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AT&T's Amoroso: LTE, Virtualization & Cloud Mean New Security Challenges

Dan Jones
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NEW YORK -- Mobile Network Security Strategies -- AT&T's chief security officer says that the move to 4G LTE and virtualization must change the way that operators and vendors approach mobile security.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Ed Amoroso used his morning security keynote to talk about how the operator's approach to network security has evolved over the last few decades. He highlighted the move to a flat-IP mobile architecture with LTE and the corresponding virtualization of network elements and moving content to the cloud as a major shift in security.

"Virtualization is probably the most the important change to computing industry we'll see in our careers," Amoroso told the crowd.

The changes mean that -- although operators must have the basics of security in place -- the industry will have to keep moving ahead on how the they treat users and their data.

"Identity and access management infrastructure and how you manage that -- that is what going to be important," Amoroso said.

With more and more data in the cloud, operators also have to alter their thinking on how they treat users. "Everybody is an insider," Amoroso suggested, meaning that it doesn't matter if they are accessing the network from a Starbucks or within the datacenter.

So, operators need security basics that their auditors require, technology such as firewalls, but also need to innovate to stay ahead of hackers. Amoroso suggested that relying on the basics is like putting up a two-foot wall that wouldn't stop a leaping deer.

"The DMZ stops the turtles, it doesn't stop the deer," he quipped.

The 4G LTE networks being deployed now will help change the game though, Amoroso suggested. "Because it's IP, you can innovate," he told the crowd.

In fact, throughout his keynote, Amoroso kept talking about innovation and not being hidebound by corporate structures or other hurdles in approaching mobile security. As an adjunct professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology, the AT&T exec said he personally learns a lot from what his graduate students can do.

"We sit there, duh, with an auditor doing the same old stuff and our adversaries are out there innovating," Amoroso said, stating that the threat could be anything from a country or a competitor to "a nasty kid."

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2013 | 9:03:02 PM
Vendors responding
I think the datacenter vendors are respnding to this need. I know when Juniper announced its MetaFabric, it talked a lot about security, and specifically some adaptive security solutions that adjust their response to hacking incidents as they're in progress. That's just one example--I think a lot of vendors are talking up security now.
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2013 | 12:24:36 PM
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