Redefining Cybersecurity amid 5G: Cybersecurity Evangelist Of The Year, Shares Powerful Insights on Ongoing Tech Reforms
In recent years, there has been an unprecedented surge in the incidence of cybercrimes. This trend has been all the more glaring post-pandemic, during which internet activity proliferated owing to the increased prevalence of BYOD devices and Work-from-home trends. Even though more and more offices are resuming in premise operations, remote working is here to stay, and not going to go back to 100% in premise working.
In countries like Australia especially, the rise in cybercrime was observed to be of statistical significance in that over 67,500 cybercrime reports (a 13 percent increase from the previous year) were received by the ACSC (Australian Cyber Security Center) during the 2020–22 financial years. Given the alarming statistics, some industry experts have come forth with avant-garde strategies for optimizing the cybersecurity front.
In this interview, we’ll be highlighting one such expert, Nakul Madhura, who has been in the news for his reformative work in the Cybersecurity space. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Nakul has been both nationally and internationally recognized for the depth and extensiveness of his ideas, he is an evangelist for Cybersecurity/ awareness.
We recognize Nakul as an International Cybersecurity Evangelist for the year 2021-2022, and here we gather his insights in relation to cybersecurity and the emergence of 5G technology.
Prime Insights: Could You Enlighten Us on How 5G Will Affect the Dynamics of the Digital Space?
Nakul: In effect, 5G mobile networks will engender a drastic reform in the way we view mobile computing. For starters, the speed and capacity of 5G will be so superior that they’ll far exceed the capabilities of most consumer devices it’s connected to. A great example of this would be the next-generation 5G-enabled TV, which will hold the capacity to deliver several times more pixels than the current HD or even 4K TVs. The speed of such a network is also estimated to be at least 10X of the present 4G networks. A movie taking several minutes to download via 4G can be downloaded in a matter of seconds through 5G technology.
Data download aside, the new and sophisticated network will also be beneficial on a multitude of government, business, and industrial fronts. Numerous mission-critical activities on these fronts entail IoT (the internet of things) covering different connected devices, as well as environmental sensor networks. Harnessing 5G tech in such a setup can render its processes seamless and also cut down costs owing to automation.
In conjunction with this network, I envisage artificial and machine learning playing a metamorphic role in bringing about a new tech reality. They’d be conducive to creating new paradigms of operation in upgraded smart homes, virtual offices, autonomous vehicles, etc., which drastically alter the dynamics of our day-to-day life.
Prime Insights: What Are Your Thoughts on the Current Market Trends and Their Impact on 5G?
Nakul: The uncanny coincidence of 5G and Covid-19 pandemic, I believe, is actually quite opportune. The ever-growing work-from-home & remote working trends necessitate a sufficiently fast internet technology. Quite conspicuously, 5G can more than fill this demand.
The worldwide implementation of the network is already in full force with estimates projecting that the spending on its network infrastructure will almost double this year. 4G/5G Hybrids are strategically being implemented to be evolved into full-fledged 5G networks across the globe. By 2023, it’s predicted that more than one billion 5G connections will be implemented on a worldwide scale.
Prime Insights: How Do You Think 5G Network, Will, Influence Cybersecurity Norms?
Nakul: Despite the multifarious benefits 5G has for tech efficiency, it also holds the potential for new avenues of cyber threats. Throughout the world, there has been much discussion regarding the various implications it has for not only cybersecurity but also other facets of day-to-day living.
In Australia and other Five Eyes countries, the emphasis of such talks has been on ensuring optimal security as well as preservation of people’s rights through the adoption of stringent policies. In the European Union, this approach has seen a somewhat different trajectory with regulatory bodies proposing a Joint EU Toolbox on Cybersecurity. This would entail umpteen mitigating measures that’ve been mutually agreed upon by member states.
Cumulatively, the Toolbox would encompass seven key policy areas like regulatory powers, controlling the use of managed service providers, restrictions for high-risk suppliers, etc., and also nine operational issues, such as the application of baseline security requirements, ensuring strict access controls, etc. The implementation of these measures has been relatively gradual thus far, in that many states are still in the early stages in several different areas.
Owing to the ever-evolving nature of 5G technology, the exactitude in implementation of these measures cannot be elucidated as they remain subject to the intricate developments within the technology.
Prime Insights: Please Elaborate the Implications of 5G for the Business World
Nakul: Albeit noteworthy, the hype around 5G isn’t 100% advantageous for the business domain. The uncertainty in the implementation of security measures has ushered a palpable lack of confidence among regulatory bodies & business owners alike. In view of the current scenario, I feel a rapid and outright transition to 5G-centric practices for businesses would be premature.
The Australian business sphere has seen a plethora of technological advancements in the past years; however, none of them has been as horizon-altering as 5G. All businesses in the country, thus, should adopt a strategic approach to go about its incorporation with tact & discernment, assessing pivotal areas like user privacy, service access, supply chain integrity among many others.
Notwithstanding the great hype of 5G, there’s also a general reluctance towards the technology owing to questions on security. A great many businesses are still doubtful of their security front because of a lack of clarity on the same. Despite this, however, I’ve observed the 5G rollouts in Australia in 2020 to be steady for the most part. In the coming time, the trend will certainly bolster further.
Prime Insights: Lastly, how do you envision a safe trajectory for the worldwide implementation of 5G?
Nakul: As I elucidated earlier, a gradual and methodical transition to 5G is the way to go in the worldwide implementation of 5G. The network deployment considerations mainly include target network planning, coverage optimization, Massive MIMO selection, time slot synchronization configuration, and NSA and SA strategy. All of these steps entail a myriad of technical specifications with regard to infrastructure requirements. To keep pace with the growing security demands, the supporting infrastructure will gradually evolve to accommodate the same. Many businesses, however, are bound to largely depend on telecommunications providers and managed service providers to deal with the kind of exposures created by 5G.
The currently unknown vulnerabilities of 5G also leave us with umpteen “what-ifs” as to the extent of its penetration into our personal lives. Tackling such issues, however, constitutes more deliberation and conscious choice on the user’s end, as opposed to simply technological reforms.
Above all, I feel that we should develop a deeper sense of technological responsibility and not hold a myopic view of 5G or any other tech for that matter. We can use the time in hand to focus on the measures that are actually within our scope of control, such as the greater implementation of three-layer protections which can shield against virtualization vulnerabilities, more robust multi-factor authentication, zero-trust architectures, better patching regimes, etc.
I’d like to encourage all the readers to constantly develop their knowledge base and awareness in terms of the cybersecurity scenario, and make it a paramount aspect of their learning process. The year 2022 has ushered remarkable changes in the virtual space that will necessitate a certain level of ‘tech-preparedness’.