Darktrace co-CEO warns that 5G will mean bigger cybersecurity risks

5G will mean a significant upgrade to business connectivity. However, Nicole Eagan warns it could also bring massive cybersecurity risks.

The co-CEO of digital defence unicorn Darktrace made the warning when being interviewed on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

“Over 2019 throughout 2020, we are going to see more widespread deployment of 5G,” she said. “It does mean that we are going to have a flood of new internet-connected devices coming onboard.”

She believed applications like autonomous vehicles and the rollout of new infrastructure would increase “the attack surface.”

“And any time that you have such a major overhaul of infrastructure, it does introduce new risks,” Eagan continued. “So I think that at the moment, we have to expect new infrastructure, more connected devices, new applications and, time will only tell, but we have to basically assume the risks are going to increase in the near term.”

She also discussed how artificial intelligence can help companies detect threats that human beings are unable to, especially ones happening over a long period of time.

Using the recent hack of the American bank Capital One as an example, she suggested the hack could have been detected and avoided by AI.

The Capital One hack saw a hacker compromise 106 million of the bank’s US and Canadian customers’ accounts. It was revealed by the company in July 2019.

Since the hack, Capital One has faced increased scrutiny from legislators like Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren as well as lawsuits from the people affected.

The hacker has also since been accused of having attacked 30 other organizations.

RegTech Analyst recently reported how investment in cybersecurity companies have increased over the past five years.

Having looked at data about investments into the RegTech sector, RegTech Analyst revealed that the percentage of cybersecurity investment jumped from 14.4 per cent in 2014 to 20.9 per cent in 2019.

Moreover, that number increased to 42.6 per cent over the first six months of 2019.

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