By Joanne Taaffe

Industry needs to address security
amid growth

Changes in mobile internet usage and the adoption of 5G demand new approaches to security, warned executives from Anchor Free and Mobileum.

“Hackers, corporations and governments are already exploiting user data without any controls,” said David Gorodyansky, CEO of AnchorFree.

And this, he explained, is before more than 25 billion IoT devices come online and 2.5 billion people in emerging markets upgrade to smartphones from feature phones.

“5G is set to be the most secure mobile generation so far,” added Steve Buck, SVP security, at Mobileum. But advances need to first be applied to 4G.

“Most of the world’s traffic will not be on 5G for many years to come so the requirement to secure all previous network generations remains imperative. We will also need to retro-fit encryption and authentication to 4G networks based on what we have agreed for 5G.”

Making mobile security transparent and easy to use is good business practice, said Gorodyansky.

“Security and privacy must be made simple to use. It is also time that the private sector realised that user privacy and security are both the right thing to do morally and a good business opportunity.

“Every company should have a public transparency report that clearly shows how they share user data, if they share it at all, how many government requests for user information they receive and whether they share any data based on these requests.”

If the industry doesn’t address security adequately, governments and regulators will.

“Many regulators and government agencies are now seeing 5G as part of a country’s critical national infrastructure,” said Buck. “We can expect to see increasing interest in ensuring that 5G networks are built with the highest levels of security available. Whether that is through encouragement or enforcement is yet to be seen but it will happen.”