Greater data security investments needed for 5G success, warns study

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Mobile service providers anticipate new opportunities from the coming deployment of high-speed 5G networks and many new Internet of Things use cases. But they also think much-improved security will be essential to realizing that potential.

Those are among the key findings of a new report by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, a peer-driven thought leadership and professional networking organization, and application networking provider A10 networks. The companies conducted a global survey of 145 IT and business leaders at communications service providers, and found that 67 percent will deploy their first commercial 5G networks within 18 months and another 20 percent within two years.

A large majority (94 percent) expect growth in network traffic, connected devices, and critical IoT use cases to significantly increase security and reliability concerns for 5G networks. And 79 percent said 5G is a consideration in current security investments.

New applications such as autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and remote patient monitoring will make network reliability vital to the safety and security of people and businesses, said Gunter Reiss, vice president of A10 Networks.

Operators still have lots of work ahead to fortify their networks for the coming of 5G, the report said. For example, while more than 80 percent of mobile operator respondents said they will need to upgrade firewalls at the core of their networks, only 11 percent have completed the implementation of new firewalls.

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