Carriers Navigate 5G, Mobile Security at Mobile World Congress

While the latest and greatest smartphones and mobile consumer technology typically take center stage at Mobile World Congress, this year was different.

With the pending transition from 4G to 5G and the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) security threats, carriers were focused squarely on ensuring their networks and service offerings were fortified against the evolving threat landscape.

All Eyes on Security

There are an estimated 6 billion to 7 billion mobile phones and devices that connect to service provider networks. At MWC, carriers eyed solutions that can help them protect their customers and their infrastructure from attacks, such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that can take down an entire network.

That, coupled with the recent spate of IoT-based attacks, through which threat actors build massive botnets out of unsecured IoT devices, had carriers on the hunt for ways to ensure they don’t find themselves in the headlines as the next cyber attack victim.

5G: Coming Soon

And with the next generation of mobile technology, 5G, on the horizon, carriers at MWC sought to dig into what they can expect when they make the shift.

5G promises much higher data transfer rates, such as the ability to download an entire movie in seconds versus minutes and decreased network latency.

5G is also expected to lead to a swell of devices connecting to carriers’ mobile networks, meaning more IoT devices. This creates risk, and carriers need solutions that will enable them to take advantage of 5G’s increased speed and reduced latency while maintaining network availability and security.

While 5G isn’t expected until 2020, MWC offered service providers an opportunity to learn how they can optimize and protect their networks to make sure they are ready for the change and for the influx of connected devices so they don’t wreak havoc.

A10 at MWC

To help mobile service providers prepare for 5G without having to sacrifice performance for security, A10 at Mobile World Congress unveiled an enhanced version of the A10 Thunder CFW Gi/SGi firewall. It empowers carriers to consolidate security and application networking into one high-performance solution to better monetize their networks while introducing new revenue streams and services.

The Thunder CFW Gi/SGi firewall gives service providers enough throughput to support their current and future traffic requirements, including 256 million concurrent connections and more than 6 million connections per second, all in a single rack-unit appliance. It features Gi/SGi interface protection that safeguards subscribers while shielding mobile core infrastructure from multi-vector cyber attacks to ensure uninterrupted service delivery.

The Thunder CFW Gi/SGi firewall is a stateful layer 4 firewall that protects control-plane and data-plane communica­tions. It offers traffic inspection, connection rate limiting, IP anomaly protection for granular attack mitigation and layer 4 and layer 7 DDoS protection to defend against multi-vector volumetric attacks. And it features integrated IPsec VPN to prevent eavesdropping and secure communications over wireless and Wi-Fi networks.

With the Thunder CFW Gi/SGi firewall, carriers can scale their networks to ease the transitions to 5G and IPv6 and handle the anticipated explosion of IoT and connected devices, while also supporting deployments of network functions virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) technologies.

For more information on the A10 Thunder CFW Gi/SGi firewall, download the solution brief.


March 7, 2017

About Andrew Hickey

Andrew Hickey serves as A10's editorial director. Andrew has two decades of journalism and content strategy experience, covering everything from crime to cloud computing and all things in between. READ MORE