Light Reading
Alarmed at the billions lost in data breaches, enterprises and governments want to write security requirements into their contracts

Putting a Dollar Sign on Network Security

Carol Wilson
12/6/2012
50%
50%

ORLANDO -- Management World Americas -- Wouldn't you think network service contracts would include security requirements?

It may seem like a no-brainer, but most contracts are built around availability and performance, not security. One of the more intriguing TM Forum Catalyst Projects on display here this week is aimed at helping enterprises and governments create contract terms that build in security requirements.

The idea is to create financial incentives to improve security. As network threats become more sophisticated -– most are currently the work of organized crime –- enterprises and governments want more assurance that network operators are working on the problem. The move to cloud services can make it even harder for enterprises and governments to easily track where their applications and data are, and if they are secure, according to Martin Huddleston of the U.K. Defence Science and Technology Lab, which is a participant in the Catalyst.

The key, being pursued in the Catalyst, is to find metrics and targets for the level of security. According to the other participants in the project, including CA Technologies (Nasdaq: CA), McAfee Inc. (NYSE: MFE) and Sooth Technology , the early metrics will be based on well-defined mitigations already established by the computer emergency response teams (CERTs) that operate in most countries. (Common CERTs include the Defence Signals Directorate of the Australian government, the National Institute of Science and Technology and the SANS Institute Top 20 in the United States. Verizon Enterprise Solutions 's annual Security Breach Report is another source of key mitigation data.)

Just implementing CERTs's basic advice could prevent 85 percent of security breaches, says Christy Coffey, the Government/Defense Market Support Center Head for TMForum. These "low-hanging fruit" include implementing patches for operating systems and applications; practicing mobile device management; improving training to reduce human errors; implementing defenses against denial of service attacks; and hardening servers to prevent data leakage.

Take patch management as an example. Contracts could require the network operator to document the time of exposure; the percentage of devices patched and the degree to which they have been patched; the criticality of patch exposure; the audited degree of systems that are susceptible to attack; the percentage of patches resulting in further problems; and the number of patches.

To date, the Catalyst has shown it is possible to monitor almost all of those things; the one that's been elusive to measure is the audited degree of systems that are susceptible to attack. That's basically an identification of those systems which aren't vulnerable and therefore don't require the same vigilance about patching.

All that detail would give enterprises or governments more confidence in the networks they are using. In the future, the data could be collected and benchmarked to establish industry standards, says Coffey.

If the telecom industry doesn't create ways of quantifying network security and building it into contracts, there is the possibility governments will choose to impose some tighter restrictions, to prevent the negative economic impact of continued security breaches, say the Catalyst participants.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Rick Talbot, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:12   |   (0) comments


At the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Rick Talbot shared his positive feedback about the holistic and open approach that Huawei adopts for SDN and NFV. He also found the open sharing at the event valuable as it features different perspectives from Huawei experts, telecom operators, industry analysts as well as security experts.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With David Snow, Principal Analyst, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   2:24   |   (0) comments


David Snow talked about his understanding of Huawei and its SoftCOM strategy at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that Huawei's wide approach combining IT and CT expertise, introducing big data and analytics into solutions and contributing to the OpenStack community particularly resonate with him and make the company stand out in the industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

10|31|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro commented on Huawei's data center capabilities and NFV solutions at the NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, saying that in addition to covering all three key domains of compute, storage and networking, the company also emphasizes the importance of management capabilities and professional services, which are essential in making NFV a reality.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Michael Howard, Co-founder & Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research

10|31|14   |   5:25   |   (0) comments


Michael Howard talked about SDN, NFV, and OpenStack adoption at Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014. Particularly, he pointed out that Virtual Enterprise CPE is the top NFV use case that operators plan to invest in over 2014 and 2015 to deliver new enterprise services through virtualized functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Jerry Caron, Senior Vice President, Current Analysis

10|31|14   |   3:11   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014, Jerry Caron from Current Analysis said that orchestration and management are key to realizing SDN and NFV for global carriers, and the approach that Huawei is taking, with its FusionSphere Cloud OS at the core, is in the right direction to address the challenges.
LRTV Documentaries
Broadband Battles

10|31|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


This year's Broadband World Forum featured a number of show floor battles focused on access gear, components and coffee.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed