Booz Allen highlights security challenges associated with 5G

A new whitepaper from Booz Allen Hamilton outlines 5G’s most significant technical changes, its diverse operational value, and associated risks and opportunities.

Souheil Moukaddem, Executive Vice President and Managing Director at Booz Allen Hamilton MENA stated: “As 5G networks come online in the UAE and other GCC countries, facilitating the creation of secure and resilient 5G ecosystems is an urgent priority. 5G will forge connections between devices and the digital world. However, this connectivity also translates to new vulnerabilities. The government and private sector must recognize and address these risks early in the network development process.”

Booz Allen assembled experts in cybersecurity research, engineering, and threat intelligence to identify 5G’s key interworking technologies. Examining these core 5G technologies, Booz Allen’s experts identified opportunities adversaries could exploit, what they might hope to gain from targeting these technologies, how these threats could impact organizations and users, and how operators could mitigate identified risks.

5G will have far-reaching impact across industries, empowering sectors such as healthcare and logistics to adopt new operating models, gain novel insights, and drive efficiencies. However, the increased number of mission-critical IoT devices will present threat actors with a wide array of new opportunities to inflict damage. 5G IoT devices will generate massive volumes of data that can be stolen, destroyed, or manipulated. Virtual networks customized for specific sectors and organizations will encourage new targeted threats against them. New software and hardware supply chains will most likely lead to the introduction of untrustworthy components in the 5G ecosystem. While organizations plan to take advantage of the global 5G rollout, it is imperative to proactively prepare for these – and other – identified threats to 5G’s core technologies.

Booz Allen’s whitepaper outlines specific threat scenarios, aligned to core identified elements of the 5G ecosystem and associated threat mitigations. The scenarios capture a wide spectrum of possibilities from attacks that damage industrial process devices and disrupt critical processes enabled by 5G networks to the theft of sensitive data, the risk of IoT-enabled devices being compromised, and disinformation campaigns.