The Launch of 5G and Cybersecurity Risks That May Come with It

The deployment of 5G has become an international competition among the world’s nations. With President Trump’s recent comments in April, the race to get 5G networks built first might even be considered a political race now.

“We cannot allow any other country to out-compete the United States in this powerful industry of the future. We are leading by so much in so many different industries of that type, and we just can’t let that happen. The race to 5G is a race America must win.” – President Donald Trump1

While the race to get 5G network technology set up in America is a worthwhile one, experts point to the need to consider cybersecurity. Unlike the previous generations of cellular network technology that came before it, 5G is the conversion to a mostly all-software network with upgrades coming in the form of software updates. This transformation will require a major physical overhaul of our nation’s essential networks. To ensure the impact of this overhaul remains positive, 5G and cybersecurity must go hand in hand.

Why Cybersecurity Needs to Adapt To 5G Networks

“As we pursue the connected future, however, we must place equivalent—if not greater—focus on the security of those connections, devices, and applications.” – Tom Wheeler & David Simpson2

The increased dependence on software in 5G networks is a pressing issue that must be addressed even as the United States goes full speed into building 5G. Software is more vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks, compared to physical infrastructures.

The tougher challenge of the 5G race is to adapt the security protecting our nation’s essential network and the ecosystem of devices and applications connected to it. In a 5G world, our country’s economy and national security, as well as the lives of citizens, still depend on secure networks and services. The hard truth remains – 5G networks are more vulnerable to cyberattacks and here’s how.

An Expanded Collection of 5G Cybersecurity Risks

  1. 5G networks moving away from centralized hardware-based switching to distributed, software-based digital routing denies physical chokepoint inspection and control.
  2.  Virtualizing in software higher-level network functions previously performed by physical appliances increases cyber vulnerability.
  3. The significant expansion of bandwidth that comes with 5G networks creates added avenues of cyberattacks requiring smart, dynamic cyber protections instead of easy, uniform solutions.
  4. Increased cyber vulnerability is created by attaching billions of hackable smart devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), to the network.


TechLaunch is a tech school in South Florida offering cybersecurity technician programs in Miramar. Our dedicated team keeps up with the latest news and innovations in digital technology, cybersecurity, and the overall industry to provide the most up-to-date curriculum to our students. Learn more about the programs and certifications we offer by contacting us or calling 305-783-3599 today!


  1. Rebecca Slayton, The Washington Post – Trump says ‘America must win’ the 5G race. Here’s what you need to know
  2. Tom Wheeler & David Simpson, Brookings Institution – Why 5G requires new approaches to cybersecurity