Light Reading
Swedish giant decides it's time to start talking about network security issues and the capabilities it already has in its portfolio.

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
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...
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
Nokia's Maps Land on Samsung Devices
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/29/2014
Now Google Planning Drones-to-Go
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/29/2014
Music to My Mobile
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/28/2014
Be Open to the Freedom of Openness
Kelly Herrell, 8/29/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed