As 5G expands, so does cyber-attack vulnerability
The mobile communicate standard of 4G (LTE), with a data capacity of 1 gigabyte per second (Gbps) is in the process of phasing out. This is, of course, making way for the incredible leap to the 10 Gbps capabilities of the 5G network. This literal data explosion has the market for 5G and 5G-related network infrastructure expanding from around $528 million in 2018 to $26 billion in 2022. Due to the exponential growth of the industry in regard to 5G deployment over the next year as well as the expanding introduction of devices to 5G technology: the sheer surface area over which cyber-attacks can take place is becoming increasingly vast.
Even though the advanced ability to back-up or transmit massive volumes of data to cloud-based storage with the strength of 5G will bring many sought after advantages, it also creates new targets for attackers. In particular, the capability of IoT devices to bypass a central router when exchanging data make the devices more difficult to monitor as well as more vulnerable to direct attacks. This means that security that focuses on risk-driven results and resilience will have an increased priority as well.
Welcome to the “always on” environment
Living in an Internet of Things (IoT) culture has redefined what it means to always be on. Smart devices are no longer only interpersonal communication devices but are now talking to each other as well – day in and day out. This collaboration of mobile devices, voice-controlled digital assistants, unprecedented data collection and the delivery of cloud computing resources is bringing interconnectedness to a whole new level and is redefining the present-day supply chain in the process.
With this progress comes higher levels of complexity and increases in unsecured data exchange like never before. This advancement is bringing with it very real vulnerabilities to manufacturing processes and critical infrastructure. The potential for BI-losses has therefore risen as well. A vast network of devices and data transfer means that the origin of data leakage points is becoming more difficult to trace. An understanding of this new ecosystem is more necessary than ever. For businesses to navigate the IoT business of today and tomorrow, certain questions will have to be addressed to maintain risk resilience. The primary keys for moving forward are knowing where their devices are, what data is being generated, whether access to devices is legitimate and thus who needs to have access and why.
Ransomware attacks point to a more sophisticated approach
If currency prices are high in 2019, you can expect to see cryptojacking to become more popular than ransomware when it comes to cybercrime. By taking advantage of compromised computers, cryptojackers can leverage them with users being unaware until its too late. When the cryptojacking program is in full effect, it will use the computer’s CPU to mine cryptocurrencies elsewhere. Once this begins, a computer or network will slow its processing power to keep up with the mining efforts which can cause the system to falter and lead to sluggishness, overheating and potentially downtime. This could result in lost productivity and even a major blackout.
Cryptojacking can be a very attractive technique for hackers since it is more accessible to implement than other methods, the setup is less time consuming, it is harder to track than ransomware for example and, ultimately, it usually provides a bigger payout. There is no greater impact expected on the cyber insurance industry other than cryptojacking for 2019.