Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) may provide opportunities to overcome key networking challenges – but security remains a key concern.
FirstWave Strategy Director, Roger Carvosso, who attended the SDN NFV World Congress 2019 in The Hague, the Netherlands, has prepared a final summary of the event – including details of a presentation from Ofcom, the United Kingdom’s communications regulator that laid out the security challenge in stark terms.
“Telecommunications regulators and national security agencies worldwide are very concerned – even alarmed – about the potential risks of cyber-attacks from state-based actors against centralised telecommunications end-to-end service and network orchestration technology platforms or solutions from single vendors,” Roger says. “They are also concerned about the dominance or concentration of market power to one or a few NFV orchestration vendors or standards in the telecommunications, carriage service provider and digital service provider space.”
Vendors at the event, he says, responded by emphasising the importance of security planning, design and controls needed for any orchestrator that has privileged access to network elements for the purpose of service and network orchestration.
Security also remains a divisive issue within many telecommunications providers, with an intra-organisational divide between cyber-security leaders such as vice-presidents of security products, professionals and operations team members and SDN/NFV networking engineers. These engineers are typically not as aware or as knowledgeable of security or cyber-security as a service, or the importance of baking security as a philosophy or discipline to be baked into SDN/NFV technologies, tools and processes.
At FirstWave, we are working to ensure our CSMP/CCSP platform security architecture, including APIs, has the highest level of security accreditation and validation – where the required components have privileged access to telecommunications network elements for service and network orchestration. Our platform effectively supports the diversification of orchestration vendors and a more competitive, secure sector. Our products and culture can also help telecommunications providers bridge the internal security gap and capture the value possible through SDN and NFV.
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