Verizon future proofs 5G network against security threats

September 07, 2020 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Verizon future proofs 5G network against security threats
From design to deployment, Verizon’s 5G network employs the highest industry-leading levels of security even taking into consideration future security threats.

Network Security engineers at Verizon recently engaged in a series of successful trials to future-proof its 5G network against security threats and advance security measures to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the 5G network. Verizon is focused on protecting against threats to customers’ security and ensuring the reliability and resilience of communications services against all manner of hazards, including cyber threats.

“As the design and deployment of networks becomes more complicated and the capabilities of networks allow for much more robust systems, securing those networks is the highest priority,” said Srini Kalapala, Vice President of Network Planning for Verizon. “Not only has our network team built our 5G network with industry-leading security, but our team is anticipating and planning for future security issues to protect our network and mitigate risks today and in the future.”

While Verizon boasts a highly secure 5G network presently, Verizon engineers are continuing to drive innovation and leadership in the area of cyber security, knowing that threats evolve nearly as quickly as new technology is introduced. To that end, Verizon engineers and partners are advancing a series of initiatives as follows.

Security Network Accelerators to improve latency and operational efficiency
As network operations become more complex, additional purpose-built hardware supporting security functions such as firewalls, IDS, DDoS, Probes and Packet brokers are deployed throughout the network. The addition of this hardware introduces additional latency and opens the door for greater maintenance as well as additional points of vulnerability.  To solve for this, Verizon engineers have virtualized many of these functions and moved them to the cloud. However, for higher performance security functions, however, Verizon engineers are working to install programmable network accelerators as a way to mesh together multiple high performance, latency dependent security functions into a single, AI ML driven Network Accelerator, reducing operational expenses, reducing reliance on programming by people and increasing the efficiency of delivering these security functions.  Verizon is working with the University of California Santa Barbara to develop AI ML driven firewall and IDS capabilities that are able to be delivered in a whitebox network accelerator.

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