Securing the 5G edge

5G_edge
The rollout of 5G networks coupled with edge compute introduces new security concerns for both the network and the enterprise. Security at the edge presents a unique set of security challenges that differ from those faced by traditional data centers. Today new concerns emerge from the combination of distributed architectures and a disaggregated network, creating new challenges for service providers.
Many mission critical applications enabled by 5G connectivity, such as smart factories, are better off hosted at the edge because it's more economical and delivers better Quality of Service (QoS). However, applications must also be secured; communication service providers need to ensure that applications operate in an environment that is both safe and provides isolation. This means that secure designs and protocols are in place to pre-empt threats, avoid incidents and minimize response time when incidents do occur.

As enterprises adopt private 5G networks to drive their Industry 4.0 strategies, these new enterprise 5G trends demand a new approach to security. Companies must find ways to reduce their exposure to cyberattacks that could potentially disrupt mission critical services, compromise industrial assets and threaten the safety of their workforce. Cybersecurity readiness is essential to ensure private network investments are not devalued.

The 5G network architecture, particularly at the edge, introduces new levels of service decomposition now evolving beyond the virtual machine and into the space of orchestrated containers. Such disaggregation requires the operation of a layered technology stack, from the physical infrastructure to resource abstraction, container enablement and orchestration, all of which present attack surfaces which require addressing from a security perspective. So how can CSPs protect their network and services from complex and rapidly growing threats?

Addressing vulnerability points of the network layer by layer

As networks grow and the number of connected nodes at the edge multiply, so do the vulnerability points. The distributed nature of the 5G edge increases vulnerability threats, just by having network infrastructure scattered across tens of thousands of sites. The arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) further complicates the picture: with a greater number of connected and mobile devices, potentially creating new network bridging connection points, questions around network security have become more relevant.

As the integrity of the physical site cannot be guaranteed in the same way as a supervised data center, additional security measures need to be taken to protect the infrastructure. Transport and application control layers also need to be secured, to enable forms of "isolation" preventing a breach from propagating to other layers and components. Each layer requires specific security measures to ensure overall network security: use of Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) chipsets on motherboards, UEFI Secure OS boot process, secure connections in the control plane and more. These measures all contribute to and are integral part of an end-to-end network security design and strategy.

Open RAN for a more secure solution

The latest developments in open RAN and the collaborative standards-setting process related to open interfaces and supply chain diversification are enhancing the security of 5G networks. This is happening for two reasons. First, traditional networks are built using vendor proprietary technology – a limited number of vendors dominate the telco equipment market and create vendor lock-in for service providers that forces them to also rely on vendors' proprietary security solutions. This in turn prevents the adoption of "best-of-breed" solutions and slows innovation and speed of response, potentially amplifying the impact of a security breach.

Second, open RAN standardization initiatives employ a set of open-source standards-based components. This has a positive effect on security as the design embedded in components is openly visible and understood; vendors can then contribute to such open-source projects where tighter security requirements need to be addressed.

Aside from the inherent security of the open-source components, open RAN defines a number of open interfaces which can be individually assessed in their security aspects. The openness intrinsically present in open RAN means that service components can be seamlessly upgraded or swapped to facilitate the introduction of more stringent security characteristics, or they can simultaneously swiftly address identified vulnerabilities.

Securing network components with AI

Monitoring the status of myriad network components, particularly spotting a security attack taking place among a multitude of cooperating application functions, requires resources that transcend the capabilities of a finite team of human operators. This is where advances in AI technology can help to augment the abilities of operations teams. AI massively scales the ability to monitor any number of KPIs, learn their characteristic behavior and identify anomalies – this makes it the ideal companion in the secure operation of the 5G edge. The self-learning aspect of AI supports not just the identification of known incident patterns but also the ability to learn about new, unknown and unanticipated threats.

Security by design

Security needs to be integral to the design of the network architecture and its services. The adoption of open standards caters to the definition of security best practices in both the design and operation of the new 5G network edge. The analytics capabilities embedded in edge hyperconverged infrastructure components provide the platform on which to build an effective monitoring and troubleshooting toolkit, ensuring the secure operation of the intelligent edge.

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We help our clients realize the potential of rapidly evolving mobile technologies, from developing a mobile strategy to launching mobile products. Our unique team permits us to address our clients concerns at the highest strategic level, while ensuring that all recommendations are presented in the context of real-world build costs and timelines. We then have the expertise to take the strategy through the mobile product design, development, testing and launch phases.

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Leading HCI System Integrators and Consultants for Enhanced User Experience

