5G and Security

Discover Reply's Security Proposition to face
the security challenges of 5G networks

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Network evolutions and new security threats

5G is the next generation network which will replace the older 4G technology with the evolution of all elements of the network. The adoption of the 5G technology will, however, also lead to the intensification of security challenges or the emergence of new ones.

The sheer volume of connected devices, in addition to new use cases and evolving business models, make 5G a potential target for cyberwarfare. Despite the adoption of a Security by Design approach in designing the organisation’s network, it will be crucial to deal with a series of challenges over the next few years.

To address this issue, Reply has developed a Security Proposition strategy focused on 5G. It is designed to support organisations in defining an approach aimed at minimising risks and implementing high security standards, with flexible solutions that can be adapted to the evolutionary developments of a technology in continuous growth.

5G security challenges

With 5G, existing security problems that already impact the 3G and 4G technologies are reinforced with a new set of challenges deriving from the new application scenarios and the specific characteristics of the new network. These challenges require new measures, approaches and technologies to ensure the security of a 5G network.
  • Enhanced security measures: 5G will need to cope with systems that are not properly designed and configured, often managed with default passwords and software that is rarely updated.
  • 5G supply chain: The lack of attention to the security aspects of some products, together with the dependence on a single supplier, can help facilitate future attacks.


  • Main threat actors: The strategic importance of 5G has prompted many authorities to define requirements and veto powers on the 5G supply chain, to help protect the network from cyber criminals and cyber espionage.
  • Interdependence with critical systems: in the future, an increasing number of critical systems will rely on the 5G network which could, in turn, be used as a vehicle to attack essential services.
  • End-point devices: connected devices can be vehicles of infrastructure attacks: it will therefore be crucial for the health status of endpoints within the private slice to be constantly monitored.

Reply’s 5G Security Proposition

Thanks to its longstanding, consolidated experience in cyber security, Reply offers a comprehensive approach that carefully takes into consideration all the various security and privacy aspects necessary to implement the most correct protection strategy for 5G networks, technologies and related services.

In order to adequately respond to current and future risks related to the 5G network, a risk-based method is required:

  • Risk identification: identification of assets or threats;
  • Risk evaluation: identification of metrics, risk criteria and quantification of the relative risk value;
  • Risk treatment: application of the strategies recommended by the Threat Vulnerability and Risk Analysis (TVRA) method, with a focus on the redesign and hardening of assets, as well as compliance with applicable security standards.

Once the risk assessment plan and the corresponding risks have been defined, the process continues with the assessment of the most appropriate security solution for each layer of the 5G architecture (endpoint, end-to-end communication, cloud & core network). In this phase, the following activities are carried out:

  • The analysis and definition of security requirements;
  • Technical analysis and scouting for the security solution;
  • The evaluation of the solution identified with regard to the technological and to the business context, in order to develop a Proof of Concept.

The implementation of the security solution identified can be managed at the Core Network or at the Edge level, ensuring active infrastructure security, as well as network and security events monitoring.

The Reply approach focuses on the scalability of the solution, ensuring operation and maintenance upstream of the delivery phase, as well as end-to-end protection at the infrastructure level.

Tools for secure 5G networks

In the scouting and implementation phases, the Reply approach facilitates the adoption of three security frameworks to support organisations in minimising risks and enhancing security standards:
  • ZERO TRUST

    The Zero Trust model aims to protect customers' assets, applications and data, regardless of where users and resources are located. This tool enables the infrastructure that adopts it to monitor and identify malicious activity by a user or by a machine from inside or outside the network.

  • SECURITY BY DESIGN

    The Security by Design approach makes it possible to systemically carry out security checks, testing and audits during the design and implementation phases of software, services and devices, thus achieving considerable savings in terms of costs that would have been needed to apply fixes at a later time.

  • NETWORK MONITORING

    Through network monitoring, it is possible to monitor network traffic in order to recognise and block any abnormal device behaviour (visibility), to support experts in the management of an ever increasing number of devices (orchestration), as well as to ensure an immediate and targeted response to attacks (automation).

MINIMIZE RISKS AND IMPLEMENT HIGH SECURITY
STANDARDS THANKS TO REPLY'S SECURITY PROPOSITION


Download the brochure