Security - a critical success factor for 5G

5G Americas Report Details the Innovative Evolution of Security in 5G

BELLEVUE, Wash. – October 31, 2018 – 5G is not just about faster, bigger or better. It’s about enabling a diverse new set of services and use cases affecting nearly every aspect of our lives. But to live up to their potential, those 5G-enabled applications must be delivered securely. 5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, today announced the publication of The Evolution of Security in 5G which details a 5G world that is defined by the core tenets of network security architecture – an evolution of best common practices for people, processes and tools.

5G will enable Massive Internet of Things (MIoT) applications such as the traffic sensors and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) services that are the foundation for smart cities. It’s critical that hackers can’t access that data, hijack IoT devices or disrupt the services with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Fortunately, security has been a top architectural priority for global standards organization 3GPP and is very strong with LTE which is the foundation for 5G.

Chris Pearson, President, 5G Americas, said, “The mobile wireless industry has long focused on security which has been a strong differentiator against many other wireless technologies where network architectures have been more vulnerable for corruption. Mobile’s use of licensed spectrum offers a commanding layer of protection against eavesdropping on data, voice and video traffic. With the current focus on 5G, the mobile industry takes security measures to a higher level with a wide variety of new, advanced safeguards.”

The report describes 5G safeguards in depth, as well as the vulnerabilities and attack vectors that they’re designed to mitigate. It also explores how 5G differs from 4G and 3G in terms of radio and core network architectures, and how those differences affect the security mechanisms available to mobile operators, their business partners and their customers. For example, 5G is the first mobile architecture designed to support multiple, specific use cases, each with their own unique cybersecurity requirements. In the enterprise IT world, network segmentation is a common, proven way to mitigate security risks. 5G introduces the concept of network slicing, which provides mobile operators with segmentation capabilities that weren’t possible with previous generations.

Key functions and frameworks specific to previous generations (3G, 4G) will continue to work within the overall 5G umbrella. 5G allows for a proliferation of access technologies of all types with data speeds from Gbps to Kbps, licensed and unlicensed, that are based on wide swaths of spectrum bands and include technologies specified by standards bodies other than 3GPP.

The Evolution of Security in 5G report delves into details encompassing security topics such as cybersecurity considerations and responses, 5G use cases, security functions for 5G-DDoS, various types of threats that are imperative to combat in the connected world of 5G, mitigated controls for 5G networks, and IoT threat mitigation and detection.

“In addition to new opportunities and capabilities, 5G creates new cybersecurity considerations and attack vectors through its use of the cloud and edge computing, and convergence of mobile and traditional IT networks,” remarked Mike Geller, Principal Systems Engineer, Cisco and co-leader of the report. “5G security is manageable by applying techniques such as automation, orchestration, distributed network build, policy, analytics and much more. Security is, and always has been, critical to the mobile networks we build and operate and will remain so into the future.”

The Evolution of Security in 5G was written by members of 5G Americas and is available for free download on the 5G Americas website. Sankar Ray from AT&T and Mike Geller from Cisco led the white paper working group with support from 5G Americas’ Board of Governors who participated in the development of this white paper.

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