Keeping you safe in an increasingly connected world

If you’ve upgraded your smartphone in the last few years, there’s a very good chance your handset supports 4G mobile networks. 4G, short for ‘fourth generation’, offers super-fast data download speeds allowing you to stream more video, share larger high-resolution pictures and to browse the web more quickly.

But even these speeds are not enough to keep pace with demand. Everything is getting bigger – 4K video file sizes are enormous, and augmented reality animations are bandwidth hungry.

There is a second issue that needs to be addressed too – the sheer number of wireless devices connecting to mobile networks. Smart devices are an increasingly important part of modern life, at home and in the workplace.

We need more bandwidth and faster connectivity to deal with the changing demands on mobile networks. We are already outgrowing the possibilities of 4G networking.

Welcome to 5G networking

The good news is that the fifth generation (5G) of mobile network technologies has been designed and is undergoing testing. Mobile operators across the world are in the advanced stages of planning how these systems will be rolled out to consumers and businesses in the UK and beyond.

The introduction of 5G technologies will allow us to do more than ever before with our devices – but it also highlights a serious challenge. More and more devices are being connected to mobile networks, and each represents a potential security risk.

Smart sensors used in factories allow manufacturers to monitor assembly lines in real time for instance. But if poorly configured, or insufficiently secured, these devices could be used to hack into the company network to steal other data.

Other devices, like self-driving cars are completely reliant on mobile network connections to work properly. These vehicles are permanently connected, uploading and downloading data to the cloud to make split second decisions. If these decisions are interrupted – by hackers breaking through the network security for instance – the car could be involved in an accident, perhaps even killing people in the process.

More security required

With more devices connected to mobile networks, the need for security increases. Every single device needs to be protected against cyberattack, which means that security systems need to be present everywhere.

To cope with the increasing number of devices, security systems will also have to get smarter. Artificial intelligence will become more important, monitoring network activity to identify – and block – suspicious behaviour automatically. This approach is quicker, and more effective, than traditional IT security provisions especially as security software does not necessarily have to be installed directly on each device.

Play your part

Businesses will have to take care of their own smart sensors, but consumers need to get involved. The increased number of devices and network traffic presents a risk to you too – so you must ensure your smartphone is properly protected.

Even if you don’t have a 5G connection, you can take steps to protect yourself now. Download and install a free copy of Panda Security Antivirus for Android today and you’ll be fully prepared to overcome the future challenges of next generation mobile networks.