5G – The Future of Security and Privacy in Smart Cities

5G technology is here, it is the right time to discuss security and privacy in smart cities and their possible evolution.

After a long talk and eagerly waiting, finally, 5G technology is here. The 5G tech is fast – really fast, and now, ‘true’ smart cities are just about time to turn into reality. But what makes a smart city? Or what’s the role of 5G in this transformation?

The fifth generationnetwork is now the most significant leap in terms of connectivity since the digital revolution. It’s ahead of 4G by some distance, and that difference is the difference between life and death for smart cities.

The network enables a wave of new technologies as well as
services that were only stuff of imagination a few years ago. It merely ushers
in a new era of the cyber-physical integration that impacts more in smart

What’s Expected with 5G integration

With 5G, more network-connected devices are about to start an upward trajectory with increased speeds for users. The network will as well serve as the basis for advanced services such as complex remote operations like delivery and surveillance drones, remote unmanned vehicles, and surgical robots.

Moreover, there will be 8k streaming as well as real-time
mobile gaming transforming to virtual or augmented reality experiences.

Also, smart traffic solutions are imminent in controlling
traffic flow, smart parking solutions in managing available or empty spots in
real-time. Great solutions on public transportation won’t rug behind to manage
traffic and punctuality proactively.

Furthermore, waste management is expected to be smart for
optimized collection scheduling. The network will also enable smart
environmental protection for some real-time monitoring of the air, water as
well as the quality of the soil.

Broadly, the network brings an improved platform in
delivering scalable, as well as reliable connectivity across the globe.
Besides, it is designed to be of a high data rate well as well with low

Security Challenges Abound

promises a lot of things, but there’re risks attached too, though the good
stuff outweighs them. However, that doesn’t mean that they are not worth a

The brave new world is coming with a potential cost. A
system that highly relies on vast amounts of data is vulnerable to attack as
well as an expansion in threat intensity. Perhaps that’s even worse in a smart

Personal data can be easily accessed and later used in some
creative as well as unexpected ways in revealing the behavior, profile, and preferences
of individuals connected. Therefore, the smart city leaders have to ensure that
they provide not only efficient and clean living, but also take good care of

Managing privacy and security is merely a continuous as
well as a dynamic process. As 5G will be sinking in into the society, its
weaknesses, as well as inherent security flaws, will have to be monitored and
be patched quickly.

The most anticipated risks to security and privacy can be BYOD threats, severe DDoS attacks, protocol weaknesses as well as large-scale vulnerability exploitation, data privacy and security, public safety, and state-funded terrorism.

Building a Safer Smart City

5G is already becoming standard in cities, and as cities
become dependent on the digital transformation, a lot has to be put together
into security, with cybersecurity as the priority.

Conventional boundaries of critical infrastructure like
energy grid, water supply, financial institutions, and military facilities will
expand more into unprecedented areas; hence will require absolutely new safety

The bottom line is that for sure, 5G will revolutionize the
smart cities with users experienced numerous advantages. However, with internet
connectivity come the cyber risks with bad actors looking to create unknown
havoc. Therefore, as connections become faster and cities become smarter, much
attention has to be shifted to ensure cybersecurity systems are kept up.

About the Author:

Ali Qamar is a seasoned, versatile writer. He is a geek. He is crazy (and competent) about internet security, digital finance, and technology. Ali is naturally attracted to transforming things, and he believes 5G will be the next transformer in society.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, smart cities)

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