5G SEPP Security & Why You Need it | Syniverse

5G SEPP Security & Why You Need It

The arrival of 5G changes the way we connect, offering unparalleled high speed, efficiency, and connectivity. However, with great opportunities come potential new risks to 5G security. 

With the growing complexity and scale of 5G networks, robust security measures 5G Security Edge Protection Proxy (SEPP) can help. 

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What is SEPP Protocol in 5G?

The 5G SEPP serves as a security mechanism to safeguard them against possible attacks. This ensures a secure environment for proper data transmission. The SEPP provides confidentiality and integrity for all 5G interconnect roaming messages. The processed information remains secure from the source to the destination network.

The 5G security offered by SEPP encompasses various crucial aspects, for comprehensive protection of signaling data and safeguarding privacy effectively. It offers versatile authentication and key agreement procedures, and the implementation of robust security algorithms. 

In the realm of 5G security, SEPP is a mandatory requirement by the 5G standard. Mobile network operator (MNO) interconnectivity depends on it to facilitate seamless 5G roaming between standalone 5G cores.

5G Security Challenges

As 5G networks grow, particularly with the increasing number of IoT devices, 5G security challenges may emerge along the way.

Increased Attack Surface

Each device, whether a smartphone, IoT device, or any other connected device, adds to the overall attack surface. This expanded attack surface creates new opportunities for 5G security issues. 

The widespread use of IoT devices and the increasing number of applications have greatly expanded the network perimeter of 5G networks. Potential security vulnerabilities could include eavesdropping, data manipulation, and spoofing attacks.

IoT Device Security

If IoT devices have inadequate security mechanisms in place, like advanced encryption, they can become a liability. Furthermore, there are less firmware security updates and patches as some manufacturers don’t prioritize 5G security. Consequently, they can quickly become vulnerable points within a network.

Data Security Threats

5G networks are designed to handle immense loads of data, a compromise in 5G network security puts this data at risk. With an increasing number of endpoints, the amount of data at stake grows. If an attacker gains access to a device within this network, they could potentially compromise personal or sensitive information.

Location Tracking

Location tracking is another 5G security issue. Currently, the coverage of 5G networks is not as extensive as 4G networks. Moreover, 5G signals struggle to penetrate through building walls so it needs more antennas and base stations to operate efficiently. 

This makes it easier to determine the specific antennae or station that a user is connected to, enabling accurate location identification. The use of location tracking in semantic information attacks poses a significant privacy risk from malicious actors.

Interoperability and Backward Compatibility

Ensuring security across different network generations is a pressing challenge for 5G networks security. As these networks coexist and interoperate with older networks, there is a heightened risk of malicious actors exploiting vulnerabilities. 

This could compromise the integrity of 5G systems, data, and devices. It is imperative that operators address these potential threats to safeguard their digital infrastructure and users.

Simplifying the Management of Network Traffic Can Help Resolve Operational Security Issues

Network administrators face a significant challenge of managing security when multiple endpoints on a network exist. Each device must be carefully tracked, its vulnerabilities assessed, and appropriate security patches applied. This complexity adds an extra layer of difficulty to their role.

SEPP can help maintain a secure connection between the home network and visited networks by streamlining and centralizing 5G security management. This way it simplifies the enforcement of consistent security policies and enables effective monitoring for potential threats. This will also ensure that users have a consistent user experience and quality of service.

Signaling data is encrypted and authenticated by SEPP to ensure data is transmitted securely across different networks for simpler management. SEPP improves inter-network communications by standardizing the exchange of signaling data. This simplifies traffic management and enhances the ability to detect and address 5G IoT security concerns.

Ensure Your 5G Security is Sound

The SEPP solution is a hosted offering in Syniverse’s 5G network portfolio. It can be found at the edge of the network data integrity, confidentiality, and protection against spoofing. Additionally, it also provides topology hiding for an added layer of security. It creates a unified interface by combining all roaming interfaces for operators to manage their 5G network security effectively.

Syniverse’s 5G SEPP allows you to implement roaming with a high level of security to safeguard your network against any potential threats.

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( Senior Product Manager- 5G Solutions )

Over 20 years in the Telecoms field, which specialization on roaming, Mobile network connectivity, OSP management, Client management and customer experience management. I have been at Syniverse for almost 5 years. My previous roles included Mobile/Roaming services Manager for Telecom operators in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Operations Management for a major FTTH Build and in-home delivery in the Caribbean. I am a native of Trinidad and Tobago and have resided in the United States for over 5 years. Strong Operations, product, and customer management background, with experience on both the Operator and Supplier sides of the industry.



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