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5G rollout in India: Security worries for users and how to stay ‘safe’ – Times of India

5G rollout in India: Security worries for users and how to stay ‘safe’ – Times of India

India’s 5G moment is here and the latest generation of internet connectivity and networks has finally arrived. 5G services will reach at least 13 cities later this month whereas the target is to get 5G all over the country in the next couple of years. 5G is expected to usher in a new era but as always there’s also the threat of cybersecurity. According to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, the security worries “result from the network itself, while others involve the devices connecting to 5G.” In other words, there’s a risk for consumers as well as businesses.
Kaspersky isn’t the only one worried about the security challenges 5G will pose. Cybersecurity experts believe that enterprises, governments, and consumers all will have to up the ante in order to keep data safe once 5G kicks off. We take a look at some of the concerns that 5G may bring along for consumers:


More devices mean more risk

One of the hallmarks of 5G connectivity will be giving IoT a big push. IoT or the Internet of Things will enable day-to-day devices to get ‘smarter’ and connected. We are talking about smart locks, and refrigerators — products that seem out of reach currently for many. However, 5G connectivity will give manufacturers the impetus to make more devices and more importantly sell them at lower prices.
The problem is that there will be a lot of affordable devices where security will not be the biggest priority. Think about it. One device is a cybersecurity challenge — malware, fake apps and more. Imagine multiple devices on the same network. Cybercriminals could end up having a field day especially if manufacturers don’t prioritise security.


More security challenges

5G will usher in faster speed which will benefit users. However, add more devices to the promise of fast speed could lead to enormous pressure on existing security monitoring methods. There’s a need to upgrade security monitoring methods to keep users safe as the combination of fast speed and increased number of devices could prove dangerous in the 5G era. Cybersecurity will have to pick up the pace in order to ensure that consumers’ data remains safe. The combination of hardware, software, and cloud is the basis on which 5G infrastructure is built — it simply gives bad actors a bigger playground to pull off their scams and data heists.

What happens to your data

It’s a harsh reality but the truth is that most users aren’t concerned about how their data is being used. 5G will magnify this problem as currently perhaps it’s the data on smartphones, laptops or smart speakers that could be mined. However, 5G connectivity will invariably end up getting users on other devices, which means that data will be out there on the web. Once the data is out there, you simply cannot say where it ends up and how it will be used. When the likes of Facebook can’t really guarantee to keep user data safe, then what’s the chance of a ‘local’ manufacturer that will happily take your data to ensure 5G connectivity keeping it safe?

What you can do to be safe in the 5G era

For many, these might sound too basic or us stating the obvious but they actually go a long way. And there are still many internet users who often miss out on these basics. So keep these tips in mind when and if you get on a 5G network


Passwords

: Can’t stress this enough — keep your passwords ridiculously strong. Not the date of birth, “12345” or worse, “password” type of passwords.


The ‘other’ password:

IoT devices will come with their own set of passwords. Now, these have credentials like username: admin; password: password. Don’t forget to change them as soon as you have the device installed.


Keep your devices updated:

As we said 5G will bring more devices into your lives. Just ensure that every device — fridge, lock, car infotainment system — is updated. Any device that is being connected to the internet will need to be updated regularly through firmware or OTA (over the air) updates.

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