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Palo Alto Networks predicts 5G opens up new cybersecurity threats

Telecommunications companies have been aggressive in rolling out 5G infrastructure the past months and manufacturers are building devices that are compatible with the technology. The more connected people are, the more vulnerable are data to cybesercurity threats. This is just one of the predictions of cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks.

5G’s nodes or redistribution point or a communication endpoint becomes the attack surface wherein cybercriminals are ready to exploit.

The hype on 5G is driven by its promise of unparalleled speed and low latency, which would benefit the enterprise and consumer sectors. One of the industries that is believed to make the most of the technology is the industrial sector. Companies are exploring various use cases, which also in turn, could become the entry point to install malicious software.

Palo Alto Networks launches 5G-native security solutions

Palo Alto Networks outlines technology predictions for 2020

User data

As 5G becomes avaiable, the more data will be also available. But that will not be the only source of user data. As people begin to travel during and post-pandemic, governments will require information that would be needed for contact tracing.

The Philippines’ privacy watchdog has consistently provided guidelines on data management but with the chaos brought by the pandemic, resistance to data privacy may be drowned by health concerns and COVID-19 protocols.

“The key here is we have to think about how to protect the privacy of any information because sharing is a given (now),” said Sean Duca, VP & regional chief security officer, Palo Alto Networks Asia Pacific and Japan. “I think that is going to be the trade off between us getting on a plane and traveling somewhere. We’re going to have to give up a lot more information moving forward.”

A year of telecommuting may have given companies to finetune the new normal of business operations. Unsecured home networks as well as cloud management may have already been addressed by now. This leads to Palo Alto Networks’ prediction that working from home will be much safer and smarter than before.

“Security will then need to be delivered via the edge, which will see solutions such as secure access service edge (SASE) being the new cybersecurity norm, thanks to its flexibility, simplicity, and the visibility it offers,” Palo Alto said in a statement.

Network security

Palo Alto Networks predicts that there will be some sort of order and normalcy in the remote setup with companies able to identify issues and address them making WFH or hybrid work setup viable and reasonable in this situation.

The cybersecurity company said that while network security controls remain an important component of cloud security, an additional layer of identity and access management (IAM) governance is now needed as organizations continue to scale their cloud presence.

Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 researchers observed that a single IAM misconfiguration could allow attackers to compromise an entire, massively scaled cloud environment and bypass just about every security control.

“With the pandemic steering IT teams away from blue-sky thinking toward more nuts and bolts issues, 2021 will see more businesses shifting their IT focus inward to look at getting the fundamentals right and refocusing on things that are truly important, even finding ways to do the same thing for less,” the company said.

Security now needs to work at the speed of the cloud, and any organization that is slow to recognize this in 2021 will only see vulnerabilities multiply exponentially.

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