& cplSiteName &

Ericsson Steps Up Network Security Push

Michelle Donegan
News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
2/23/2014
50%
50%

Ericsson plans to uncloak its mobile network security activities at Mobile World Congress 2014, marking the first time the vendor has sought to raise its profile in this increasingly critical area.

Largely silent on the issue up to now, the Swedish vendor plans to highlight its network security efforts in its existing product portfolio, standardization and research and development.

In an interview with Light Reading, Mats Nilsson, director of product security at group function technology, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), shared some insight into what the vendor has been doing and what it will highlight at the show. "For this MWC, we have increased our message in this area," said Nilsson.

Up to now, Ericsson has been relatively quiet about network security, unlike some of its main rivals, most notably Nokia Networks and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). (See NSN, Juniper Strengthen Mobile Ties, NSN, F-Secure Team on Mobile Security, LTE Brings More Malware, Euronews: BT CEO Calls for Clarity on Data Security and Euronews: Vodafone Makes a Stand on Privacy.)

The change in the Ericsson's willingness to promote this topic comes as mobile operators are increasingly more open about network security issues, particularly in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, and as its rivals turn up the heat.

The vendor's reticence on network security has already caused it to lose some marketing ground to competitors. "Ericsson has allowed competitors like NSN and Alcatel-Lucent to get ahead when it comes to communicating their strategy for mobile network security," said Patrick Donegan, senior analyst at Heavy Reading .

"Having been a follower in this regard, Ericsson needs to up its game now and communicate on security more aggressively, just as customers like BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) are doing," added the analyst, who is hosting a breakfast briefing, Creating Trust in the Mobile Network, in Barcelona on Wednesday Feb. 26 during Mobile World Congress. (See Digging Into Mobile Security.)

Stepping up at MWC
Ericsson's plans for network security messaging at MWC could mark a turning point. So, what is the giant Swedish mobile meatball planning?

In terms of technology development, the vendor will show a proof-of-concept called "radio firewall," which uses intelligence built into the base station to look for anomalies or malicious attacks in signalling in the over-the-air interface. As Nilsson explained, the radio firewall is a good example of how Ericsson can use its radio network experience to deliver network security capabilities.

"From our knowledge of how the radio network works, we're able to implement attack detection mechanisms all the way out in the base station to really protect the network," he said, adding that anomaly detection in over-the-air signalling is a completely new concept.

As for Ericsson's overall security portfolio, Nilsson pointed out that some of it derives from long-standing partnerships with specialist security vendors. Examples of such partnerships include relationships with Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) and Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC). Nilsson said that Ericsson has used IPSec gateways from Juniper and other vendors for several years and that it is building IPSec capabilities into a number of products.

Ericsson’s relationship with Symantec is for malware detection, explained Nilsson, much like NSN's recently announced partnership with F-Secure. "[The Symantec product] is very similar to the F-Secure product -- the difference is, we've had this for five or six years," he added (in the spirit of one-upmanship).

At MWC, the vendor also plans to highlight its security operations center, where it can monitor security behavior throughout the network, as well as its managed security offering. Security will also feature in its machine-to-machine (M2M) demo.

And to kick things off, the vendor has just published a white paper called Guiding Principles for Security in a Networked Society, which outlines Ericsson's visions for ensuring secure communications. It will also promote its efforts in standardizing security implementation in network elements through an initiative called Security Assurance Methodology (SECAM), which is outlined in this Ericsson Review paper.

Playing catchup?
But with all of this messaging on security, how will Ericsson's efforts compare to those of its mobile infrastructure rivals at the show? Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. are not planning to make network security related announcements, but Alcatel-Lucent will feature its Kindsight security analytics as part of a Customer Experience Manager demo. NSN, meanwhile, will have a section of its stand dedicated to network security, where it will show the work it does with partners including Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP), F-Secure Corp. , Infoblox Inc. , Juniper and Optenet .

Ericsson clearly wants to convey that it is just as involved in the drive to better secure mobile networks as any other infrastructure supplier: MWC14 might be the place where it finally makes enough noise, and displays enough proof points, to be considered a member of the leading pack.

— Michelle Donegan, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 5:07:24 AM
Re : Ericsson Steps Up Network Security Push
I think what happened was right, given that the mobile commerce with Erricson went down given its loose security reforms. Erricson needs to level up its amount, quality and duration of security. Although this may be easy to say, because if it was easy they would've done it already. They need better configurations in the network and this will require patient work.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/23/2014 | 1:18:44 PM
They say you know...
Mobile security is the hot topic at LR's breakfast (desayuno) on Wednesday at MWC. If you're a network operator and want to attend, there's still time to register. Just click here .
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
2/23/2014 | 1:06:26 PM
Radio silence
So why the relative radio silence until now?

I don't buy any story about security being too sensitive to discuss...
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3 VP: Enterprises Need More for Less

9|29|16   |   05:27   |   (0) comments


Andrew Dugan, Level 3 group vice president of global technology and IT, says enterprises need more bandwidth and they need it faster and with greater security, but they want to spend less, if possible. They are looking to carriers to reduce their network complexity and help protect them from cyberattacks as well.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Open Source Getting on My Nerves
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
Telstra Sees Quadrupled Data Capacity by 2020
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/28/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.