Thales Blog

Protect 5G to Secure Sustainable Growth

October 11, 2022

Chen Arbel Chen Arbel | Associate Vice President, Business Development, 5G More About This Author >

The connectivity provided by 5G is revolutionizing our conceptions of connectivity and data flows. These concepts are no longer limited to our mobile devices but are becoming increasingly important to operations in the manufacturing, transportation, and energy sectors. In fact, according to Gartner, the deployment of IoT devices will accelerate from 25 billion in 2023 to 75 billion in 2025.

5G will not only enable these billions of devices to provide a wide range of services, but it will also result in a huge expansion of the cybersecurity threat landscape, as more business operations become targets for criminals, both individual and state-sponsored. The deployment of 5G to change sustainability and efficiency improvements may be jeopardized by cyber-attacks. Future enterprises will be able to achieve their net-zero targets and provide a more sustainable service because of the protection of 5G infrastructure with streamlined and efficient processes and controls.

The benefits of 5G connectivity

Clean energy

Both the renewable energy business and the telecommunications industry are projected to expand significantly over the next decade, and the green energy movement is gaining traction. By connecting the two, industry professionals may capitalize on this exponential growth. In addition to cutting costs, combining 5G networks with renewable energy eliminates the industry's dependency on fossil fuels, hence reducing the industry's carbon footprint.

The adoption of 5G technology will also aid the energy industry, allowing even remote power stations to remain connected with little lag and the best available bandwidth. In the event of a brownout or blackout, there will be less information latency if there is more data.

Transportation and urban living

5G will bring about changes in the transportation industry. While it is impossible to anticipate all future applications, recent research from the World Bank anticipates three probable and significant changes: (1) the emergence of connected and autonomous vehicles, (2) increasingly smart and efficient logistics, and (3) the introduction of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platforms to improve urban transportation.

The availability of 5G in urban areas presents a revolutionary potential for urban mobility, allowing cities to upgrade and optimize their transport systems. With access to 5G, cities will be able to enhance public transport operations and planning, even introducing dynamic transport planning, which might reduce traffic congestion and reallocate space for bikes and pedestrians. Smart connection and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications offered by 5G will increase the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, who will also benefit from safer cars.

Manufacturing productivity

New process improvements will be required to achieve much-required advances in efficiency and profitability. For manufacturers, competitiveness is of the utmost importance. This involves the continuing automation of robots and warehouse transportation, as well as the severing of connections to become genuinely flexible. 5G and IoT will be essential for enhancing and enabling these manufacturing advancements.

5G networks allow manufacturers and telecom operators to construct smart factories that fully leverage technology such as automation, artificial intelligence, augmented reality for troubleshooting, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Intelligent agriculture

Agriculture is essential to human survival; however, it is astonishing that two decades into the 21st century, agriculture is still reliant on physical labor to a significant degree. 5G in agriculture is altering this by facilitating the automation of repetitive and labor-intensive processes, potentially ushering in a new era in the history of contemporary agriculture.

Sustainability has never been more important than it is right now, given the effects of the climate crisis and the ever-increasing global population. Intelligent agriculture may play a crucial role in food crop production. Using a combination of 5G, edge computing, and artificial intelligence (AI) that enables connectivity at a higher speed and lower latency, smart farming could be a game-changer as we reach a production crossroads. The combination of 5G and other technologies will also increase the precision of farming by replacing obsolete, one-size-fits-all approaches to crop productivity, water and pesticide use, and waste management with tailored, data-driven methods.

Protecting 5G from cyber threats

The success of the technology itself is at the heart of 5G's ability to promote sustainability. Nevertheless, the implementation of any new technology is always plagued with challenges. The changeover to 5G will not occur with a single click. Initially, 5G will operate concurrently with 4G networks while the physical infrastructure upgrades. Adapting to the new system will necessitate hardware updates for devices and network infrastructure. Eventually, 5G will be deployed as a software-only network that can be maintained in similarly as any other digital system already in use.

Politics and the media have begun a 5G race, but the tougher race is to secure this network. Thierry Breton, European Union Commissioner for the Internal Market, stated that it is more vital than ever to ensure a high degree of security for our communication networks due to the implementation of 5G networks across the EU and the increasing reliance of our economies on digital infrastructures. Due to the inherent weaknesses of software, the ecosystem of 5G applications could offer a significant security risk, not only to people but to every nation. The disruption of critical infrastructure caused by a 5G infrastructure attack will significantly impact enterprises and the general population.

The integrity of the virtualized infrastructure and the privacy of the data that flows within it are essential components of a reliable 5G network. The safety and validity of subscriber authentication and privacy present numerous issues, such as the complexity of the infrastructure, the scattered nature of 5G networks, and the staggering number of connected IoT devices.

A solid foundation of trust for your 5G infrastructure ensures that all devices, data, transactions, and users are safeguarded without sacrificing adaptability, usability, or scalability. Thales has introduced the 5G Luna Hardware Security Module to aid Network Equipment Providers (NEPs) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in addressing security concerns around subscriber privacy & authentication vector.

To find how Thales can help you protect your 5G success, download the whitepaper “A New Trust Model For The 5G Era.”