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2021 Predictions: Cyber insurers and buyers must scramble to be ready for 5G

By Jonathan Franke, Tech, Media and Cyber Broker at New Dawn Risk

2021 will see the scaling up of the worldwide rollout of 5G networks, with North America, Europe and East Asia leading the way. 5G’s importance has grown since the onset of the pandemic, with much of the world switching to remote working and requiring faster, more reliable data speeds and network management in order to continue operating efficiently.

As we continue to transition to a progressively cloud-based society, when it comes to data transmission and storage, the majority of the developed world will swing towards 5G, which brings with it a brand new cyber threat landscape that is yet to be understood.

The rollout of 5G will continue to enhance the expansion of the Internet of Things Age in almost all industry sectors and many homes, as more and more smart devices connected to the internet become essential everyday equipment. This poses an explosion of vulnerability avenues for criminals to exploit seemingly secure networks almost undetected.

Both B2B and B2C companies must prepare to invest in more sophisticated and increased levels of monitoring of their networks, controls and technology. They will place more and more reliance on IT experts to ensure adequate protection is in place, in spite of a widening IT skills gap. And they will have to do so at speed – planning for the increased risks associated with 5G should already be well developed. Those who have taken their eye off the ball, perhaps distracted by adjusting their operations to cope with COVID-19, run the risk of increased vulnerability.

The same applies to cyber insurers. They have a responsibility to be 5G-ready too, in terms of making sure that their cyber insurance offerings are up to speed and they are providing their clients with adequate protection. In 2021, we will see cyber insurers and buyers scrambling to be ready for the roll-out of 5G; wordings are likely to change, coverage could be challenged, and we should expect some related upheaval.