HomeSmart BuildingsCybersecurity5G service providers struggle to keep networks secure

5G service providers struggle to keep networks secure

The fifth generation of wireless connectivity, more commonly known as 5G, has been deemed a significantly faster alternative to its predecessors that will offer lower latency and allow businesses and individuals to deploy their own private wireless networks. The challenge now will be keeping 5G networks secure, Inside Towers reports.

Many 5G service providers have had at least one security breach within the past 12 months, according to GlobalData’s research into the current and future 5G security landscape and the managed security services market. Meanwhile, a third of those providers reported at least eight breaches.

The breaches noted in the survey included theft of funds, attacks resulting in an inability to service more than five percent of a customer base, significant fraud or theft of service and customer data leaks.

The 5G Managed Security Survey 2022, which Nokia commissioned, noted that communications service providers (CSPs) see cyberattacks as an ongoing threat.

“The 5G threat landscape is constantly evolving and cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated causing CSPs to struggle to keep up with the abundance of changes and attacks,” the survey said. The 5G Managed Security Survey 2022 included online surveys conducted in Spring 2022 with 50 communications service providers in Asia Pacific, Latin America, North America, Europe, and the Middle East/Africa.

Companies’ security teams can spend between 16 and 22 percent of their time on vulnerability and threat management strategies that could be automated, depending on their size. Additionally, 64 percent of CSP respondents said they spend 30 percent of their time on automatable tasks.

“It’s a matter of when a breach will occur so automation is key for CSPs who are spending too much time on manual tasks, which will increase the efficiency of their security teams,” the report said.

Many of the survey respondents acknowledged that their fragmented security tools make it challenging to implement security measures effectively. It then becomes harder for communications service providers to “quickly defend and respond to threats,” according to the report.

Meanwhile, 82 percent of the survey respondents said they preferred to update their security configurations on an automated or software basis, Inside Towers reports. Sixty-four percent said that security-as-a-service did not provide sufficient visibility and control over security services.

As for 5G SA, 66 percent of the respondents noted they were worried about their current ability to defend against threats from ransomware, followed by phishing. Forty percent of respondents said they need detection and response right now, while 70 percent expect to need help in the future.

“As CSPs migrate to 5G SA to offer more value-added services for customers, they will require help from partners for 5G security including for Managed Security Services (MSS),” the report said.

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