One of the most difficult security tasks of 5G networks refers to privacy. 5G networks enable new types of applications and services and allow connecting more devices to the network, encouraging malicious users to steal and share personal information. For example, health applications collect very sensitive data about our bodies, car applications will monitor our movements and smart city applications will collect information about our way of live.

In addition to the above, with low latency and high bandwidth, 5G integrates cloud–based services, network virtualizations, personal and industrial IoT (Internet of Things) and edge platforms. This creates a problem, because more connected users and devices mean there are more things that can become uncontrollable.

Briefly, 5G might contain certain security risks for:

» It’s a relatively new and in practice insufficiently tested set of complex technologies.

» It enables the movement and access of much larger quantities of data and thus increases the attack possibilities. The increased volume and diversity of information makes 5G more attractive to potential attackers who have maliciousintentions. The increased number of connected devices means more potential targets for attacks. If just one of devices isn’t configured correctly, then it might be possible for cybercriminals to steal data or launch a more widespread attack using botnets.

» Users will depend on it more than 4G for vital (mission–critical) communications (for instance, remote control of critical infrastructure, vehicles and medical devices and procedures).

» Security assurance – The Network Equipment Security Assurance Scheme (NESAS) is jointly formulated by GSMA and 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) for evaluation of mobile network security. Developed according to security standards pertaining to vendors' product development, this scheme provides a baseline to evidence that network equipment satisfies a series of security requirements. Currently, 3GPP has initiated security evaluation of multiple 5G network equipment and major equipment vendors and operators are actively participating in the NESAS standard formulation

» Identity management – In this area, an identity is treated in two ways: as device identity and service identity. Each device (or physical) identity is globally unique and may be assigned to a device by the manufacturer. Service identities are assigned by service providers or networks. A physical identity may correspond to one or more service identities.5

» Network security – In modern network structure it is possible to identify four parts in general: access network (transmits data from user's phone to the mast), core network (processes the data and sends it back; the most sensitive part of the network as it handles all main customer data), transport network (sends this from the mast to the core network) and interconnect network. Each network part consists of three planes, each of which is related to specific type of traffic: thecontrol plane carries the signaling traffic, the user plane carries the payload (actual traffic) and the management plane carries the administrative traffic. In the context of security, all planes can be exposed to special types of threats. There are also certain threats which can affect all three planes at the same time.

» Flexible and scalable security architecture – The introduction of the concept of virtualization and dynamic configurations in 5G environment has imposed usage of more flexible and dynamic security architectures. New flexible solutions do not necessarily create a conflict between usability and security. For example, new versions of network APIs allow service chaining (or service function chaining (SFC) – capability that uses software–defined networking (SDN) to create a service chain of connected network services and connects them in a virtual chain), while retaining end–to–end encryption of data.

» Energy–efficient security – The implementation of energy efficient security schemes (used for key generation, processes of encryption and decryption) for data consolidation and aggregation on the way to the traffic destination represents one of the most needed factors in wireless networks.

» Cloud security – Cloud security (or cloud computing security), consists of a set of policies, controls, procedures and technologies that work together to protect cloud–based systems, data and infrastructure.