5G needs to be secure from day one, urges SIMalliance

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Security must be built into the forthcoming 5G standard from the outset, the SIMalliance has said, given the increasing complexity and size of next generation networks.

The body has published a white paper looking at large scale IoT networks, critical communications, mobile broadband and network operations.

The alliance said security needs and vulnerabilities will differ according to the variety of different use cases and markets. 5G will offer low latency, wider and more reliable networks, and better handover across different network layers.

Given the changes in network technology, the SIMalliance said it was vital that security, privacy, trust and identity were baked into 5G from the very start.

Hervé Pierre, Chairman of SIMalliance said: “It is early days for 5G. While the industry has a clear vision of services that it hopes 5G will facilitate, much remains to be determined on the technical front with standardisation activities just beginning."

Pierre called for research into "tamper-resistant" hardware-based device security as a way of protecting consumers and enterprises.

[Read more: IoT community "sleepwalking" into world of risk, Telefonica claims]

He added: "From our analysis, it is clear that each of these segments has different business, technical and security requirements, which may necessitate different solutions. Yet one thing is clear; security and privacy will remain absolutely fundamental requirements in 5G, as they have always been for mobile applications and services across devices that access wireless networks, if not more so.

"This is especially so, as the changes foreseen for 5G are likely to broaden the range of attractive attacks targets and elevate vulnerabilities. For this reason, the paper strongly concludes that it is crucial that security is considered and built into the 5G standard right from the very beginning."