Mobile Security Industry Calls for Forthcoming 5G Standard to Provide Robust Security Appropriate to Use Case   

October 19, 2016

New technical paper recommends that 5G  security decisions are based on data value, level of risk and device cost 

SIMalliance has published a new technical white paper, which analyses functional and security requirements, together with proposed solutions, across five market segments for 5G – massive IoT, critical communications, enhanced mobile broadband, vehicle to X (V2X) and network operations.

The paper, entitled ‘5G Security – Making the Right Choice to Match your Needs’, determines that appropriate security, relevant to a wide range of use cases and their requirements, should be built into 5G from the outset, to prevent the need to retrofit the right level of security later. The paper also asserts that while many devices using the 5G network will be simple and low cost, particularly across the IoT segment, security decisions must take into account the value of data being stored or transferred and not just the device cost. 5G security measures must protect subscribers, devices and their communications and also the integrity of the network itself.

 The technical paper examines a range of use cases in each of the five segments. It explains how 5G will result in a wide variety of functional requirements, such as greater throughput, lower latencies, higher connectivity density and better coverage. The paper demonstrates how these functional requirements interrelate with security requirements in the 5G environment. It then maps security requirements to different aspects of the 5G ecosystem – network, services, applications, devices and users – and calls for, and makes recommendations for, security at all levels of the value chain.

Finally it compares three potential solutions that have been mooted for 5G security: the eUICC, Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) based SIM and SoftSIM. It highlights that service providers should consider confidentiality,privacy and integrity requirements of data being transmitted before arriving at which secure storage solution is appropriate for their use case.

It also presents these findings in an executive summary for the non-technical reader.

The paper expands on SIMalliance’s marketing paper, ‘An Analysis of the Security Needs of the 5G Market’,  published in early 2016. This earlier document concluded that while requirements will differ across each market segment, the need for security and privacy in 5G networks will be fundamental across all of them.

Commenting on the release of the paper, Hervé Pierre, Chairman of SIMalliance said: “5G will realise a huge variety of use cases and an equally large range of security threats and risks. SIMalliance believes that at every stage of the 5G standardisation process, across every segment, security and privacy remain fundamental requirements. Appropriate security, relevant to the broadest range of use cases, is therefore in the interests of all actors in 5G and it is vital to build security into 5G from the outset, for what is not built in from the beginning cannot easily be added later on.

 “This new SIMalliance paper explores various security solutions for 5G and analyses them based on their ability to meet functional and security requirements across key market segments. The result is a comparison accompanied by a recommendation on security solution viability for different use cases. While I’d urge interested parties to read the paper for detailed conclusions, SIMalliance’s position overall is to encourage actors to apply end-to-end security techniques based upon the value of the data in transit,  , as the wrong decision about security today will prove a false economy in the future,” he concluded.

‘5G Security – Making the Right Choice to Match your Needs’  can be downloaded for free from the SIMalliance website.  

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