Insights Around the Journey to 5G

Security remains a top concern of mobile operators as they make the journey to 5G. At the recent, Big 5G event in Denver, Colo., A10 Networks shared its insights around how important security will become for 5G networks.

For instant access to the “Big 5G Event Critical Insight eBook,” click here

By 2024, 5G networks will carry 35 percent of mobile data traffic globally. 5G services require a level of performance and security that mobile network operators (MNO) have not previously had to offer.

With faster speeds, lower latency and a huge increase in mobile traffic, this creates the perfect storm for security vulnerabilities like DDoS attacks.

Plus, 5G will be able to embrace more connected devices, and IoT devices are a common thread in DDoS attacks

In theory, every smartphone or IoT device can be compromised and turned into a potential weapon. These weapons are then on the inside of the network and can start attacking the core of the network itself.


Yasir Liaqatullah, VP of product management at A10 Networks, discusses 5G security and more with Phil Harvey, US bureau chief at Light Reading.

Mobile operators can no longer ignore the impact to their downstream subscribers that offer critical 5G services. For example, a 1-Gbps DDoS attack passing through the mobile network may be a blip on the MNO radar, but this could have a devastating impact on small, critical data centers for public safety or mission-critical enterprise applications.

Though the traditional method of security is to protect the edge infrastructure from attacks coming from the internet, now mobile operators need to think more holistically about their security, including the roaming and access interfaces to the core network.

When it comes to securing a 5G network, operations, integration and performance are big challenges. The question is how to integrate security while also allowing mobile operators to increase scalability and efficiency, and reduce latency.

Security platforms designed for the enterprise, for example, are not practical for MNOs when they don’t provide the scale and efficiency needed.

Combined with network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN), network slicing is one of the key mechanisms that will enable MNOs to offer security and other capabilities tailored to each vertical application without losing the economies of scale of common infrastructure.

Network slicing isolates each use case or service from one another, so that the services can be independently deployed, managed securely and delivered robustly.

While this provides an opportunity to strengthen the security of the network and of the individual slices, it also gives cybercriminals the opportunity to target more specific use cases.

Increasingly, too, analytics should not be a sample-based approach, especially with 5G. Analytics should be able to see all the traffic going into the network in order to take preventative and reactive measures.

A10 Networks is helping MNOs by providing highly scalable security solutions for 5G network scenarios.

Our robust firewall and DDoS detection and mitigation technologies can be deployed in physical, virtual, bare metal and container form factors to suit individual network topologies, including 4G, 5G-NSA, MEC and 5G standalone (SA).

Combined with deep packet inspection (DPI), carrier-grade network address translation (CG NAT), and intelligent traffic steering and analytics, the A10 Networks 5G security portfolio provides the highest flexibility, scalability and protection for mobile operators as they evolve their networks to support 5G.

For more highlights from the Big 5G Event in 2019, download the “Big 5G Event Critical Insight eBook,” now.


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September 17, 2019

About Terry Young

Terry Young is Director of 5G Marketing at A10 Networks. She is responsible for developing programs and marketing material that describe business value of A10 solutions for mobile network operators and other service providers. Prior to A10 Networks, Terry has 20 years experience in the telecommunications industry, including AT&T (mobile and fixed businesses), where she developed market strategy recommendations for new business initiatives for AT&T. As a principal analyst for a syndicated market research company early in the 3G technology introduction, her 3G/4G market analysis and forecasts were published by the UMTS Forum. She also previously held positions with several start-up mobile infrastructure and software vendors, including Infoblox and Palo Alto Networks. Terry has an MBA from Arizona State University and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. READ MORE