5G a boon, but also offers more openings for cyber attack, says security expert
With 5G cellular phone networks just around the corner, opportunities are opening up not just for businesses, but also for cyber attacks, according to a leading cyber security expert.
Sharat Sinha, Vice President/General Manager, Asia-Pacific & Japan at Check Point Software Technologies, warned that the increase in accessibility brought by the upcoming 5G infrastructure will also put into the spotlight new vulnerabilities in electronics waiting to be accessed by malicious actors and hackers.
“As 5G gets rolled out, you’ll have more bandwidth, which essentially means more applications will start using it. It also means that more devices will be connected,” Sinha said in an interview Thursday at the City of Dreams resort complex in Pasay City.
The increase in connected devices means that the threat surface for potential attacks has grown, the security expert said. Cyber attackers are now looking to infect devices with IOT (Internet of Things) functionality. IOT is a term used to describe a system of devices that can interface with other machines without the need for input from humans or computers.
Today, smart versions of appliances have IOT functionality such as refrigerators, thermostats, stoves and washing machines. Sinha highlighted that these devices are vulnerable to attacks because their low processing power means that security programs and agents cannot be installed on the units.
“We also anticipated and are seeing some early cases where IOT devices are being utilized to launch a cyber attack,” Sinha said.
However, the Check Point software executive said that there are ways for businesses and individuals to protect themselves and their gadgets from cyber attacks through 5G connections.
“These are low processing power devices where you cannot potentially put an agent so you need some cloud-based security mechanism which can remotely provide protection,” Sinha said. “One of the impediments of deploying wide-cloud infrastructure is access to the cloud. 5G actually solves that problem.”
Sinha said that as the world’s leading provider of data center and networking cybersecurity solutions, Check Point Software Technologies is more than capable of delivering full-spectrum protection for all devices tailored for both large corporations and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Aside from users of the internet, Sinha said that Check Point also has cybersecurity protection options for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) themselves.
“Our latest product, CloudGuard Connect, offers network security as a service, which is very meaningful for MSMEs,” Sinha said. /ra
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