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5G Wireless Network Risk Factors: Here’s What MSSPs Need to Know


Fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks could help increase data and communication requirements, resulting in a better user experience, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

However, 5G risks persist, and organizations must address these risks to get the most value out of their 5G networks. Ironically, that could trigger new cybersecurity opportunities for MSSPs.

Indeed, CISA identified the following 5G risk factors:

1. Supply Chain

Malicious software and hardware, counterfeit components and poor designs, manufacturing processes and maintenance procedures are among the problems that can affect the 5G supply chain.

2. Deployment

If organizations build their own 5G networks, they could increase the attack surface for malicious actors.

3. Network Security

5G will initially be integrated with 4G LTE networks that may contain legacy vulnerabilities.

4. Loss of Competition and Choice

5G technology manufacturers sometimes build proprietary interfaces into their offerings, which makes it difficult for customers to use other equipment to operate 5G networks.

MSSPs can educate organizations about the aforementioned risk factors to help them secure their 5G networks. Also, MSSPs can provide network security and other managed security services to help organizations combat 5G risks.

Side note: Potential health issues are noticeably absent from the list of risks above. So far, there doesn't appear to be scientific evidence that 5G networks are dangerous to your health, according to The New York Times. But we're still researching the topic and poking around for more safety-related studies.

Introducing the Secure 5G and Beyond Act

The Secure 5G and Beyond Act, a bipartisan House bill that advocates for a national strategy to protect 5G build outs against potential security threats, could have far-flung effects on how organizations address 5G dangers.

This act would require Congress to develop a national strategy to protect consumers against 5G risks. It also would promote research and development by U.S. companies to improve broadband access.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.