Hub for 5G security on the cards

PETALING JAYA: A national centre to boost the security of 5G technology is on the cards.

“One of its focuses is to evaluate applications, systems, hardware and infrastructure that come with 5G technology, ” CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab said.

The centre, to be known as the National Centre for Security Evaluation in Advance Technology of CyberNetwork, is in its planning stages.

It will be set up based on budget approval from the 12th Malaysia Plan.

5G network is the next generation of mobile Internet connectivity, and will be about 10 times faster than current network speeds.

It will enable users to upload and download gigabytes of files in seconds.

Such technology will pave the way for the usage of virtual reality, driverless cars and drones.

Amirudin said one of the benefits of 5G is that it enables safe identity management to ensure only genuine users can access services.

The 5G wave will also increase real-time detection of potential malware on a user’s smartphone, wearable devices and smart home appliances.

“On a national level, it can provide better security surveillance with the usage of drones to monitor and detect criminal suspects.

“Machines and artificial intelligence (AI) can be deployed to create new cybersecurity solutions such as automated threat detection and mitigation to protect our national IT infrastructure from cyberattacks, ” he said in an interview.

Amirudin, however, said there are threats that come along with 5G technology, including “eavesdropping”.

With mobile networks becoming more important, they also stand to be a potential target for Denial-of-Service attacks, when an attacker tries to prevent legitimate users from accessing information or services.

Amirudin said man-in-the-middle attacks or “hijacking” can also occur whereby the attacker secretly relays and possibly alters communication between two parties who believe they are directly communicating with each other.

“With high Internet connectivity, there will always be a risk of cyberthreats. CSM will continue to provide expert technical services and identify the various facets of threats which are detrimental to public safety and national security.

“At the same time, we will continue to provide our input to the government about cybersecurity, ” he said.

Amirudin said CSM will offer security evaluations or testing services for applications and infrastructure on 5G technology.

“These initiatives will benefit the developers of applications, systems and hardware as well as providers of 5G infrastructure by increasing the security assurance of these solutions, ” he added.

Tests of 5G mobile phone services have been done in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya since April but will be expanded to Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak, Terengganu and Kedah.

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