- 4% of professionals currently use 5G and 80.7% plan to adopt 5G in the year ahead
- 30% believe 5G will mandate investing in skilled security professionals needed for implementation, maintenance and operations
- disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had mixed impacts on organizational plans to adopt 5G
Professionals working in organizations using 5G or planning to adopt 5G within the next 12 months are concerned about the security implications involving the new connectivity standard.
76.4% of professionals currently use 5G and 80.7% plan to adopt 5G in the year ahead, according to a survey by Deloitte. However, their decision to jump on the bandwagon didn’t come without some concern. 30% believe organizations adopting 5G in the near-term will need to also invest in appropriately skilled security professionals needed for implementation, maintenance and operations.
Respondents in organizations planning to adopt 5G in the year ahead see different cyber challenges, like data (26.8%) – due to an increase in the volume and diversity of data created from 5G-enabled segments (e.g., IoT, ERP and sensitive data) as well as data mismanagement risks. Another point of risk is third parties, according to 24.3% of respondents in the poll.
"U.S. 5G bandwidth availability has expanded and accelerated considerably in recent months, offering competitive advantages technologically, financially and otherwise to early adopters," said Wendy Frank, Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory Cyber 5G leader and principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP. "Of course, with all the technological advancement 5G enables, the cyber threat landscape and attack surface areas expand considerably. Working proactively to mitigate cybersecurity risks posed by 5G adoption is the hallmark of a well-designed program."
"For organizations leveraging 5G, cyber risk will mount quickly if challenges -- like a lack sophisticated encryption, decentralized operations or security monitoring functioning to the detriment of performance speeds – are not resolved," Frank said. "Securing the vastly expanded threat landscape resulting from 5G adoption will demand two equally important efforts: getting the right talent in place or upskilled; and, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate areas like security policy configuration, compliance monitoring and threat and vulnerability detection."
The research also found that disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had mixed impacts on organizational plans to adopt 5G. For those at organizations currently using 5G, 32.2% increased adoption speed. Inversely, adoption speed decreased as a result of pandemic-driven disruption for 21.8% of those at organizations planning to adopt 5G in the year ahead, the poll revealed.