What are the security challenges 5G will face

With the rapid development of mobile Internet and the application of 5g technology, 5g will further enhance people’s mobile broadband application experience and become a software-based, service-oriented and agile network, serving vertical industries such as smart home, smart building, smart city, 3D stereoscopic video, ultra-high definition video, cloud work, cloud entertainment, augmented reality, industry automation, emergency task application, autonomous vehicle, etc.

There is no doubt that 5G has become a hot topic of the new round of information technology in the global mobile communication field.

In order to realize the grand vision of 5G Internet of Everything, 5G must achieve intelligence to support the normal use of resources by heterogeneous networks (3G, 4G, WiFi and other access methods) and devices (mobile handheld devices, Internet of Things devices). And intellectualization requires a high degree of integration of mobile communication technology with cloud computing, big data, virtual reality and other information technologies, as well as innovation of system architecture.

These changes mean that 5G will usher in a comprehensive evolution, including the evolution of the core and management system, as well as the evolution from the wireless end protocol to the application layer protocol. In these evolutions, security impacts are ubiquitous, and 5G will face more complex security challenges.

Security challenges

With the evolution of wireless communication system to the present (i.e. 4G), the security requirements that have been considered include: encryption of wireless communication to prevent malicious eavesdropping of user signaling and data; User authentication based on SIM card to prevent consumption fraud; Assign temporary identity to users to protect their identity privacy; Two way authentication between network and user to prevent pseudo base station attacks, etc.

However, these demands are mainly based on improving the security of data and voice based communication services. 5G not only needs to consider basic data and voice communication services, but also will serve all industries that can be interconnected. In order to face a series of new service requirements, 5G must establish a more comprehensive, efficient and energy-saving network and communication service model to deal with enhanced and multifaceted security requirements.

First of all, 5G needs a unified security management mechanism to ensure the network access security of devices across access technologies, while providing universal security, such as device authentication and privacy. In addition to traditional terminal devices, 5G also needs to provide efficient access authentication mechanisms for massive heterogeneous Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and provide reasonable measures to avoid denial of service attacks from large-scale devices to the network;

Secondly, 5G needs differentiated security mechanisms to serve different personal businesses and vertical industry services. 5G cloud based end-to-end network slicing is recognized as the most effective solution to achieve differentiated services. Therefore, the implementation of differentiated security mechanisms in network slices is also a problem that 5G must consider.

Privacy information protection measures

Secondly, 5G needs more comprehensive privacy information protection measures. 5G access devices are no longer just traditional communication devices, but also include a large number of Internet of Things devices oriented to specific applications. These devices will collect a large amount of users’ private information, including health status, personal preferences, social security information, life footprints, etc., and these information will be further processed by third-party service providers in the 5G system to give users a better use experience. Therefore, how to protect user privacy in an all-round way in an open system in the age of big data will also be another security challenge for 5G.

The security problems faced by 5G are far more than those mentioned above. For such a huge system, the security problems are hard to exhaust. However, security is the cornerstone of making 5G a mobile network platform. At present, many enterprises and communication alliances have recognized the importance of 5G security for the evolution of the entire system, and discussed some key security issues through a series of meetings, white papers and draft standards, aiming to find specific solutions to the corresponding problems.

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