IEICE Information and Communication Technology Forum
On the Security of Software-Defined Next-Generation Cellular Networks
Vassilios Vassilakis, Ioannis Moscholios, Bander Alzahrani, Michael Logothetis,
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In the recent years, mobile cellular networks are undergoing fundamental changes and many established concepts are being revisited. Future 5G network architectures will be designed to employ a wide range of new and emerging technologies such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV). These create new virtual network elements each affecting the logic of the network management and operation, enabling the creation of new generation services with substantially higher data rates and lower delays. However, new security challenges and threats are also introduced. Current Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks are not able to accommodate these new trends in a secure and reliable way. At the same time, novel 5G systems have proffered invaluable opportunities of developing novel solutions for attack prevention, management and recovery. In this paper, first we discuss the main security threats and possible attack vectors in cellular networks. Second, driven by the emerging next-generation cellular networks, we discuss the architectural and functional requirements to enable appropriate levels of security.