Security Considerations for the 5G Era

5G is an evolving technology that will usher in an age of accelerated innovation connecting people, things and machines, through continuing improvements in mobile wireless communications. This 5G Americas whitepaper highlights enhanced security protocols for 5G, as it evolves and matures to address emerging, security threats in the wireless cellular landscape.

The white paper identifies how 5G wireless technology significantly differs from previous generations, as the entire wireless cellular network has been re-architected to use new capabilities such as software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV) for new services, and cloud-native architectures for scalability. The implementation of these elements requires additional encryption, extra defense in edge networks, and sophisticated new protocols to handle the demands of network slicing, multi-access edge computing (MEC), and a disaggregated, radio access network (RAN).

The white paper delves into 5G architectures that are designed to close possible security gaps from previous generations of cellular networks, as well as manage new security challenges outside the traditional framework. The white paper will cover important aspects such as:

  • how 5G differs from other wireless architectures, and what threats, vulnerabilities and attacks are therefore possible
  • how security is handled in 5G non-standalone (NSA) versus standalone (SA) 5G networks
  • additional security considerations that examine various aspects of software, virtualization, automation, and orchestration in the RAN and core networks
  • Zero-Trust security and several other new recommended techniques that mitigate threats
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