Can We Trust the Internet? Examining 5G and the Zero Trust Model
Policymakers and government officials have engaged in several actions that would undermine encryption in the name of “better law enforcement.” At the same time, the Trump administration has aggressively gone after the Chinese technology company, Huawei, in the name of protecting 5G networks. However, these two initiatives undermine one another as strong encryption would actually make 5G networks safer.
In a new report, former R Street director of National Security and Cybersecurity Jim Baker and resident fellow of National Security and Cybersecurity Kathryn Waldron argue that protecting the global, digital ecosystem is crucial to national security. Switching to a Zero Trust network paradigm is imperative to protecting the digital ecosystem. To truly adopt such an approach, the government needs to embrace strong encryption.
“The potential presence of untrustworthy or compromised equipment in global 5G networks themselves makes those networks risky in unfamiliar ways. And since people will never know exactly where untrustworthy or compromised equipment is present or exactly how their communications will be routed to or from the intended destination, everyone should assume that their communications and data—especially data that is transmitted outside the United States—could be exposed to bad actors at some point. Unfortunately, this means that the new best practice is to treat the internet itself as Zero Trust and rely heavily on strong encryption for all data transmitted, processed or stored anywhere on it,” said Baker and Waldron.
You can read the full policy study, “5G and Zero Trust Networks,” here.