- On 6. April 2022
Digital technologies bring many advantages and can greatly help us in many areas of our lifes. However, they bring also challenges. We should be ready to face them consciously and to make sure that they will serve us, not otherwise.
One of such technologies is 5G and the challenges are numerous. Among them are security and independence. When we speak about facing challenges, we should be realistic and take lessons from the history. Also this very recent.
5G network will change the way we communicate not only between ourselves but also with and within entire digital world around us. The amount but also a type of data that will be exchanged will be incomparable to anything we are dealing with at the moment. So far, we have failed to create secure digital environment of so-called traditional internet which was way more limited in number of users, devices, amount and type of data being transfer. We have also failed to provide security to the growing world of IoT. And why? One of the reasons is that we have adopted weak and compromised password-based authentication system that didn’t pass the test on the numerous occasions when dealing only with users and created even larger security vulnerability for IoT devices. With 5G we will have not only increased number of connected users with various networks but, above all, increased number of devices that need to authenticate with each other within a network. Secure user and device access and authentication is a great challenge and we should rethink our todate approach to it and reach out for new solutions that can solve this problem. Fortunately, such solutions are already on the market.
Security of Data
Another challenge we have mentioned was security of data. This is a growing issue for entire IoT world as most of the IoT devices are unable to run demanding encryption algorithms and hence communication between them is not protected at all. 5G network capabilities will only increase the amount of data transferred. Unprotected data. This gives to cyber criminals an opportunity to not only steal data but, maybe even worse, to manipulate it causing misinformation which is in many cases enough to create complete chaos in our digital world.
With data security is connected also another challenge for 5G networks – Independence. During the most recent weeks we have witnessed how dependence form services/good providers can be extremally dangerous. Russian invasion on Ukraine and major dependence of the most European countries on the Russian fossil energy sources have shown that good strategy of building own and secure services is much more important than illusoric convenience in short perspective. We clearly see what the outcome is of being tied to one, foreign services/goods provider(s). We have witnessed it during the pandemic and now we see it also at the occasion of war.
The Role of EU
There should be no doubt that EU must be independent when it comes to its digital infrastructure and services. Europe has potential, skills and resources to create we just need to think strategically and act not only out of convenience. We should focus more on investment in our future that may require additional effort, than reaching out for easily accessible solutions that in longer perspective can turn out to be more problematic than helpful. Europe is known to be in the avant-garde of the user and data protection. Implementation of the 5G network may be a chance for EU to ensure that it will be done with cybersecurity and protection in place as a core element of it. This includes also effort to ensure security of the IoT devices manufactured and/or allowed to operate within EU and actual implementation of the strong users (and devices) authentication. As European companies, technology providers, manufacturers, research institutes and any other entities that are involved in development and implementation of IoT and 5G we should participate in this process and take special responsibility on our shoulders to ensure that the future of our digital reality will be as secure as it should be.
Let’s hope that we will change our attitude towards cybersecurity and will treat it as a cost or option but rather integral and core part of our existence in the digital environment.
Smart Secure Networks as a coordinator of the Polish IoT & AI Cluster – SINOTAIC focuses its activities on the integration of human capital, technologies and development of highly innovative solutions based on experience, technological potential of technology providers and research institutes in the area of IoT and AI. The Cluster fosters potential of its members and partners through integration, creation of joint solutions and educational projects. Cluster has developed a network enabling to create, validate and implement IoT products and related services distinguished by their innovativeness, cyber security and high quality of implementation. Cluster provides support in digitalization and implementation of the smart technologies across industries. One of the main objectives of the Cluster is also to foster International cooperation, exchange of experience, know-how and skills to support development and integration of the IoT based technologies globally.
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