NFV security threats should be treated differently then IT vulnerabilities

Given the potential vulnerabilities of NFV networks, service providers should look for special security solutions, which differ from those offered to IT, said Ariel Efrati, CEO of Telco Systems, in a televised interview with Martyn Warwick, the Editor-in-Chief of TelecomTV.

The interview was conducted during the MPLS+SDN+NFV World Congress 2016, which took place in Paris. Efrati said that security solutions need to be first implemented at the source, when traffic is actually going through. This requires a kind of a prop collecting information. This information needs to go through big data analytics that can actually analyze what is going on and detect the threats.

Efrati was asked if he is worried about the security of NVF and SDN networks and if he thinks that the potential of security breaches in those programmable networks are holding back the commercial deployment of NFV?

He answered that security concerns are not having a real impact yet, but this will happen soon. “We have our own cyber security and this is one of the vectors that we are driving,” Efrati said. “Most operators are really much dwelling on the security function, how it will work and how to provide the service. However, that is where the rubber meets the road when they realize that, ‘Oops, there is something that is missing in this, I would say, pack’. I think that this will come to a realization during this year”.

Telco Systems CEO added that operators admit that they forgot to pay attention to guard their NFV infrastructure. This results from the fact that in the past when you had a switch, it had a hard core, which no one could hack. Today, however, when it is an X86, a 16-year-old hacker can attack it.

Once you have a virtualized environment, things can pass from one VNF to another VNF and denial of service will have a great impact because it will not influence just a website, as we saw at the Adidas attacks on websites.

Future attacks will affect the network and then there will be a downtime. So for example, if you think about denial of service on a transformer of electricity, the entire city will be blacked out.

“We believe that this is not holding operators back yet, but once they will start to implement SDN and NFV they will start to realize different abilities. The ones that will not get that will suffer while those that do will be secured.”

Efrati said that people start to realize what the value of security is and how important it is. Once telcos will move into deployment later this year, security will stop them.

Additional resources

To watch the TelecomTV interview with Ariel Efrati click here

To learn more about the Teleco Systems NFV CyberGuard solution click here

To download the white paper Protecting SDN and NFV Networks from Cyber Security Vulnerabilities click here

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