GSA 5G Security Primer vs Cisco 5G Security Challenges

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), today issued a 5G Security Primer whitepaper, providing the industry with a top-level overview of the security considerations and required approaches necessary for securing next generation networks. 5G is expected to see huge growth in both the number of different types of applications, as well as the volume and diversity of devices that will connect to the network. These two factors have the effect of broadening the potential “attack surface” for 5G networks – introducing potential new risks and meaning that security best practice has never been more important. Drawing on research from GSA member vendors and industry security sources, the whitepaper outlines the potential issues as well as architectural approaches to securing 5G networks. It is available for download from The GSA website.

The whitepaper includes detail on trust models and assumptions within 5G networks compared to their LTE counterparts. It also outlines how 5G’s architecture and features enhance security including: Service-Based Architecture (SBA) and network slicing, Authentication, Identity Management and Privacy, Security Assurance, Inter-operator Security and Signalling Protection, the role of multi-access edge computing (MEC), the potential security impact on user experience and the hardware protection of endpoints, servers. Finally, it also considers approaches to standardization and future developments in the field.

“5G is not just about faster speeds, it’s also about an order of magnitude increase in the number of connected devices and potential applications. This significantly increases the potential attack surface, and means that adopting security best practice will be critical to building models of trust between the parties using and supplying 5G networks,” said Joe Barrett, President of the GSA. “Drawing on broad research and experience of our membership, this whitepaper provides a primer for the industry to highlight the challenges and encourage secure thinking to be central to network design and implementation.”

About GSA

GSA is the voice of the mobile vendor ecosystem representing companies engaged in the supply of infrastructure, semiconductors, test equipment, devices, applications and mobile support services. GSA actively promotes the 3GPP technology road-map – 3G, 4G, 5G – and is a single source of information resource for industry reports and market intelligence. Its Executive board comprises of Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm, and Samsung as well as a range of members and associates including Viavi Solutions and ZTE.

Membership of GSA is open to any supplier of products; systems or services related to the mobile industry and brings many benefits including access to the GAMBoD database. The range of benefits includes enhanced discussion, networking and influencing opportunities on the key industry topics, and unique promotional/visibility opportunities for your company name, capabilities, positioning and messages. More details can be found at here.


According to Cisco:

The security challenges facing service providers are set to soar with the development of 5G networks. … Unlike 4G and previous generations, 5G will support specialized use cases like e-health and connected cars. Security in these scenarios could be a matter of life and death.

Your security architecture must evolve as you move to 5G. This whitepaper offers a roadmap for your journey

Advanced malware must be stopped and fixed. For this, you need to go beyond signature-based tools to spot the stuff designed to evade basic filters. Behavior-based checks on endpoints, possibly using sandboxing, are important. And once a threat has been detected, you need to be able to remove all instances of it on the network, and block it going forward.

Anomaly detection uses packet capture, big data, and machine learning to identify threats not spotted by basic filters. When embedded into network switches and routers it’s far more effective, as it turns those devices into security sensors.

DNS intelligence is important, as this is a major threat vector today. There’s great value in tools which monitor DNS activity and protect against anything malicious. But this is extremely expensive and resource-intensive to develop in-house. So look for an expert provider who can help.

Threat intelligence should be at the heart of any effective 5G security strategy. Service providers must look for vendors which profile hackers to better understand their efforts. Try and get intelligence from the widest range of sources possible. Ensure your provider only offers actionable intelligence and that it’s sent to you rapidly.

Security threats are only going to accelerate as 5G networks become a reality. AT&T sees 11 billion incidents each day currently. But it predicts this will rise to five billion every 10 minutes in the future.

That’s why service providers must plan now for the future. And remember, the first step towards control is network-wide visibility.


Three use cases for IMT 2020 (the real 5G standard to be completed end of 2020) showing application examples for each use case:

Image result for 5g security




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