At the MWC19 show, 5G is coming on fast, but is it secure? The last thing we want to do is set ourselves up for failure. That’s why we need to be very focused on the coming, advanced security threats that the next generation of wireless technology will also usher in.

This is something carriers like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint prepare for, but what about all the smaller wireless carriers, MVNO resellers and in fact other companies entering wireless as 5G comes on strong.

Everyone thinks of 5G as an incredible growth opportunity. Bad guys do too since every new technology always has security flaws, especially in the beginning. They see this as a huge opportunity they want in on.

So, how can the wireless industry, companies and users protect themselves?

MWC19 will be good place to see where the wireless industry is on security

I will be very interested to see how focused the global wireless industry is on security at all these levels at the upcoming MWC19 in Barcelona. At least as much as they can discuss publicly. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much discussed about this topic at CES 2019. Maybe things will be different here.

At these trade shows there is always focus on what is coming, and that is obviously important, but so is security, and it should be front and center. This is one of the key items that should be on everyone’s radar.

Security is one of the most important slices of 5G pie

Security is one of the most important slices of the 5G pie. 4G had its own threats, but 5G will usher in much more in the way of innovation and risk. One reason is, in addition to the wireless industry, 5G will also welcome non-wireless companies and industries into the fold.

Many companies in these other industries see the huge growth opportunity wireless presents them, but they may not be as aware of the security risks and how to protect themselves, their users and the entire wireless industry.

This is a similar problem Google Fiber seems to be having with their Internet service in the snow and ice. I was interviewed by a Kansas City reporter and told them Google is not a carrier.

That means they don’t understand all the issues and potential problems like carriers do. They do not have decades of dealing with these issues and problems like snow, rain and ice. Bottom line, they are not prepared.

That’s the risk with newcomers to any space. That’s some of the risk I am talking about when non-wireless companies get into the mobile business the way Uber and Lyft did. This is a real growth opportunity, but it is also a real threat.

Uber and Lyft are examples of other industries entering wireless

Wireless networks, smartphone and tablet makers and more are experienced in the mobile world. But outside companies like Uber and Lyft are companies who see an opportunity, but don’t have the same level of expertise protecting their data and their customers.

In fact, if you recall, a couple years ago there was a story about a serious cyber-attack on Uber. They lost the credit card information and other data on their customers.

Then again, in recent years there have been countless retailers and other companies who have had similar cyber-attacks losing private customer information and potentially exposing their own information. This is the real threat and it is rapidly growing.

Threats come from inside and outside of the USA. It’s a never-ending battle. It is always escalating, it has always been this way and it always will. A new weak link in the 5G chain is now many non-wireless companies will be entering the space leaving us all more vulnerable and at risk.

Bottom line, every player must invest in and protect themselves and their customers. That would be good for everyone involved.

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