This year, EE and Vodafone became the first network operators to offer 5G network technology, with O2, BT Mobile and Sky Mobile set to soon follow suit. Within the next five years, we now expect to see a huge uptake in 5G subscribers worldwide, with some estimates numbering almost 2 billion.
Already, consumers are delighted at their ability to access superfast download speeds, which can reach 460Mbps in certain parts of the country. But it’s important to remember that 5G isn’t simply about improved download speeds for users – rather it has been specifically designed to support ‘things’ and the machine-to-machine (M2M) connections that enable them to communicate with one another.
At the very least, 5G will be able to support one million devices per square kilometre, including smartphones, wearables, energy metres and appliances – and this list is likely to expand in the near future to include driverless cars and medical devices, such as insulin pumps that are permanently connected to the Internet.
However, the rapid rise in the number of smart devices worldwide has also coincided with a dramatic increase in cyberattacks, where IoT devices are often targeted for use in DDoS botnets. Everything from toys to traffic lights to fish tank thermometers have been successfully hacked by cybercriminals.
The problem with smart devices
Many people wonder why smart devices have historically been so difficult to keep secure – after all, many of us are familiar with installing antivirus software on our PCs and we’ve come to expect a degree of security to be pre-built into a laptop or smartphone.
The fact is, most smart devices are built to be as small and cheap as possible, so there often isn’t enough CPU or RAM available to support on-device protection – particularly if the device is expected to download and install regular updates, which is an essential aspect of any watertight cybersecurity system.
The only practical way to

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