5G will be the successor to the 4G network connection. 4G has provided us with a huge boost in the network speed from the previous 3G. Hence, with the introduction of 5G, the speed is bound to increase even further. 

All of us are eagerly waiting for 5G to arrive, and so the question, when will 5G be available? is common. The year of 2019 saw the takin off of 5G. However, it will have a greater impact in the year 2020. In 2020, 5G will be introduced to most of the cellular connections and you will be able to use it.

With that said, it is also quite important to know about how fast is 5G. The speed is said to be between 50 MB/s – 1 Gb/s. The speed of the 5G for the mid-band will be between 100 – 400 MB/s.  

Network security problems with 5G

There is no denying that the introduction of 5G will help us to surf the internet more easily and smoothly. The loading of a page, however big maybe, will be within seconds. So to the question of is 5G faster? The answer is definitely yes. 

However, with all of the advantages, there are also some problems with 5G. And among all the problems, network security is one of the most important problems 5G is facing. It will require strong security structures to make it safe, as it will be connecting to every aspect of the life of the people. 

The basic challenges for network security faced by 5G are as follows:-

1. Traffic of flash network

The number of end-user devices will be large and many new devices, like the IoT.

2. Radio interface security

The encryption keys being sent over through channels that are insecure. 

3. The integrity of the user plane

The user data plane is not encrypted and the integrity is low. 

4. End-user devices being attacked by DoS 

The device of the user has no protection for its configuration data, applications, and operating systems.

5. Roaming security

The security of the users are compromised while roaming, which requires them to change from one operating network to another.

With all these issues facing 5G, they need to work on their selected technologies:- 

1. SDN and its security challenges

The network control panels are centralized logically by enabling the programmability by the SDN. It helps to simplify the management of networks and is a new innovation in the field of communication networks.   

This will serve as an important element in the future of networks. However, along with all these advantages, it also brings some challenges for the security of the network. Eg- the updates of the SDN controller is done by following the data forwarding rules. This process makes them easily visible, which will make it an easy target for the attacks of the DoS and provide some of the great 5G challenges.   

On the other hand, if the network control is centralized, it will make a better chance of saturated attacks. This is because it will form a bottleneck for the network. If programmability is enabled, then almost all of the network functions have the chance of being used like SDN applications. This will make some applications, which are malicious in nature, to enter the network and will cause destruction throughout the network. 

The SDN structure which is currently being used is a structure called OpenFlow. This structure store the data forwarding elements until the forwarding rules are updated by the controller. Since the OpenFlow switches have limited buffering resources, it is quite likely to get saturation attacks. Also, this kind of dependency on the controller will require the channel of the control-data plane to be stronger and withstand any security attacks. 

This problem can be solved by using multiple controllers. However, the hindrance in the forwarding element between these controllers can also cause network security weaknesses. So, SDN serves one of the great 5G issues.    

2. NFV and its security challenges

NFV is quite important for the future of the networks of communication. However, it still has some security challenges. These challenges are regarding non-repudiation, authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality. The NFV, which is currently being used, does not provide any isolation and security to the services of the telecommunication.

The dynamic nature of the VNFs provides the main challenge for using the NFV in the mobile network. This causes security lapse due to configuration errors and thus providing some though 5G challenges. 

Some 5G issues with NFV are ist vulnerability towards DoS, sniffing, spoofing and many other cyber-attacks. It is also ineffective towards a specific group of threats, like cloud related attacks, migration related attacks, Virtual Machines, malware injections, as well as hypervisor hijacking. 

However, the NFV, which are deployed privately, they are vulnerable to malicious insiders. This is due to the prevention of remote access for the system. Since the infrastructure is commonly accessed, any VNF compromised provider can cause problems in the operation by putting malware inside the traffic. 

In NFV, Misuses of shared resources and operational interface are identified as attacks of an infrastructural level. Since the infrastructural resources are physically accessible, an attacker can manipulate the network traffic or insert malware to interfere with the operation.

Although the resources are shared, the victim will have no benefits in case of such attacks. Therefore it is one of the most difficult 5G issues, which needs to be fixed to make it safe.    

The solutions for the 5G issues with network security

Now, let’s see what are the solutions for the network security problems with 5G:-            

1. SDN security solutions

Other than the security challenges of the SDN, it is a good problem solver. It can easily solve the problems in communication network security. It makes the network capable of identifying the threat by going through a process of gaining intelligence from flows, states and the network resources. 

SDN also provides transparency for the origin of the content, and even the route it has taken. The security of the SDN can collect samples of the flows from the control plane. Then they check their content for any malware. This capability of SDN allows it to become a network-wide security option.        

2. NFV security solutions

A new architecture for NFV has been proposed by the ETSI. This new architecture provides security to the multi-tenant environment virtual function, and also to the telecommunication network physical entities. 

It uses remote verification, trusted computing, and analyze them and check their integrity for any threats. To make the mobile terminals secure, they are installed with anti-malware solutions. 

Conclusion

As you can see, both the SDN and NFV serves as 5G issues, as well as provide security solutions. The weak part of the SDN and NFV are the parts that need to be worked upon to make the 5G network security stronger.