Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (7) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones