PARTNER FEATURE: With the rapid development of 5G, openness and convergence have become the development trend of 5G and even future networks. The openness of architecture, capabilities and services, convergence of IT/OT/CT/IOCT and other heterogeneous networks, scenarios and services will become more incisively and vividly in the future networks.

Network openness and convergence will help realize and expand 5G and future network values. At the same time, with openness and convergence, security problems in various network scenarios and services are exposed. Traditional patching methods cannot adapt to and solve increasingly complex security problems, and security challenges have been pushed to unprecedented heights. The industry has called for new security concepts and solutions.

Recently, at the 5G Security Forum of “GSMA Thrive” , Ms. Ge Linna, Director of ZTE Cyber Security Product Line, delivered a speech entitled “Intrinsic Security of 5G and Future Networks”, and introduced ZTE’s brand-new ideas and research practices in the field of 5G and future network security.

New Concept of Human-Biology-Based 5G Intrinsic Security

In the 5G era, security risks are constantly changing and unknown. It is impossible to have a fixed way to prevent all security problems. Just like the human body, the human body cannot resist all viruses at birth. However, human beings have lived on the earth for thousands of years by relying on their evolutionary capabilities to prevent disease. Can we get some enlightenment from 5G and even future network security?

With an in-depth understanding of 5G technologies, ZTE draws inspiration from human biology and based on the understanding of intrinsic security in various industries, proposes the Intrinsic Security concept in 5G and future networks: It is a network security capability that is built at the same time with the network and can grow continuously during operation. This capability can be independently changed with network changes and self-improvement with the improvement of system services. In this way, network security, services and data security can be continuously guaranteed.

Ge Linna said, “Intrinsic Security should have two basic features: construction by nature and growth by day. Especially the innate security construction is extremely important. Like a baby, he/she has basic immunity at birth. Although the immunity may be less powerful or different from one person to another, it must be provided. Then, this capability grows gradually with the subsequent operation.“

Integrated Horizontal Three-layer Design to Fully Protect Network Security

Like the working principle of the human immune system, the human body encounters a new virus for the first time, although the original immune system does not know about the virus, it can help the infected people automatically produce antibodies quickly, and help the uninfected people to quickly immunity the virus through vaccines.

ZTE believes that the future network should also have a security self-protection mechanism of Basic Immunity + Learning Adaptation. This not only involves technologies, but also affects and even determines the ecology of 5G and future networks. Therefore, Therefore, ZTE has proposed an integrated three-layer horizontal design similar to the three defense lines of human immune system, including traditional border protection, NE self security and network-level security. Ge Linna stressed: “Despite the new ideas, the traditional border protection should not be directly abandoned, but be effectively reorganized, applied and evolved.”

In terms of the practice of Intrinsic Security exploration, ZTE has built an Intrinsic Security triangle model consisting of “Control – Analysis – Execution.” It has been proved that this model can be used as an internal logic to implement Intrinsic Security, and directly integrate security into network construction to effectively deal with security problems.

To Protect Future Network Security, The Industry Needs to Join Hands

The destiny of mankind is closely related, and the network is one of them. The Intrinsic Security research on 5G and future networks is a long-term topic, which is also related to the vital interests of all links in the industry chain, and needs to be explored and maintained jointly by the industry. In July 2019, ZTE European Network Security Laboratory was officially run in Brussels, Belgium, aiming to provide high-transparency security guarantee for global customers, supervisory authority and other stakeholders through verification and communication.

At the end of the speech, Ge Linna called on the industry to explore Intrinsic Security and share the results with each other from a higher and responsible perspective, and help 5G and even future networks build long-term and sustainable evolution systems from the perspective of intrinsic security. ZTE is willing to become an active participant and contributor in industry security, and work with all parties to promote network security.