When the world’s largest Communication Service Provider (CSP) event—Mobile World Congress 2019—convenes in Barcelona this month, Fortinet will be front and center. Fortinet’s goal will be to help CSPs create trust within their internal networks as well as for the mobile core, cloud, and managed services they provide for their customers, through Fortinet’s advanced security solutions, 24×7 services, and global partner ecosystem.
Alain Penel, Regional Vice President – Middle East at Fortinet explains its presence at this year’s MWC event and states that the company will focus on three primary themes:
1. Securing the Path to 5G
Nearly all mobile operators are transitioning their networks to 4.5G as a step toward ultimately supporting a 5G New Radio Access Network and Next Generation Core. This transition requires shifting from a predominantly physical infrastructure to a largely virtualized one. While the resulting agility and flexibility allows operators to better respond to new customer demands, they also require security to be implemented as Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). To meet service requirements including carrier grade SLAs without driving up cost and complexity security VNFs have to be lightweight, provide deep application layer visibility, support rapid elastic scaling, and deliver multi-gigabit performance. They also require close integration with the mobile operator’s orchestration and management layers. And they need to interoperate seamlessly with their existing physical security solutions in order to create and sustain a single high trust security framework.
Ultimately, protecting a 5G network will require:
- Massive carrier-grade network address translation (NAT)
- New RAN & vRAN backhaul security
- Massive scaling of security VNFs
- Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Management and Network Orchestration (MANO) integration
- Security for 5G Service-Based Architecture (SBA)
2. Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) offers application developers and content providers cloud-computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of the mobile network. This environment is characterized by ultra-low latency and high bandwidth, as well as real-time access to radio network information that can be leveraged by applications.
MEC provides a new ecosystem and value chain. Its interconnectivity and interworking, in what is essentially a hosted, multivendor environment, also requires security to function as a fundamental and fully integrated component of that environment to ensure isolation and threat protection between applications, services, and the core mobile network.
At the same time, organizations in industries from energy to healthcare and from manufacturing to retail are putting IoT to work. They are incorporating the monitoring, data mining, and analytics capabilities of these new technologies into day-to-day business decision-making. IoT-specific infrastructures—such as NB-IoT and the IoT cloud platform and services—require the mobile network operator (MNO) to provide deep visibility and security for these environments.
To support these customers, CSPs are building IoT ecosystems, from specialized connectivity solutions to complete IoT cloud platforms. In developing these offerings, CSPs cannot lose sight of the critical role of security. IoT devices generally offer minimal security features, if any at all, and yet the data and capabilities within IoT technologies require full-strength protection. CSPs offering IoT functionality via a cloud platform need to ensure that securing those solutions is a top priority.
3. MSSPs and SD-WAN
Managed security service providers (MSSPs) need to continuously address their business customers’ security challenges, even as they evolve through their digital transformation journey. To do this, MSSPs must transform themselves by providing broad, integrated, and automated security services—combined with flexible delivery and consumption models—to protect their customers at every stage of their digital transformation.
To accommodate the changing needs of their customers, modern MSSPs should include the following elements in their security infrastructure:
- Secure, Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN)
- Multi cloud security, visibility, and automation
- Secure fixed and wireless branch access
- Advanced threat protection
- Visibility and security segmentation for IoT and users
- User and entity behavioral analysis
In each of these areas, an MSSP needs to seek out best-of-breed functionality to ensure that their clients’ data and applications are optimally protected—all while also seeking to maximize their previous infrastructure’s ROI and minimize integration and operating costs. For example, the most efficient and cost-effective means of providing a secure SD-WAN service to business customers is through a next-generation firewall that incorporates SD-WAN.
In order to maximize competitiveness and profitability, MSSPs should avoid security sprawl that includes deploying a wide variety of security solutions from an assortment of different vendors. This approach can quickly overwhelm existing staff, leaving gaps in security offerings and reducing profitability.
Instead, MSSPs need to look at building a security infrastructure based on tightly integrated and automated solutions that can work together as seamless system and leverage a single pane of glass management and orchestration system to reduce operational overhead while providing a single source of truth for the extended network. Rolling out functionality within an integrated framework such as the Fortinet Security Fabric enables an MSSP to:
- Boost efficiency in terms of solution sizing and licensing costs
- Improve staff productivity, which is particularly crucial in a tight labor market
- Offer better managed security services because solutions are automatically integrated and can coordinate to better address threat detection and response
Join us to learn more!
Fortinet has the most robust suite of security tools in the industry designed to address each these new challenges. Find out how Fortinet’s security solutions and integrated security fabric strategy effectively protects CSPs’ infrastructure while enabling them to offer a robust portfolio of managed security services by visiting Fortinet’s booth at the Mobile World Congress from February 25–29, 2019.
Fortinet thought leaders will be on hand to explain and explore each of our core themes, as well as address your unique security concerns and challenges. Moreover, there will be senior executives available on-site to discuss Fortinet’s proven security record and also install base in CSPs around the world.