How does 5G heighten the threat of DDoS attacks?

The rolling out of 5G makes for a very exciting time, but organisations must not let excitement eclipse the very real DDoS threats that it introduces

The advent of 5G is upon us, with 2019 slated as the year our devices become all-the-more powerful. However, before we can rejoice at the increased bandwidth and super-low latency, we first must break away from the hype and face reality.

5G is, unfortunately, a breeding ground for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. As a refresher, DDoS attacks are a malicious method of disrupting a website/online service by overwhelming it with too much traffic. If a website is rendered inoperable, the effects can be felt even years later. The impact can result in lost sales, wasted budgets, dissatisfied users (who may never return), and data theft. What’s more, DDoS attacks can be very damaging to a company’s reputation. Perhaps most frightening of all is that anyone can fall victim at anytime. Think financial institutions, healthcare, local governments – anyone. Thus, this style of attack is highly powerful and should not be underestimated. 

DDoS in a 5G environment

Unfortunately, cyber criminals can make big bucks through 5G vulnerabilities, and what’s worse is that they know it. 5G boasts hyperconnectivity, but this is most certainly going to create an influx of malicious traffic. As the number of connected devices and 5G deployments increase, so will the number of attacks. In particular, cyber criminals will take advantage of any poorly secured devices. However, it’s not just the amount of attacks that are a concern, but how quickly they can spread too.

To make matters worse – being a bit frank now – but perhaps there is an element of naïvety about business’s capabilities to combat 5G threats in the first place. Most CISOs don’t have the resources they need for pre-5G attacks anyway! Business leaders are ever so enthusiastic about getting on 5G, but CISO resources are so thin on the ground that it may not be enough.

Not only that, but with 5G, we’re delving into the unknown. It’s still a pioneering technology, so we are yet to uncover new vulnerabilities it’s sure to introduce. 

Securing the right solution

Then again, who wants to be all doom-and-gloom about the induction of 5G? We certainly shouldn’t let malicious actors chip away at this very exciting time. Fortunately for organisations, there are some 5G-ready cybersecurity solutions on the market and at your service. These often boast automated and, importantly, always-on protection in real time. With these in tow, organisations will be in good stead to embrace 5G.

The most important mitigator, however, is awareness. By understanding the risks and acting on them, and by managing your 5G expectations, you can embark on your 5G journey as safely as possible.

To find out more about DDoS, check out this episode of Tech Chat about the current DDoS Landscape.