Private 5G Networks Need to Stay Private!

Palo Alto Networks forms consortium of private 5G security solutions.

Private 5G Networks, Security, and NETSCOUT

Enterprises have a lot of options when considering a private 5G network deployment. If they have the requisite talent in-house, they have an á la carte menu of deployment options from which they are able to choose the 5G RAN, edge, and core from a selection of vendors and mobile operators. Otherwise, they can buy a 5G in-a-box solution from a hyperscaler and/or mobile operator and outsource the deployment to a systems integrator (SI), cloud, or mobile operator to put together the pieces that comprise a 5G network and operate it. But what is not optional is securing and assuring their private 5G network regardless of which deployment option they select.

Meeting the 5G Security Challenge

5G is undoubtedly the most complicated communications network today. The expectation is that 5G will afford carriers and enterprises with best-of-breed approaches that support a true multivendor environment and enable agile and expanded service development, with deployment at a lower cost than a single-vendor solution. But how does an enterprise know that all the interoperating elements will perform as expected and that wraparound security solutions will accommodate the various vendor components?

At Mobile World Congress (February 26–29 in Barcelona) Palo Alto Networks (PAN) announced new private 5G security solutions with a partner ecosystem to meet the need for validated 5G integrations and to support PAN’s vision of an ecosystem to protect private 5G deployments. Six strategic partners are included in the launch:  NETSCOUT, NVIDIA, Celona, Druid Software, Ataya, and NTT Data. These security solutions enable customers to build security into their networks from the ground up, protecting the entire 5G infrastructure.

NETSCOUT’s offering in this private 5G security solution is MobileStream, which provides visibility into user-endpoint activity within the mobile network by tapping traffic on the N3 and N4 interfaces. MobileStream looks inside the GTP-u tunnels from N3 and generates NETSCOUT Adaptive Service Intelligence (ASI) smart metadata that describes user-endpoint activity enriched with device identity information (for example, IMSI, MSISDN, UE-IP, service, and location) obtained from monitoring N4 procedures.

Fulfilling the Promise of Private Enterprise 5G

Private 5G offers a compelling option for organizations seeking enhanced performance, customization, security, and control over their network infrastructure where traditional wired LANs, Wi-Fi, or public 5G will not meet their requirements. To fulfill the promises of private enterprise 5G, packet-level visibility and observability are foundational requirements. NETSCOUT’s heritage of more than 30 years in deep packet inspection for any network environment enables organizations to gain and leverage unmatched observability into private 5G networks for performance assurance and security purposes.

Aside from performance considerations, enterprises choose to deploy a private network to protect their data. Keeping private 5G networks private is not an option!

To learn more about NETSCOUT’s partnership with Palo Alto Networks for 5G private network security solutions, click here.