Compared with earlier mobile-network technologies, 5G brings a range of security improvements. GSMA, a global industry organization representing mobile network operators and telecom suppliers, refers to 5G as “secure by design.” That description reflects a series of principles applied during the concept, design, and development stages to build security into 5G networks. This security-oriented approach helps make cybersecurity contextual and even predictive—characteristics that help to anticipate and close off potential vulnerabilities.
The security advantages are greatest with what’s called 5G Standalone (5G SA), which requires that mobile devices and network infrastructure equipment support 5G specifications. By comparison, 5G Non-Standalone (5G NSA) is overlaid on an existing 4G network, only providing higher bandwidth locally where it’s available.