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Why 5G radio security cannot be an afterthought

Why 5G radio security cannot be an afterthought

Building trust in 5G security

Wireless communication is inherently vulnerable and needs specific protection against interception and tampering.  The evolution of mobile communication networks from previous generations to 5G has opened the door for completely new use cases, and at the same time, for new types of cyber threats. Making 5G networks secure demands end-to-end optimization of security operations from devices to radio sites and network core. 

We at Nokia have Design for Security as an integral part of our product development process to ensure that security is designed in and managed throughout a product’s lifecycle. Our strong commitment to security helps operators build trust in the security and privacy of subscriber information.

We have implemented more than 500 security projects worldwide over the past 15 years, and we play an active role in more than 5 standardization bodies that are shaping the latest in security standards and best practices. 

In the 5G era, security cannot be an afterthought. It’s important to put security in place right from the start, when new services are first being planned. Building trust in 5G security is essential for unlocking the new revenue opportunities that come with 5G.

New use cases driving 5G radio security

To secure user communication, encryption has been used on the radio interfaces ever since GSM ― the second generation of mobile networks. The security architecture was significantly enhanced for 3G and 4G networks. 

However, while 4G was primarily designed to support the mobile broadband use cases, 5G targets in addition a variety of advanced use cases, which place the highest demands on the reliability of the network. With the evolution of 5G use cases, human safety and even human lives can depend on the availability and integrity of the network service. 

Security concepts for 5G will also need to be more flexible and adapt to the wide range of specific requirements, such as support for a massive density of mobile devices or the need for ultra-low latency communications. 

Nokia zero trust architecture

There is no such thing as a perfectly secure system. There are many ways how attackers may try to compromise a communication network that stores valuable, constantly updated data, so it is important to identify and address the various threats that can impact the network at any stage of the communication chain. 

Nokia zero trust architecture provides a holistic approach to cyber security. It includes comprehensive, robust, real-time security operations and security monitoring management system covering radio access, transport and core network domains. 

Our new White Paper discusses 5G mobile radio network security challenges and opportunities. Download the White Paper to learn more about the value of Nokia zero trust security approach.