IEEE MeditCom Special Session: Securing Future Networks
5G systems, and even more so future communication network technologies, bring a new rich set of features and capabilities, which, in addition to their technical and business value, are also accompanied with various side-effects, one of the most important of which is the drastic increase in the attack surface, compared to legacy network infrastructures. Some of these capabilities, which, under certain circumstances, may introduce new vulnerabilities and increase the probability of a security incident, are: software-defined infrastructures (emphasising vulnerabilities associated with softwarisation); slicing and multi-tenancy (resulting in threats related to violation of slices isolation); multi-actor service paradigms and infrastructure sharing (raising privacy and availability concerns); and complex and multi-tier architectures (introducing new threats at the control and management planes).
In addition, in 5G and future networks, not only the probability of a security incident increases, but also its expected impact and severity. The connection of more and more devices to the network, many of which track personal data, while others support critical operations (as in Intelligent Transport Systems/connected cars or e-health), implies that security incidents can lead to severe privacy breaches and in some special cases even life- threatening situations.
This situation calls for a more effective and efficient cybersecurity approach in future networks, not only addressing their new threats, but at the same time leveraging their unprecedented capabilities – such as service agility, dynamic network service deployment and edge processing- to introduce a new generation of security architectures and services.