5G network slicing: How to secure the opportunity

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Network slicing is an opportunity for telcos to disrupt private networking, but it is new and unknown to enterprises. A ‘hand holding approach’, internal alignment and simplified pilots will be key enablers in its adoption.


Format: PDF filePages: 35 pagesCharts: 10Author: Yesmean Luk, Matt Pooley, Phil LaidlerPublication Date: December 2019

Table of Contents

  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
    • Network slicing is central to unlocking the 5G opportunity
    • Dynamic, virtualised, end-to-end networks on shared resource
    • Slicing might come about in different ways
    • Slicing should bring great benefits…
  • Enterprise security concerns with network slicing are rooted in the fear of the new and unknown
    • What if my network slice gets compromised?
    • What if another network slice is compromised?
    • What if another network slice is eating up resources?
  • Security concerns will slow adoption if not addressed early and transparently
    • Concerns and misconceptions can be addressed through better awareness and understanding
    • As a result, enterprises project concerns about public networks’ limitations onto slicing
    • The way that network slicing is designed actually enhances security, and there are additional measures available on top.
  • Telcos must act early and work more closely with customers to drive slicing adoption
    • Ensure that the technology works and that it is secure and robust
    • Organise and align internally on what network slicing is and where it fits internally before addressing enterprise customers
    • Engage in an open dialogue with enterprise customers and directly address any concerns via a ‘hand holding’ approach
    • Don’t wait for maturity to start testing and rolling out pilots to support the transition and learning process
  • Conclusion

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: Limitations of one-size-fits-all networks
  • Figure 2: Diagram of network slicing
  • Figure 3: Scenario 1 – Many customers on 3 generic slices
  • Figure 4: Scenario 2 – Many customer instances of 3 generic slice types
  • Figure 5: Scenario 3 – Made-to-order network slicing
  • Figure 6: Different security levels for each network slice type
  • Figure 7: Limitations of public networks vs. network slicing
  • Figure 8: Dimensions of network slice isolation
  • Figure 9: Telcos need to change the way they sell
  • Figure 10: Key steps for telcos to drive slicing adoption

Technologies and industry terms referenced include: 5G, compliance, denial of service, eMBB, Encryption, enterprise, isolation, mMTC, Network slicing, nfv, orchestration, private networking, private networks, security, URLLC, virtualised infrastructure