Ericsson hones in on security automation for IoT, 5G

Ericsson network slicing
The network slices in 5G will need to be secured end-to-end.

So far, when it comes to security and the Internet of Things (IoT), a lot of the attention has come after the fact: reacting to dramatic scenes of hackers messing with a vehicle on a road, for example.

Ericsson wants to be more proactive by applying a sense of intelligence and machine learning with the new Ericsson Security Manager. The product automates the protection of assets across multiple ICT domains and detects threats and vulnerabilities using real-time security analytics.

Given its many patents and its own R&D that it needs to protect, Ericsson has a lot of experience in providing security, including in many industry segments where its customers do business. The company also has been active in global security initiatives and through standards organizations like 3GPP. However, with myriad IoT technologies coming online, a lot of the devices that are being introduced are not 3GPP-compliant and do not have the same types of security built in, potentially introducing new security risks.

With Ericsson Security Manager, the company is targeting service providers initially but it’s also a product that extends to enterprise clients.

“This is a fairly comprehensive solution that has, of course, as a first step, a very strong anchor in the service provider space, but also has a very high value to enterprises and industry verticals,” Aniruddho Basu, head of Ericsson’s Technology and Strategy practice, told FierceWirelessTech.

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Traditionally in the mobile industry, security principles have been embedded into devices but as the number of subscriptions increases exponentially in the coming years, a lot more devices are going to fall into that bucket where they're not controlled by the telco. 

According to Ericsson, 5G systems will be built to enable logical network slices, which will enable operators to provide networks on an as-a-service basis and meet a range of use cases. Networks will be built in way so that speed, capacity and coverage can be allocated in logical slices to meet the specific demands of each use case.

That means all these slices need to be secured end-to-end. “For us, the ESN [Ericsson Security Manager] is an integral part of the 5G platform,” Basu said.

Ericsson Security Manager is part of the Ericsson Digital Support System to support out-of-the-box security for cloud operations, enterprises, physical and virtual networks and digital support solutions. The solution offers automated security orchestration for cloud operations, enterprises, physical and virtual networks and digital support solutions. It also provides support for automating compliance according to established standards and regulatory requirements.

Main features of Ericsson Security Manager:

  • End-to-end adaptive security engine
  • Automated security policy compliance
  • Real time threat and vulnerability intelligence
  • Combined security and fraud management
  • Ease of use and integration readiness