5G Security. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Security Leaders Scale Cyber Strategies To Rival 5G Threatscape

Their message is clear: We won’t tolerate hostile threats

Eli Kirtman

Northport, N.Y. – Jul. 9, 2021

Fifth-generation mobile networks (aka 5G) have morphed into an evolving international battleground for foreign adversaries and cybersecurity leaders, but Daniel Liu, CTO at Onward Security, forecasts a promising security posture as organizations around the world ramp up their cyber strategies.

The U.S. Department of State’s Clean Network initiative banning the use of 5G technology from “authoritarian malign actors” has resonated across more than 50 nations.

“We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join the Clean Network,” says Michael Pompeo, former U.S. Secretary of State.

Aimed to protect rapidly changing technology and economics of global markets from malicious intrusions, the initiative’s scope recently expanded to carriers, undersea cables, cloud computing, mobile app stores and even the apps.

“To promote a vibrant and robust 5G ecosystem, a rigorous evaluation of suppliers should take into account the rule of law; the security environment; ethical supplier practices; and a supplier’s compliance with secure standards and industry best practices,” notes the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in a press release announcing the U.S.-Taiwan joint declaration on 5G security.

Network hardware and software suppliers in the private sector are ecstatic about this shift because it provides innovative opportunities to succeed under free and fair competition in the global digital economy.

Consequently, there is no slack for cybersecurity leaders. There’s no doubt they’re elated about the phenomenal potential for business growth, but CISOs and the like share numerous concerns regarding security risks and they’re steadily scaling their cyber strategies to keep their organizations in the game.

The inherent benefits of massive connection capabilities in 5G networks will only heighten cyber threats to telecommunications technology. Yet, many enterprises lack the resources to validate security implementations and must rely on third-party test labs to secure their assets.

Identifying credible test labs in an ecosystem infested with stringent pre-market and post-deployment compliance requirements can be overbearing, says Liu, who’s heard the plight echo throughout the community. Although any given third-party test lab may be second-to-none in its respective country, security leaders are paying keen attention to implementation regulations across borders.

Some key indicators of a provider’s capability to beef up security in connected devices include national and international credentials from communications commissions, mobile carrier industry associations, and authorized test labs.

But many CISOs are too familiar with hyped-up proclamations. Jaded by failed cybersecurity solutions, they’re demanding service providers bring a proven track record to the table.

Having endured these rigorous evaluations firsthand, Onward Security is responding to the industry-wide call-to-action. On top of joining the global alliance of clean networks, the Taiwan-based security company has drawn manufacturers across different fields of expertise to fortify the spectrum and help businesses forge their way forward.

“Manufacturers and suppliers recognize that there are many tough obstacles to clear before deploying their investments and they’re beginning to embrace security collaborations to cross the finish line,” says Liu, adding that this is an encouraging shift in how we operate on the 5G threatscape.

The stark wake-up call that ripples throughout every nation, industry and organization is clear. More than just the backbone of modern telecommunications, 5G has connected us in unexpected and in irreversible ways — both in our careers and personal lives. We are all connected and potentially exposed to grave cyberattacks.

But the collective response sheds hope on a promising horizon. Key stakeholders and security leaders are finding agile ways to align business decisions with security concerns. CISOs are becoming astute diplomats to win board buy-ins while key decision-makers acknowledge that deploying safe products and protecting consumers are vital duties.

“I’m seeing incredible changes in how organizations present their needs when they come to the table,’ says Liu with enthusiasm. “They exude intense due diligence and definitive cybersecurity strategies to rival threat actors and stake their fair claim in the 5G ecosystem.”

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Eli Kirtman is a freelance writer based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Sponsored by Onward Security

Onward Security is a leading brand in cybersecurity compliance solutions for the Internet of Things. It has been selected as Best Cybersecurity Company – Asia Gold Winner by Cyber Security Excellence Awards. In addition to possessing an international IoT cybersecurity testing lab, it develops automated security assessment products with AI and machine learning features. It has been dedicating to helping customers in IoT/IIoT equipment manufacturing, finance, telecom, and other industries for fast obtaining security certification and effectively managing risks and vulnerabilities of open source software to ensure cyber and product security.