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Today’s 4G problems are setting the scene for 5G

Today’s 4G problems are setting the scene for 5G.

Prediction: 4G will remain the priority for the majority of Asia Pacific

The largest 5G infrastructure projects will be embarked upon over the coming 10 years, with only small pockets of success in trials seen to date. While 5G will continue to evolve alongside 4G networks, the era of 5G isn’t quite upon us yet. In some APAC countries, 4G has only just been rolled out, so it will be some time still before 5G networks hit critical mass. According to forecasts by GSMA, 4G will still account for 68% of global mobile users by 2025 in this region. Many rural areas could still operate under LTE models, simply due to the longer range of 4G, compared to 5G’s mmWave.

If existing security risks are not dealt with and roll over, mobile ISPs could be the first point of failure during a cyberattack, and vulnerabilities, such as unsecured IoT systems, could be amplified exponentially under 5G if not addressed at 4G. New cybersecurity approaches are needed today, including adopting a preventive approach to security, increasing levels of security automation, establishing contextual security outcomes and integrating security functions with APIs. We foresee that 4G will continue to be targeted by hackers as a potential gateway to 5G networks over the next few years.

The talent shortage isn’t what you think it is.

Prediction: Curious minds and problem solvers wanted

The demand for cybersecurity will continue outstripping the supply until there is a fundamental shift in mindset. Two complementary approaches will be required to address this challenge: the adoption of automation and exploring alternative sources of talent.

Automation is going to be a key element in the future of cybersecurity because human operators should not be required – and expected – to do everything. Instead, they need to harness skill sets that cannot be automated and focus on higher-order tasks, such as problem-solving, communication and collaboration. This will necessitate a reexamination of today’s security operating centre (SOC) structure, and a corresponding change in the types of professionals needed for these new roles, in order to accurately identify and fill some of these gaps. Companies and recruiters need to stop searching for unicorns (they don’t exist!) and start looking in the right wells for talent.

In 2020, we expect to see greater evaluation of EQ rather than IQ to find curious minds with problem-solving skills, be they engineers, analysts or even communications specialists. Investments need to be made to upskill and cross-skill these overlooked sources and groom these capable individuals into the talent we need. The workforce category in the NICE Framework is a helpful and practical starting point for companies looking to accurately identify the relevant cybersecurity skills gaps within an organisation.

Navigating IoT will become a minefield for everyone.

Prediction: Your wireless doorbell might welcome more than your visitors

In 2020, we will see the evolution of IoT security play out in two key spheres: Personal and Industrial IoT. From connected doorbell cameras to wireless speaker systems, we will see a growth in attack modes coming in via unsecured apps or weak login credentials. This threat is further complicated by the emergence of accessible deepfake technology, which can pose a threat for voice- or biometric-controlled connected devices. The mimicry of what were once the strongest biological identifiers to access and control connected systems will have an impact beyond the homes of individuals and into the enterprise environment.

For enterprises, one sector in which we expect to see significant changes take effect is manufacturing, a key pillar of many Asian economies. Manufacturers are looking to deploy sensors, wearables and automated systems as a way to streamline production, logistics and employee management via data collection and analytics. Organisations will need to ensure that these connected devices can leverage automated features, such as built-in diagnostics, continuous vulnerability scanning and advanced analytics in order to remain on top of threats.

Connected devices will need to be continuously retrofitted and updated in order to remain secure. There also is a growing trend among governments globally – including those in Asia Pacific- to issue guidance or regulations related to IoT device security. Further, efforts also are ongoing in industry standards groups to develop relevant security standards for IoT devices, such as the draft ISO/IEC 27037 standard. Both of these trends are certain to impact IoT device deployment to some degree. We also expect prioritisation of public education to accompany the rapid growth and adoption of connected devices.