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One technology that is going to accelerate growth across several industries in the next decade or two is the fifth generation of technology, also known as 5G technology. From transportation to the banking, gaming, sports and even the public sector, 5G will greatly enhance productivity in ways we have never with previous iterations.

Brief History of the Evolution of 5G   

The evolution to 5G by telecom companies has been in the making in the last half a decade as the demand for data by businesses and regular internet users has steadily increased. 

But to understand the evolution of 5G technology, we must first understand where it evolved from. 

The first generation of mobile technology, 1G, built in the late 1970s and 1980s, was all about voice — the ability to use a phone in a car, while shopping or away from home really took root here.

The second generation, 2G, built in the 1990s, was digital, making it possible to encrypt calls, make more efficient use of the wireless spectrum and deliver data transfers on par with dialup internet. 

The third generation, 3G, built in the early noughties, ushered in the evolution of smartphones. The move from 2G to 3G provided the core network speed for these smartphones making regular folks access the internet from anywhere and at any time – albeit at a slow speed – without the need for a computer. 

And the fourth generation, 4G, built in the 2010s, gave us high-speed internet connectivity and birthed the era of online services leading to widespread job creation and disruption of conventional means of running businesses. 

And now, we have 5G technology. The first country to adopt 5G on a large scale was South Korea, in April 2019. Since then, the growth has been somewhat exponential with more countries (Nigeria is set to adopt 5G technology in the coming months this year) adopting at scale.

What is 5G Technology and Why Should We Be Excited About It?

As with all the latest technology of the 21st century – blockchain, the Internet of Things, Self-Driving Cars, Virtual and Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence – the concept behind 5G (ease and convenience) isn’t much difficult to decipher. 

5G is the fifth generation of wireless mobile technology with the capacity to deliver faster download speed (as much as 10 times faster than your regular 4G network), much lower latency (capacity to stream 4K high definition videos without a whiff of buffering or slow speed), massive network capacity (support for millions of devices per square kilometre), increased availability and a more uniform user experience to more users.

5G’s connectivity goes beyond just mobile devices. It will essentially be the network that will boost the development of modern technologies like autonomous vehicles, IoTs and Virtual Reality and quickens their adoption. This invariable means, in a nutshell, that 5G is a gamechanger for the future of technology.  Even emerging technologies like Metaverse will depend on 5G technology to run smoothly.

5G speed and other connectivity benefits are expected to make businesses more efficient ( and give consumers access to more information faster than ever before. 

Global Impact of 5G Technology

According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in 2019, 5G is projected to add about $1.3 trillion to the global economy by 2030 with the healthcare sector contributing about half of that amount.

This is also expected to add 4.6 million jobs within the same period. This is not surprising when you factor in the industries that will be relying on the 5G network.

Already smartphone companies like Samsung, Apple, Tecno, Huawei and even Google have launched devices that support 5G capabilities. Back home, network giant, MTN are also preparing the groundwork to ensure that Nigeria is ripe for 5G technology.  

Benefits of 5G Technology on Businesses

It is so easy to see the beneficial effects of 5G, especially for businesses looking to scale. Industries like Healthcare, Entertainment, Agriculture and Transportation are already seeing significant gains from the adoption of 5G connectivity. In the long run, all industries will benefit from the adoption of the 5G network once the technology becomes widely spread as oxygen in the atmosphere.

But the underlying question remains. What are the specific benefits for businesses of all sizes? We highlight the 3 most beneficial effects of 5G technology on businesses below:

Better Customer Experience

Speed is by far the most beneficial effect of 5G for businesses. The current average 4G browsing speed runs at an average of 56 Mbps, 5G would bump that speed up to 490 Mbps (almost 10x the speed of 4G). This makes you download heavy videos or files in an instant ensuring delivery of services to customers at lightning speed.

In meetings, advanced capabilities such as virtual reality, which will be powered by 5G connectivity, could become the norm for presentations. Immersive augmented and virtual reality experiences could show customers and others your new product, enabling them to view it virtually, from any angle. 

