5G rollout to lead to new cyber risks - report

Cyber insurers should be prepared for the worldwide launch of 5G networks next year

5G rollout to lead to new cyber risks - report


By Ryan Smith

Cyber insurers and buyers must prepare for the worldwide rollout of 5G networks in 2021, according to projections by specialist insurance intermediary New Dawn Risk. 

5G networks are expected to roll out worldwide next year, with North America, Europe and East Asia leading the charge.

“5G’s importance has grown since the onset of the pandemic, with much of the world switching to remote working and requiring faster, more reliable data speeds and network management in order to continue operating efficiently,” Jonathan Franke, tech, media and cyber broker for New Dawn Risk, wrote in a release. “As we continue to transition to a progressively cloud-based society, when it comes to data transmission and storage, the majority of the developed world will swing towards 5G, which brings with it a brand new cyber threat landscape which is yet to be understood.”

Franke said that the rollout of 5G will speed the expansion of the Internet of Things in almost all industry sectors and many private homes, with more and more smart devices becoming essential everyday equipment.

“This poses an explosion of vulnerability avenues for criminals to exploit seemingly secure networks almost undetected,” he said.

Companies will need to invest in greater and more sophisticated levels of monitoring for their networks, controls and technology, Franke said. They will need to place more reliance on IT experts to ensure they have adequate protection – and they will need to do so quickly. Planning for the increased cyber risks associated with the 5G rollout “should already be well developed,” Franke said.

“Those who have taken their eye off the ball, perhaps distracted by adjusting their operations to cope with COVID-19, run the risk of increased vulnerability,” he said.

Cyber insurers also have a responsibility to be 5G-ready, Franke said. Insurers should be certain that their cyber offerings are up to speed and provide their clients with adequate protection.

“In 2021, we will see cyber insurers and buyers scrambling to be ready for the rollout of 5G; wordings are likely to change, coverage could be challenged, and we should expect some related upheaval,” Franke said.

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