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5G networks to create ‘tsunami’ of sensitive data

An increase in reliance on 5G networks by key industries, including financial services, will create a “tsunami” of sensitive data and organisations are right to be concerned, Thales Cloud Security ANZ Director Brian Grant says. 

The 5G technology presents a “cyber conundrum” as it becomes more mainstream in critical industries such as energy, manufacturing, transport and healthcare, he says, and encrypting and securing data is vital to help “futureproof against the proliferation of 5G”. 

“The growth and success of a business today relies as much on good data security as on safeguarding its cash flow,” Mr Grant said. 

"Half of Australian organisations believe security threats increased over the past year and the ongoing deployment of 5G will only serve to intensify the threat landscape.” 

The latest annual Data Threat Report from Thales says human error is behind most cloud data breaches, and double extortion and the expansion of 5G networks are two drivers increasing cyber threats for Australian firms.  

A survey of almost 3000 executives from 18 countries found three-quarters of Australian organisations are worried about 5G network data security threats, and a third are prioritising investment into securing data in motion. 

Half have a formal ransomware plan ready to activate, a quarter have paid or would pay a ransom,  43% reported an increase in ransomware attacks, and 17% said disclosure of sensitive information through exfiltration is now the greatest ransomware attack impact. 

Cloud assets were the main target for cyber-attacks and “digital sovereignty” is becoming increasingly “top of mind” for data privacy and security teams, with 59% of those surveyed agreeing data privacy and compliance in the cloud has become more difficult.  

Over a third of Australian organisations experienced a data breach in the last 12 months, and Thales says priority should be put on techniques such as encryption. 

“While 5G will prove revolutionary in terms of productivity improvements, it will also be responsible for a significant expansion in the cybersecurity threat landscape,” it says. 

The French technology group has 77,000 employees in 68 countries.