Or you might leverage your customers’ smart home environment to develop new services and applications that make full use of all the data that surrounds them.

More Productivity

Many of the benefits of adopting 5G technology for your business stems from low latency and high capacity which result in high productivity for your employees. 

With a much more reliable network, your employees will spend less time fretting about connectivity and more time focusing on important tasks.

More Opportunities For Your Business

5G opens the door to new business models that you can create and new products and services you can offer. The ability to collect more data, more quickly, and put it to work for your business and your customers is one of the benefits of 5G for businesses of every size—and may even be the genesis for a transformation of your business model.

Conclusion

The 5G technology era is here, introducing the next generation of smart business applications just as organisations plan how to emerge stronger in the post-pandemic world. 

The potential for impact across industries is enormous, but to realise these gains, companies will need a strategic approach—one underpinned by a clear view of the use cases that will deliver the greatest value over time. 

This is true for both of the key stakeholder groups shaping the future usage of 5G: enterprises and policy-makers. 

“In the Midst of Chaos, there is also Opportunity”

Sun Tzu

The words of Sun Tzu above, legendary Chinese master military strategist, ring eerily true with the world seemingly in turmoil at the moment. 

The Ukraine – Russia war is currently putting (no pun intended) the entire world rightly in a massive frenzy with businesses across industries affected directly (Russian business owners read Oligarchs who have been barred by Western countries) and indirectly (businesses that are affected by other variables like high gas prices as a result of the war), after just recovering from one of the most devastating pandemics in history. As a result of the war, Oil prices are spiralling out of control, same as commodities like wheat, Russia and Ukraine together exported more than a quarter (25.4%) of wheat in 2019, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity. 

The story is equally not savoury back home, the price of diesel has more than doubled in the last fortnight. The country is also currently under its usual siege of petrol queues as a result of petrol scarcity. These issues coupled with the country’s mounting debt profile and a spate of insecurities have made it imperative for business owners to start thinking of possible bunkers somewhere to crawl into.

Bunkers aside, how do business owners protect their assets during these wild uncertain times? How would they form a massive moat around their assets and insulate them from this chaos? Not to worry, we’ve put together 5 great ways you can secure these assets and none of them includes hiding somewhere in that bunker.

1. Put it in the Cloud

If you haven’t stored your business’ or company’s assets/data which include important business documents, projects documents, email communications, etc… on the clouds, you could be casting a dark cloud in the long run over your business or company. The concept of storing data in the cloud using cloud computing software has been around with us over the last three decades since the inception of the internet and it has grown astronomical. 

Last year, cloud computing marketing was worth over $370 billion (N153.9 trillion) and is expected to more than double by 2025 with the top three Cloud computing companies (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud) having a combined market share of about 60%. These staggering stats prove that businesses across all industries are adopting cloud computing technology at a fast pace to safeguard their data, especially during these uncertain times.

Thankfully, we offer cloud computing services to help small and big businesses like yours manage their data and assets more efficiently.

2. Subscribe for That Cybersecurity software Now If You haven’t Yet

One of the most popular tools deployed for modern warfare during a time of uncertainty is cyberwarfare. It’s no surprise the use of cyber warfare tools grew at the height of the pandemic two years ago and is set to continue the upward trajectory as the war in Ukraine rages on. 

Already, it is estimated that almost 60% of small companies go out of business within the first six months according to data gathered by National Cyber Security Alliance, a nonprofit organisation. This is quite telling as hackers tend to focus on startups without the necessary security structure compared to much more entrenched companies. But this is not to say big companies are not susceptible to cyberattacks. 

Making it even more imperative for companies of shapes and sizes to protect their online assets with the best cybersecurity software we have on offer.  

3. Adopt a Digital-first Approach

This is an obvious no brainer, especially in an age where everyone is talking and experimenting with the concepts of having their social identities in a virtual reality world read Metaverse. But the right structure must be put in place for a successful digital-first approach adoption. 

