Telecoms, Telecom news, ET Telecom

New Delhi: Network security will become a major challenge in a 5G world, major telecom operators have said.

“5G is more about digital services, which means you’ll have more open APIs, software-defined architectures, but that comes with a lot of challenges because of the security vulnerabilities that this network is exposed to and which is now defined by open software,” Sandeep Gupta, EVP (Network Strategy & Architecture), said Bharti Airtel.

Executives from Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel pointed out that network security will become a major concern for telecom operators in the 5G era due to uncertified and non-compliant Internet of Things (IoT) devices connecting to the network.

“Now with the IoT you will probably have devices from garages that are probably not certified. So you expose your network to a lot of non-standard equipment which exposes it to vulnerabilities. So security becomes extremely important” , said Gulshan Khurana, EVP, Vodafone Idea.

Both were speaking during a panel discussion at the ETTelecom Digital Telco Summit.

The two telecom operators also said they were taking steps to secure their respective networks.

“With the IoT devices coming to the network site, they can bring many vulnerabilities because the passwords, the software of these IoT devices cannot be managed. These are installed in businesses, in homes, every machine will have some sort of connected device,” Gupta said.

The new system would check the handset model and the apps installed on it, and send a message to alert on vulnerabilities if any while relevant information would be provided to citizens in their native language or in the language they understand.

We need to ensure that vulnerabilities are checked at all levels so that services remain intact for end customers, he said. tightly, covering the gaps and making it much safer for consumers,” added Khurana.

“At Airtel, we have deployed a comprehensive SOC, which is a security operations center, which examines vulnerabilities within our network, coming from inside and outside, devices, APIs, interconnections that we have with other carriers or other cloud partners, making sure that we are aware of these vulnerabilities in software and in hardware,” Gupta pointed out.

The SOC, according to the Airtel executive, particularly focuses on vulnerabilities, if any, in the software stack and interfaces so that these vulnerabilities can be addressed in real-time or timely software upgrades.

Kevin M. Risinger