In 5G We Trust. Why flexible security is a 5G business essential

2019-01-14 10:24:15

The more trust a user has in a service, the more likely they are to buy it. In today’s world, digital trust is a compelling business consideration for all Communications Service Providers (CSPs). It’s also a telco industry issue that’s been hitting the headlines in recent months.

Not only is the security of a service an essential trust building block, it is also a growing business opportunity for CSPs. That’s because 5G network slicing will enable CSPs to offer highly-tailored services that can win the business of a wide range of new customers in so-called vertical markets. Offering different and flexible security levels matched to the needs of the service delivered by a network slice will be a ‘monetizing’ opportunity. Put simply, a gaming service network slice does not need the highest levels of security that are essential to protect life-or-death public safety communications.
Four capabilities of good 5G security
To protect 5G services and the accelerating growth in connections, CSPs need a new approach to security. There are four key requirements – adaptability, integration, automation and rapidity.
The first requirement calls for 5G security to be adaptable to meet the increasingly sophisticated techniques of cyber-attackers. Hackers often dynamically tweak their attacks in real-time or near real-time, so CSPs’ defenses must be at least as adaptive to respond at least as quickly.
Second, a cyber-security platform must integrate all the different security tools and systems in a CSP’s armory, all of which generate a huge number and variety of alarms. A centralized single view to orchestrate the entire security environment, supported by data analytics to pick out the real threats from false alerts, will reduce the time it takes to respond and begin the fight back against a hacker.
Automation is vital to increase the speed of response and to tackle the growing workload facing security teams. Did you know that 33 percent of incident response time is spent on manual processes? It’s little surprise then that manual processes cannot be scaled up to meet the rise in threats that will inevitably accompany the growth in 5G business.
Don’t let them dwell
Which brings us to the fourth requirement – rapidity. One of the most important success factors in security is reducing the dwell time – that is the length of time a hacker goes undetected should they breach first-line security to gain access to the network. The longer they have, the more chances they get to hunt around the network for valuable data they can steal. With adaptability, analytics, machine learning, orchestration and automation, a hacker’s dwell time can be cut by 80 percent.
While an effective first line of defense of firewalls and other measures will stop nearly all hackers before they can get into a network, a few attacks will inevitably get through. But with rapid, automated and smart detection and response, even these breaches can be tackled to protect customer data.
Together, these capabilities can help CSPs to build trust in their customers and ensure exciting, new 5G services are as secure as possible.