5G networks are the talk of the mobile world, with a few test markets already available in the US and the UK. The launch of 5G networks marks a sea change in greater global connectivity and a radical departure from the traditional network connectivity of the past. It also opens up a range of urgent cybersecurity issues that will require a new approach by mobile network operators (MNOs). The central challenge is the exponential growth of the attack surface as IoT devices and mobile edge-based computing expand on a scale never previously seen.
5G networks use novel technological concepts to meet the requirements of both broadband access everywhere and ultra-reliable and affordable connectivity to a huge number of IoT devices. To enable this change, MNOs will largely turn to advanced technologies, such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), both of which leverage advances in cloud computing such as mobile edge computing (MEC). SDN and NFV technologies, however, present their own cybersecurity issues.
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