The vital role of Managed Services to deliver secure networks
By: Mohamed Elsokkary, Head of Managed Services for Gulf Countries at Ericsson
The exciting evolution of connectivity will undoubtedly touch every aspect of society and change it for the better. With the deployment of 5G and the demand for reliable, secure, and robust connectivity, mobile network operators need to address the intensifying complexity of their networks that is driven by the increasing volume of devices, multiple new technologies, and more diverse service requirements.
From the nuisance of a funny clip on social media applications annoyingly freezing, to critical communications where a glitch could be serious if it affects remote surgery or an automated factory, secure user experience is now the main end-user expectation as 5G use cases become more demanding, critical and sophisticated.
After 5G networks are planned, designed, built, optimized and then transferred to operations, the focus shifts to supporting the overall quality and security experience of end-users which necessitates a fundamental shift from the way deployed networks are managed and optimized today. This shift from the traditional network resource management model – where technology-related capacity, performance and availability are key – to successfully operating high-performance service-driven networks in a secure manner means that the operations and optimization of 5G networks must transform from being technology to end-user service centric.
There are critical measures which are adopted by Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to protect data and ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, and availability of Services. These ‘Technical and Organizational Measures for Security’ include, but are not limited to the following:
- Business Continuity Management: MSPs should design and implement the process and tools with the right expertise to ensure the continuity of information security management in adverse situations, such as during a crisis or disaster.
- Information Protection & Information Assets Handling: MSPs should ensure the protection of Communication Service Providers (CSPs) data against unauthorized access, and to maintain the policies on the use of cryptographic controls, and the protection and lifetime of cryptographic keys in accordance with industry best practice. In addition, Regular performance of security assessments on Information systems is advised to detect any vulnerabilities.
- Identity & Access Management: MSPs are tasked to maintain controlled processes and systems covering the formal registration of users with a unique identity as prerequisite for granting any access to the user.
- Software Development: One of important tasks of MSPs is to ensure that the development, testing, and operational environments are separated to reduce the risks of unauthorized access or changes to the operational environment.
- Network Security: Operating procedures for the management of network security should be maintained by MSPs, including intrusion detection and prevention, firewall protection, denial of service attack and prevention, and web filtering. In addition, protection of secure areas with appropriate entry controls designed to ensure that only authorized personnel are allowed access and physical access to areas where any data is stored is restricted to Authorized Users.
The trustworthiness not only originates from a set of security features, but also from system design principles and implementation considerations that have all been applied with a holistic and risk-based mindset.
As such, Ericsson Managed Services has addressed such challenges and strengthened their security agenda to meet the industry standard requirements using AI and ML algorithms. Ericsson Operations Engine utilizes AI and data-driven solutions to power intelligent, predictive mobile networks. This allows for detection, monitoring and managing threats using real-time risk visibility and automated resolutions – delivering robust security from device to cloud.
With such enhanced data driven operation capabilities and end-to-end improvements based upon predictive forecasting of network performance, MSPs can bring economies, and deliver better operations thus giving CSPs the opportunity to deliver enhanced services to their customers and increasing business opportunities.
Getting the right Managed Services partner will fulfill any CSP’s high mandates on security, ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of assets, protecting the brand image, and minimizing any business disruption.