News that 5G is actively being rolled out and news of standalone 5G appearing is also good. But 5G is far from being ubiquitous. Both the EU and India, according to the news of the collaboration, have committed to spending $355 billion and $70 billion in bringing it to the population.
Even if, together or apart, we ‘fix’ 5G security, which is debatable in these times of supercharged cyberattacks, there is another issue that needs addressing.
The embarrassing trade war between the US and China, which shows no signs of de-escalating, will create an environment of rivalry, not collaboration. And surely 5G security is too important for different approaches to make sense.
Already ‘clubs’ are forming. The US is being followed in banning Huawei and ZTE by the UK and Australia, to name but two. China will go another way and be followed by those countries where their influence is greater than that of the US.
5G security will become a huge issue, and standards bodies have taken decades to prove conclusively that collaboration and pooled thinking are the most effective ways of creating open yet safe systems, which create platforms on which innovation and creativity can flourish.
Creating two (or more) camps around 5G and 5G security will only increase the most fundamental strategy of bad guys down the years – ‘divide and conquer’. And hackers and hacking cartels can only be looking at the increased cracking of relationships with enormous glee.
If 5G security was important before, it would be vital in the future. For 5G to be trusted, it must be a basically unbreakable platform. All the promises about what 5G can deliver for it to be used as an attack vehicle for all those gaming and IoT applications that we are promised is simply not an option.
And now, with the forming of clubs, the challenge that is 5G security is a lot harder.