For example, companies that have gone fully remote have put in place the right interactive and collaborative software to aid seamless interaction among employees outside the office. At the moment, no thanks to the pandemic, more than 16% of companies worldwide are fully remote, this is according to a study carried out by Owl Labs in collaboration with Global Workforce Analytics. Some Ukraine based software companies didn’t have their services disrupted by the war as they already had the remote structure in place.

We can help you make that transition if you haven’t hopped on the digital train yet by signing up on this link.

4. Don’t Panic!

So much negativity from tumbling revenue numbers for businesses due to high oil prices to the high cost of commodities like gas, high inflation cost by these growing costs and economic downturn will be aired repeatedly by news outlets across the media like TV and podcasts during these uncertain times. It is very important as a business owner, you practise the art of calmness by switching your focus to other relaxing and meditative activities. You can also visit places with rich natural habitats that will refresh your thought process and improve your emotional intelligence to avoid making rash decisions.  

And remember this as a rule of thumb; whatever choices or decisions you make during these moments, make sure you avoid pushing that panic button! 

5. Diversify Your Assets

This is probably the most essential safeguard of all especially if you want to come out on the other side of these uncertain times smiling. Thankfully, there are so many investment opportunities to try out; from the conventional ones such as stocks and real estate to disruptive ones like cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana and others), the much talked about NFTs and Metaverse. 

There are a million more ways you can diversify your investment, but it is very crucial to note that whichever way(s) you choose to helps you limit your exposure during a time of crisis.

Conclusion

These safeguards are not cast in stones and should not be seen as the only way to protect your assets in a time of chaos, as there are several other means of safeguards. But this article will help in guiding you to make the best decisions for your business during uncertain times.

Ways to prevent hackers

Table of Content

  1. The Consequences of Cyber Attack
  2. Hacker Apocalypse
  3. It’s Coming Home
  4. Multi-Factor Authentication
  5. Don’t Click That Link
  6. Invest in Security Software
  7. Training Training Training
  8. Encryption is Key
  9. Watch Your Employees

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, a young versatile entrepreneur, had launched a revolutionary financial product to bridge the credit gap for the unbanked. His product gained incredible traction in the first year with over 100,000 users downloading the app and a million naira in processing.

Unfortunately, a chink was found in the company’s armoury unexpectedly halting my friend’s upward trajectory. The company’s database was hacked, wiping out its entire financial records and customer base.

What is a Cyber Attack?

A cyberattack is an attempt to steal, alter, or destroy a specified target by hacking into a susceptible system. According to Wikipedia, cyberattacks can range from installing spyware on a personal computer to attempting to destroy the infrastructure of entire nations.

The Consequences of CyberAttack

Twenty one years into a much more digitized century, a million and one online tools have popped up for big and small companies to optimize regular work processes with.

The cost incurred from a cyberattack or a data breach is mind-blowing. According to a report from Atlas VPN, over $1trillion (N504 trillion) was spent on cybersecurity or given up as a result of a cyberattack in 2020 (this cost was exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic).

And this is not abating any time soon. Cybersecurity Ventures, a cybersecurity research firm, expects global cybercrime costs to grow by 15 per cent per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion annually by 2025 (more than 10x the expected GDP of Nigeria in 2025).

Hackerpocalypse

These staggering stats only point to one thing; companies all over the world are losing the cyberwar to hackers, most especially small and medium-sized corporations where it is estimated that 60 per cent go out of business within six months of falling victim to a data breach or cyber attack.

Already, 1 in 6 companies pays a ransom to hackers according to the annual Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report.

READ: Top Reports On Data Security Issues In 2020

It’s Coming Home

Back home in Nigeria, the statistics are grim as well. According to a British software and hardware company report, Nigerian companies recorded the second-highest percentage (86% were targeted by hackers) of cyberattacks worldwide behind India last year. In 2019, a report by Serianu, an IT Services and Consulting firm, Nigeria lost $649 million (N327.1 billion) to cybercrime.

