Improving Network Security for 5G

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The way 5G network connectivity is set to revolutionize the digital world really isn’t grasped to the extent it should be by a lot of people, but what is right now a trickle when it comes to seeing it worked into mainstream applications is set to soon become a torrent. Of course for many people the only real look into it they’re making is whether their new smartphone is 5G enabled and what that means they can do on an individual level. Which is fine, but like stated the relevance of 5G is about to become super apparent to everyone in the near future.

Not surprising that cyber security and the increasing emergence of 5G networks are moving in step with each other, as the ever-expanding risks with data breaches and other types of malicious activity are going to be magnified quite a bit with 5G. So the question for developers is what will be the best ways to ensure that the reach of 5G doesn’t mean that bad actors have a whole lot more reach too. This is a topic that nearly everyone will take some degree of interest in, but especially those of us here at 4GoodHosting in the same way it would be for any good Canadian web hosting provider.

The way we browse and interact within the World Wide Web is going to be wholly changed by 5G too, and that means everyone like us is going to need to be able to pivot as needed. So let’s take a deeper dive into the need for better 5G network security in the very near future with this week’s blog entry here.

New Needs for Modern Enterprise Networking

One of the most highly anticipated technology advancements in recent memory is definitely the rollout of 5G. So much is being made about the advantages for consumers, but organizations are also set to benefit significantly. Next-generation cellular performance and low latency are going to be great, there are still some with valid concerns about whether 5G for business will meet all the security requirements of modern enterprise networking.

Let’s start with the fact that cellular-enabled Wireless WAN (WWAN) has been capable of enterprise-grade security at the network’s edge for a long time already. Plus in actuality 5G is already even more secure than 4G was to date, and that’s because of new developments at the network core level. 5G has prompted several key changes, and the biggest of them has been new authentication frameworks.

The 5G protocol has demanded new and better authentication frameworks, and they’ve arrived. Most are based upon a well-established and widely used IT protocol called extensible authentication protocol (EAP) that is open, network agnostic, and increasingly secure.

Enhanced subscriber privacy has become a priority too, and developers have met that need too. 5G offers privacy improvements against attacks happening when a false base station pages the user equipment and requests it comes out of idle. The International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) is not used in paging with 5G and the amount of text exchanged is much lower. The network also performs analytics on the radio environment, detecting anomalous base stations.

Security Plus Agility

Improved core network agility and security has become a priority too. The 5G network core moves to a Service-Based Architecture (SBA) and made possible by a set of interconnected Network Functions (NFs), that authorize each other’s services. An SBA makes for plug-and-play software, agile programming, and network slicing that streamlines operations and makes further innovation much more likely.

The next need in the process of being addressed is extended roaming security: The 5G standard presents enhanced interconnect security between network operators. It is centered on a network function called Security Edge Protection Proxy (SEPP) and this Proxy is set up at the edge of each network operator’s 5G network. Each operator’s SEPP must be authenticated, and application layer security protects traffic.

For Private Networks Too

Private 5G networks are going to be a priority for organizations with large areas requiring secure LAN-like connectivity so they are able to deploy their own PCN – private cellular network. Controlling their own PCNs becomes possible for companies by implementing localized micro towers and small cells what work like individual access points. This is like a version of a public network that’s been scaled down, except you control quality of service as well as the security.

The last thing to see in all of this for now is how 5G is the first cellular network specification to embrace virtualization entirely, and this will offer significant cost savings for implementing otherwise expensive physical network cores. Network slicing will improve the reliability, speeds and low latency of 5G can by balancing the components of the network so they share the right information with the appropriate VNFs – virtual network functions.

Companies all over the world are set to roll out 5G connectivity for a range of applications, in industries ranging from mining to automakers to retail and in food services too. All of them can have better capacities for scaling safely and quickly through the deployment of cloud-manageable wireless edge routers and security layers. Made possible in a cohesive manner with 5G network connectivity.

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