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Cybersecurity in the 5G era was one of the topics tackled at the 13th edition of Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit. To know more about his stance on the security challenges that will be brought about by 5G, Telecom Review spoke to Ilia Abramov, VP, GM, Security Business Unit, Mavenir.

Security is perhaps the most important element that every individual and entity ought to preserve. This task has become more difficult with the evolution of technology which is in tandem with the rise of new security threats. With 5G, the security aspect is an important pillar that could actually affect how sectors and industry function.

Ilia Abramov explains that 5G has been developed following a security by design approach; however, a number of challenges are presented. One of the biggest issues in terms of 5G security design is that the number of security matters is meant to be optional which means that service providers might resort to trade-offs to avoid implementing such measures.

“For example, there is a number of vulnerabilities in 2G, 3G and 4G networks that allow interception of voice calls and two factor SMS which might lead to emptying bank accounts of fraud victims. 5G is supposed to address that by increasing interconnect security. However, a number of pertinent measures were made optional, specifically private key infrastructure which should cover all security vulnerabilities known on the interconnects for 2G and 3G. But if they are not implemented properly, the whole ecosystem will be vulnerable,” he said.

New vulnerabilities were presented with the advent of the fifth generation network which requires an adequate approach to counter all potential security risks.

“5G core is based on the IT grade protocols which bring new sorts of vulnerabilities. Therefore, the whole industry should review its approach to security. IT companies have to think in a more telco-grade manner and telecom companies have to start thinking in a more IT companies-like manner.

I personally believe that there are a lot of challenges and if we don’t properly approach security by design as stipulated by 5G core implementations, we should expect high cybercrime rates,” Mavenir’s VP warns.

The services and products that Mavenir offers can help customers to mitigate security threats and face all relevant challenges more efficiently.

“Within Mavenir, we are bringing proper security and anti-fraud measures into one single set of services and products. Unfortunately, 5G doesn’t address fraud matters; however, it facilitates the implementation of anti-fraud measures by leveraging 5G elements like network data analytics function which is part of 5G core,” Abramov concludes.

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