Data Centers Beware – 5G and AI can increase Cyber Attack Risks!

by | Colocation, Colocation Consulting, Data Center Efficiency, Data Centers

While the advances in 5G mobile and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are being hyped, they come with heightened chances of cybersecurity risks-: data centers and enterprise organizations, beware.  

It is now an established fact that the advent of modern technology carries its share of risks as per IRM 2019 Risky Business Report. The sectors surveyed include software/Internet, automotive, energy, finance and communications. Invariably, over 80% of the respondents who include key decision makers in large companies are of the opinion that 5G and AI will certainly cause apprehensions due to the cybersecurity challenges they can create. 

Private cloud consultants and data center colocation service providers are a worried lot. They can’t afford to miss the bandwagon as 5G and AI are set to storm the market as prime drivers of innovation. 

The major 5G and AI related concerns revolve around:
  • Increased threat perception for IoT (Internet of Things) networks
  • A larger target that will be prone to attacks
  • 5G hardware and firmware designed with minimal built-in security

Although there is increased activity indicating enterprises are vying with each other to get on the 5G bandwagon, the security concerns are a cause for worry, says the above report.  5G’s vulnerabilities are not just restricted to wireless but also hover around cloud native and virtualized infrastructure. 

In the AI domain, more than 80 percent of those surveyed were of the opinion that there is going to be an impact on cybersecurity strategy, which needs to be revamped over the next 3 to 5 years as AI systems are fused into core security functions. 

AI cybersecurity strategy includes:
  • Detecting and preventing unauthorized intrusions into networks
  • Fraud detection
  • Securing user authentication

The irony with AI is that while it enables most companies to detect fraudulent activities with some amazing tools, it is the very same tools that cybercriminals use for their sophisticated though nefarious activities. 

The report cites a classic case where a Germany-based CEO was impersonated by mimicking his voice. The fraudsters walked away with around $250,000 by duping the head of the UK subsidiary and transferring the amount to a fraudulent account. The report goes on to add that many more such incidents cannot be ruled out as AI is fine-tuned and developed.


The study came up with some startling results:
  • Almost all the respondents reported that they were not able to take quick decisions with cybersecurity looming large in the horizon
  • Cost seems to be more important than cybersecurity, though lack of it can lead to heavy financial losses and affect the reputation of companies. 
  • More than a quarter of the respondents are not aware of the directives regarding the regulations from NIS governing cybersecurity 
  • Three-fourths of those who are already aware haven’t bothered to implement the stipulated changes.

Enterprises and providers of data center and colocation services need to gear themselves up. According to Charles White, CEO of IRM they need to be ready for the cybersecurity challenges they will be forced to face once 5G and AI become more ubiquitous.  

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