& 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
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
Wednesday, August 17, 1:00PM EDT
Using Open Source for Data Centers and Cloud Services
Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
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 Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (0) comments


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (0) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Verizon Sports Big Plans for Yahoo
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 7/26/2016
Light Reading Beyond
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 7/28/2016
Yahoo Signing Off in $4.83B Sale to Verizon
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/25/2016
Ericsson Board Has Been Asleep at the Wheel – Consultant
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/25/2016
Facebook Gets Its Drone On
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/22/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.