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e-2-e security has become more important than ever before, especially for 5G networks

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of representing Ericsson in the Open Networking Summit (ONS), North America as a Diamond Sponsor. During the 3-day event, Ericsson captured a great portion of the agenda from delivering a keynote with a demo to setting up a booth for additional demos and conversations that spanned major technology areas essential for 5G. Topics included: cloud native, automation, orchestration, dual-mode 5G cloud core, network slicing, security, and AI.

Open source for 5G

Key takeaways from this year’s event 

As operators are transforming their networks towards 5G, they will need to leverage the current technologies that are available and those that will mature over the next few years. As with previous generations, the telecom industry will look to the best technologies that will play a vital role in the evolution towards 5G.  Ericsson showcased several demos that leverage the latest technologies and will help to drive various 5G use cases. Many of the demos included several open source components from Linux Foundation and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) projects. 

As 5G networks are being built, technologies in the area of automation, orchestration, network slicing, AI, security and cloud native will play a major role in shaping the 5G networks to meet the demands of new business models and use cases. For example, some of the use cases will demand low latency, high throughput, ultra - reliability, high security, and some IoT use cases need to support massive scalable devices. Edge computing will play a major role in 5G as many latency sensitive and high bandwidth services will be delivered close to the users. 

 

Security in 5G networks 

With all these complex networks, applications, and open source, Security has become even more important than ever before. And in the case of 5G, Security should not be planned or applied as an isolated function but instead, integrated from planning, deployment, configuration, operations and maintenance - all the way to the entire life cycle management of services and networks. The distributed and highly complex nature of 5G networks (virtualization - VM’s and containers, micro services, edge, multi - layer and multi - technology networks) makes it even more critical to find a way to manage the security needs of the entire network. 

 So what else is required when it comes to securing 5G Networks? I’ve captured a few of the most critical points below, which include: 

  •  A unified security framework is needed to manage the security across each layer and multiple domains of 5G networks 
  • Security needs to be coordinated across different layers such as user plane, control plane, IaaS, PaaS, CaaS layers, resource orchestrators (open stack, Kubernetes), infrastructure managers, network managers, and e2e service orchestrators  

  • Security also needs to be integrated as part of CI/CD pipeline 

  • E-2-e Security should be part of overall automation and orchestration framework 

  • Rule-based and AI-based (proactive and predictive) security policies should be integrated with automation and orchestration  

  • Management systems should be connected with other security systems where latest fixes, threat resolutions and more detailed information can be made available.  

 For more information around these points and topic, check out our video from this event where Vodafone’s representative Davide Cherubini (member of LFN TAC) and Kari- Pekka Perttula, Product Manager from Ericsson Security Solutions group presented on the topic of “Automating service self-healing and security management". 

 

 

Further reading

Find out how ONAP solves different challenges in operations; gain insights on managing modern and legacy systems; understand how ONAP will evolve; and get a view on how the momentum for ONAP is building in telecom and other industries.  

 

Get a view into Cloud Native Design Principles for Telecom Applications. 

 

Read about the solution description on our recently launched dual-mode 5G Cloud Core

 

Visit the Ericsson 5G Core   

 Stay tuned for more information as materials become available through the Linux Foundation.  

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