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Heavy Reading: CSPs need a new approach for cloud and 5G security

Security is a top priority for communications service providers (CSPs) as they build out their cloud offers and plan for 5G. A new white paper by Nokia and Heavy Reading reveals that many CSPs need to evolve their cloud security strategies to prepare for new security challenges they will face on the journey to 5G.

As part of its 2017 Global Survey, Heavy Reading asked CSPs about their readiness to detect a variety of common security threats. As shown in Figure 1, most CSPs were less than fully confident in their detection capabilities.

How confident are you in your company's ability to detect the following threat or event types?

Heavy reading
Threat detection confidence


The survey also asked CSPs about their security organizations, how they felt these organizations performed, and their plans to upgrade their perimeter-based security technologies. Based on their responses, Heavy Reading recommends three actions for CSPs concerned about cloud and 5G security:

  1. Adopt new security measures and strategies. Larger CSPs now receive 10,000 alerts per day but their current solutions allow them to investigate only about 30% of these threats. CSPs need new approaches and tools that will enable them to handle escalating threat volumes and investigate more security events.
  2. Add security resources. The volume, velocity, and variety of security data are overwhelming security teams, which are typically small. About three-quarters of CSPs said that less than 10% of their workers were directly involved in security. Just 23% felt that their security organizations were performing at a high level. CSPs will need to scale up and reorganize their security teams to manage the cloud security requirements associated with 5G.
  3. Make these changes quickly: 5G is on the horizon and approaching fast. CSPs will need full confidence in their security strategies and organizations to meet the advanced security requirements of a fully loaded, commercialized telco cloud. Most respondents recognized the need to act and planned to start implementing automated security processing solutions within 12–18 months.

Having larger and more efficient security organizations will certainly help CSPs navigate the changing threat landscape. To optimize the performance of these organizations, CSPs need a security strategy that uses intelligent tools and capabilities to automate processes and support a real-time response model.

As CSPs embrace the cloud, they no longer have a recognizable security perimeter to enforce. The only viable cloud security strategy is one that uses integrated analytics to provide baseline network behavior data to automated systems that can predictively and proactively enforce security policies.

Nokia ACTIVE Security Architecture
Nokia ACTIVE Security Architecture

Security Operations, Analytics and Response (SOAR) capabilities are essential for any CSP seeking to build a proactive cybersecurity architecture. An ideal SOAR platform would use intelligent analytics and machine learning to continuously evaluate the risk posture and the state of the environment. It would enable informed decision-making and formalize and automate responsive actions in real time.

Nokia is addressing the need for SOAR capabilities with the NetGuard Security Management Center (SMC). This SOAR platform enables CSPs to:

  • Automate typical day-to-day security workflows
  • Automate analysis to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of security investigations
  • Automate countermeasures to respond to threats before data is exfiltrated

By automating security processing, NetGuard SMC enables CSPs to overcome one of the final hurdles associated with cloud commercialization and create a secure path towards 5G.

Nokia has extensive experience in helping CSPs secure multi-vendor and multi-technology telecom networks. Contact us to learn how our solutions can help you use analytics and automation to upgrade your cloud security strategy and respond early in the cyber kill chain.

Download the whitepaper: Cloud Security Strategies: The Power of Proactive Processing

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokia and @nokianetworks using #security #netguard #5G #cloud #IoT

Gerald Reddig

About Gerald Reddig

Gerald leads the global portfolio marketing efforts for Nokia’s security solutions. He is a member of the broadband forum, directs Nokia´s membership in the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance and steers Nokia´s Security center in Finland. Gerald is on the speaker’s circuit at international conferences and a recognized author on the topics he’s passionate about: cybersecurity technology, data privacy and finding the right solutions to prevent vulnerabilities, hacker trojans or man-in-the-middle attacks.

Tweet me at @geraldreddig

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