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Three reasons why digital certificates are needed in the complex world of 5G security

Three reasons why digital certificates are needed in the complex world of 5G security

Are you finding that it’s getting harder to secure your data-in-motion in the world of 5G? You are not alone. While 5G paved the way for new innovations with greater speed and lower latency, there comes a new set of challenges that need to be addressed.

The threat surface has expanded due to the openness of 5G networks and it’s causing CSPs to become vulnerable when securing data-in-motion or data-at-rest. Now more than ever, it’s imperative for security mechanisms such as encryption to be used to authenticate the sources and recipients of data using digital certificates.

CSPs have used certificates in relatively limited ways up to 5G. So, why now? It’s because certificate-based security is distributed throughout the network so it can communicate securely across application levels. Explore more in our white paper.

Reason #1: Greater security challenges in 5G

CSPs have created a strong security reputation in 2G and 3G networks. In the 5G environment, that’s where vulnerabilities can occur in their critical infrastructure. 5G has made it possible for CSPs to become DSPs (digital service providers) and with that, customers have access to dedicated services on a shared infrastructure – improving customer experience and increasing the demand for innovation.

As the number of connected devices and data traffic volumes increase, it exposes a DSP to greater security vulnerabilities due to machine-to-machine communication. This can expose networks to DDoS, DoS and GTP protocol anomaly attacks.

Reason #2: Telco networks need to evolve to keep up with 5G

In the 2G, 3G, and 4G networks, security vulnerabilities became apparent thus the introduction of encryption and authentication through 3GPP standardization. In 5G networks, the role of authentication and encryption via digital certificates extends to all signaling traffic.

As CSPs upgrade to 5G networks, their security measures also need to evolve in order to secure APIs across all layers of the CSP cloud network. This is something that digital certificates use for authentication for total network communications that wasn’t previously used in other “G” networks.

Figure 1.

Explore our white paper to understand how certificate-based security is needed to keep communications secure for network function exposure domain and roaming interconnections.

Reason #3: Digital Service Providers (DSPs) need a network they can trust

As DSPs continue to evolve to keep up with customer demands for increased connectivity and innovations, they want to know they can trust their network to be secure in order to maximize all of the capabilities that 5G offers.  

Now when it comes to deploying digital certificates, DSPs (and CSPs on the path to becoming them) want to ensure they select the right architecture. Knowing whether to deploy a single central CA or several CAs will depend on the infrastructure, security and compliance requirements. And on the need for logical and physical separation of the different services that will use digital certificates.

When looking for knowledge and expertise on how digital certificates will impact 5G business strategy, DSPs can trust our cybersecurity consulting experts who have experience in incorporating widespread digital certificates into a 5G network environment.

Dive into our white paper to further examine the roles of digital certificates in the 5G environment and certificate trust domains. Learn more about Nokia Cybersecurity Consulting Services.

Alexa Tahan

About Alexa Tahan

Alexa leads the campaign and content strategy for Nokia cybersecurity services and solutions. She has extensive B2B and B2C content marketing experience and is passionate about enhancing the buyer journey.

Alexa resides in the United States and enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, traveling, and working on new creative projects.   

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