Extending 5G Core authentication with hardware security

We take a look at Ericsson’s 5G Core authentication solution and how the telecom uses a hardware security module to further expand it

With 5G, IoT and Industry 4.0 driving new use cases for consumers, industrial applications, private networks and critical communications services, mobile networks are becoming a crucial part of many countries’ critical infrastructure. In today’s highly digital economies, the security requirements increase to minimise risks and protect digital assets.

What will Ericsson’s 5G Core authentication security module achieve?

 

According to Ericsson, the authentication security module will extend end-user privacy protection in the 5G era ​– from developers to consumers in the eco-system chain. New use cases for different market segments are expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, leading to massive handling of different subscriptions and a variety of different accesses (MBB, Wifi, etc)

Ericsson Authentication Security Module is a single solution with multi-access support (3G/4G/5G), that is pre-integrated to Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core for reliable deployment efficiency and flexibility, and for augmenting the network security against cyberattacks and providing a more secure eco-system for use cases and business innovation in 5G.

5G and the rise of digitalisation

 

5G and the growth of industry digitalisation, specifically in cloud-based network deployments, will increase the requirements on solutions for safeguarding encryption keys and algorithms for subscription authentication.

Esra Kocatürk-Norell, Head of Solution Line UDM & Policy at Ericsson says: “With increasing relevance of 5G networks in countries’ communication infra-structure, national regulatory frameworks to protect user security and privacy are becoming stricter in some countries. By integrating an HSM-based (hardware security module) security to our leading 5G Core subscriber data management solutions, service providers will be able to meet the stricter requirements.”

The Ericsson Authentication Security module is included in Ericsson’s highly secure subscriber authentication mechanisms and is fully 3GPP compliant in line with cyber security mandates of regulatory bodies around the world, and powered by Thales 5G Luna Hardware Security Module (HSM) root of trust to provide the highest level of performance and security for cryptographic keys and algorithms in tamper-resistant hardware.

Patrick Donegan, Founder and Principal Analyst of HardenStance said: “There will be some 5G use cases, or markets, with stronger requirements on the level of network authentication security than the one provided by software-driven solutions. For those, it’s essential that mobile operators invest in HSM-driven security solutions, such as Ericsson’s Authentication Security Module, to provide better privacy protection.”

 

 

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