This shows that Nigeria, and in extension, Africa isn’t insulated from this ongoing cyberwar. Africa is increasingly the target of cyber espionage, making it imperative for businesses across the continent to find effective ways to protect their assets from would-be hackers.

Here are 6 easy ways businesses can avoid being hacked:

1. Multi-Factor Authentication

The easiest and most popular way to breach a company’s backend is through password theft. According to a 2020 Verizon data report, 81% of the total number of breaches leveraged stolen or weak passwords. Also, in a breach report done in 2019, over 1 million passwords are stolen every day. What’s worse is most hackers do the bare minimum to hack these passwords. When it comes to password security, all a hacker needs is an employee’s insistence on being the weak link (you know what they say about the weakest link?).

Thank goodness there are ways a company can guard against such monstrous vulnerabilities and one of them is the use of Multifactor Authentication like Google and Microsoft Authenticator to help stave off would-be snoopers. In addition, employers can put in place second-level security protection like tokens and biometrics for their employees.

2. Don’t Click That Link

Employees are daily bombarded with emails, but quite a lot of them are intended to steal sensitive information. This is called phishing, which tricks victims into revealing vital and personal information to the attacker. Phishing attacks are increasingly becoming the norm. A 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report estimated that 94% of malware are delivered via email while in a 2019 report done by Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, 48% of email attacks are office files.

This makes it imperative for businesses to adopt anti-phishing strategies to guard against regular phishing attacks. Some of these strategies could include using more sophisticated anti-phishing filters, user training for employees to recognize phishing attempts and deal with them immediately, setting up firewalls and security measures.

Most importantly, employees and business owners should learn NOT to click on a link or download any file until sure!

3. Invest in Security Software

ways to prevent hackers

Investing in cybersecurity software and firms is a no-brainer for businesses and organizations looking for a holistic approach to protect their data, especially in a year where global spending on cybersecurity is expected to exceed $1 trillion. This is more pertinent for small businesses as they are more prone to data breaches.

A trusted anti-spyware will limit a company’s exposure to snoopers by quickly detecting malicious applications.

4. Training Training Training!

You can spend all the gazillion dollars you have on anti-spyware software but if your employees aren’t versatile enough to quickly detect or identify malicious links or are careless with their company’s credentials, your business will always be susceptible to cyberattacks.

According to an IBM study, over 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to non-IT-related human error. This means for every 10 breaches that occur in a company, only 0.5 are due to non-human error.

This makes training of employees in basic cybersecurity very imperative. Employees must understand what a malicious attack looks like and must be careful enough not to disclose confidential details to third parties.

5. Encryption is the Key

Except you are trying to cyber spy on North Korea or into the espionage business in general, you don’t need high-level complex encryption to protect your business from cyber-attacks. However, you still need standard level encryption for your data and entire work process to keep the low life, online snoopers, away.

If you don’t already know, encryption is the process of converting information or data into a code, especially to prevent unauthorized access. Encryption plays its most important role when two parties intend to exchange confidential information across digital platforms.

Think of it as Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak or switching on stealth mode in the middle of a splinter cell mission. Your messages will travel right through the noses of ill-intentioned parties and stay undetected.

6. Watch Your Employees!

Your employees are the heartbeat of the company. On the flip side, they can also act as the death knell to a company by contributing, either deliberately or inadvertently, to its downfall through cyberattacks.

To guard against this, avoid/limit the sharing of very sensitive data to your staff. If you must share this data, ensure you plug all potential leakages. If possible, create a sort of ‘Watch System’ for your staff, but this must not impugn their rights to privacy.

Most importantly, put a premium on employing the right and trusted person who will do nothing to sabotage your business which includes subjecting it to cyber hacks.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you need to ask yourself a brutal question; can your business withstand a cyberattack without collapsing under the wave? If your answer is a no or a wimpy yes, then you need to adopt some of (if not all) the cybersecurity solutions in this article.