into users’ phones when they connect. There is no way to tell a fake
tower from a real one.

FirstPoint Mobile
Guard
offers a service that protects phones and any
SIM-based device from network-level threats, including fake cell towers,
location tracking, and stingray attacks. It works by hiding the IMSI, so
hackers can’t even see the phone, let alone damage it.

Device users cannot
disable the service and have no reason to do so because it has no effect on
speed or ease of use. Business owners are able to monitor all protected devices
from one virtual dashboard, ensuring total confidence in the integrity of the
network and proprietary data.

Encryption

Most smartphones have
128 or 256-bit encryption built-in as standard: Is that enough?

Most hackers won’t be
able to break your encryption, though government agencies could if they really
wanted to.

Users are able to disable
encryption on their phones and tablets, meaning your company security can be
bypassed at the whim of an employee: Not ideal.

VPN

Using a virtual private
network most of your data tracks around the internet are obscured by
encryption, but some are still readable by a hacker because the VPN only
encrypts the data after it has reached the VPN server; the path from website to
the server is unencrypted.

Users can disable VPN
use, again exposing employer data to attack.

BYOD – Good Financially, But Impossible to
Police

Bringing your own device
(BYOD) saves companies from spending their a large chunk of their budget on
technology, but leaves networks vulnerable to attacks from poorly secured
phones, maliciously-designed apps, and employee carelessness.

A company can only make
stipulations regarding mobile phone and tablet use if those devices are
company-owned. Installed apps need to be strictly controlled, so users do not
install apps that take over the phone’s camera or microphone to the detriment
of the company’s security.

Phones have become
ubiquitous in every home, and if 2-year old children are using pre-school apps,
or teens are using social media apps on a parent’s phone that also has access
to business data, you have a data breach in the making that could destroy your
company.

Allowing employees to
use their own phones to log onto your network is an impossible situation that
might save a few hundred pounds, but at an inestimable cost of customer
confidence if malware or loss of an unencrypted phone results in loss of
customer or company data.

Conclusion

Early mobile phones used
first-generation technology that allowed for speeds of up to 2.4Kb/s. 3G phones support
speeds of 2Mb/s (2,000Kb/s), and 4G offers 1Gb/s (1,000.000Kb/s).

Things are speeding up –
5G promises 20Gb/s, and it’s coming next year. 5G phones need extra security
features, and most do not come as standard. Fingerprint scanning and facial
recognition are valuable, but securing your physical phone is only a tiny part
of the battle when everything you input or receive comes over the airwaves and
is open to interception by hackers.

What’s the best way to
reduce risks arising from 5G phone use?

 

  • Install network-level protection for all devices
  • Allow employees to choose their work phones from an approved list,
    but buy them so they belong to the company
  • Disable employees’ ability to turn off encryption and VPN use
  • Disable employees’ ability to install apps

 

It is best to use every
security enhancement that is available because your business depends on keeping
its information private.

 

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