Article | May 2, 2023

The expertise of leading HCI firms shape the future of IT operations. This Hyperconverged Infrastructure companies list, will provide Hyperconverged solutions for growth and better services. In IT infrastructure, organizations constantly seek ways to streamline operations, improve efficiency, and enhance user experience. HCI is a game-changing solution combining storage, computing, and networking into a single, integrated system. To leverage the full potential of HCI and ensure enhanced user experience, leading HCI system integrators and consultants have become invaluable partners for businesses across various sectors. In this listicle, delve into the role of leading HCI system integrators and consultants in enhancing user experience, the key contributions, and the significance of the services of the top hyperconverged infrastructure companies. 1. Precision Computer Services Precision Computer Services (PCS) is a trusted provider of practical and proven technology solutions for businesses. With over 30 years of experience, PCS helps clients overcome complex IT challenges and achieve their strategic goals. It offers expertise in data center upgrades when businesses struggle to manage workloads, need automation and orchestration for virtual infrastructure, aims to reduce physical data center footprint or require guidance on RPO and RTO strategies. PCS differentiates itself by automating processes, ensuring information accessibility and security, specializing in hybrid cloud models, and allowing client teams to focus on business growth while PCS handles complex IT work. It offers converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, reliable servers, data storage and protection, public and private cloud services, data classification, and backup and disaster recovery solutions. 2. IPDS IPDS empowers businesses to modernize their IT infrastructure, facilitate efficient cloud operations, and capitalize on the capabilities of the modern workforce, by combining cutting-edge technologies with highly skilled engineering talent. The company's website serves to showcase its expertise and offerings. It specializes in Hyper-Converged Infrastructure and Converged Infrastructure solutions. These innovative technologies have become the standard in the IT landscape, enabling organizations to benefit from the advancements in the software-defined data center realm. With seamless connectivity to cloud providers, HCI allows businesses to establish hybrid cloud environments. By leveraging industry-leading technologies and harnessing the potential of a modern workforce, IPDS enables clients to stay at the forefront of innovation and achieve their strategic objectives. 3. Climb Channel Solutions Climb Channel Solutions, a subsidiary of Climb Global Solutions, Inc, is a leading global specialty technology distributor specializing in emerging and business-critical technologies. One of the critical solutions offered by Climb is Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, which combines computing resources, storage, and networking to minimize compatibility issues and reduce the total cost of ownership for businesses. Its HCI solution vendors provide software-defined storage, networking, virtualization, and disaster recovery solutions, enabling organizations to optimize their infrastructure and achieve high availability. With a global presence and a customer base that spans thousands of partners worldwide, Climb Channel Solutions has established itself as a trusted distribution partner. 4. Nexenta by DDN DDN provides optimized high-performance computing (HPC) storage solutions for research and innovation. By offering scalable and efficient HPC storage solutions, DDN empowers businesses to streamline their data pipelines and achieve enhanced performance at scale. DDN's extensive experience in supporting advanced computing environments enables them to accelerate application performance, reduce operational costs, accommodate data growth, and deliver services through centralized data management. Their solutions, such as EXAScaler, provide efficient building blocks that match storage performance and scalability requirements while reducing administration overhead and complexity. With features like data placement optimization, encryption, and secure multi-tenancy, DDN ensures rock-solid security and efficient storage management. With real-time partnership and Lustre open-source support, DDN enables organizations to access subject matter expertise and effectively manage their entire HPC data lifecycle. 5. StorMagic SvSAN is a highly efficient and cost-effective hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution designed specifically for manufacturing. To ensure maximum uptime and eliminate single points of failure, SvSAN enables manufacturers of all sizes to run applications smoothly and maintain productivity. By deploying just two x86 servers at each location, manufacturers can leverage SvSAN's virtual SAN capabilities to minimize planned and unplanned downtime. This solution provides 100% uptime, making it an ideal choice for factories and offices where operational continuity is critical. Converging compute and storage into a lightweight commodity server footprint eliminates physical SANs, resulting in significant cost savings. StorMagic, as a company, is committed to solving edge data challenges. Their storage and HCI security products, including SvSAN and SvKMS (encryption key manager), cater to organizations with diverse site requirements. 6. Fabulix Fabulix, a Hyperconverged Infrastructure Platform, offers a comprehensive solution for autonomous infrastructure, empowering organizations to break free from the complexities of legacy IT and monolithic data centers. It is an easily deployable and infinitely scalable hyperconverged infrastructure platform that combines compute, storage, network, and virtualization resources into a single, streamlined system. By integrating software and hardware, Fabulix creates or extends private cloud and hybrid environments within local data centers, providing organizations with the benefits of autonomous infrastructure and facilitating the transition from legacy operations to cloud outcomes. Its networking capabilities automate workload deployments without requiring configuration changes on physical networks. Fabulix is designed to be an affordable alternative for infrastructure requirements. It provides integrated protection for data and applications through features like shielded VMs, network micro-segmentation, and native encryption. 7. VZURE Solutions VZURE Solutions empowers organizations to efficiently integrate and manage their converged or hyperconverged infrastructures. By leveraging their services, businesses can experience a range of benefits, including lower operating costs by consolidating storage and network management infrastructure teams, reduced labor costs through automated data center management, increased utilization, streamlined cabling, and fewer network connections to drive costs down, and enhanced agility through virtualized storage networking and centralized management. As a Cisco Preferred Solution Partner, VZURE offers a comprehensive suite of consultation, training, and support services for various aspects of cloud computing, networking, storage, and more. They provide the necessary expertise and resources to help businesses build, support, and manage efficient converged or hyperconverged infrastructures. Final thoughts The significance of leading Hyperconverged Infrastructure system integrators and consultants in enhancing user experience cannot be overstated in today's technology-driven world. With their expertise in designing and implementing optimized HCI solutions, these companies enable businesses to leverage the power of integrated storage, computing, and networking, resulting in streamlined operations, improved performance, and enhanced user satisfaction. Their deep understanding of HCI technologies and ability to align solutions with specific business requirements helps organizations achieve seamless and efficient IT infrastructure, ultimately leading to enhanced user experiences. As the demand for scalable and flexible infrastructure solutions continues to grow, the expertise of HCI platforms, leading HCI system integrators and consultants will play a crucial role in shaping the future of IT operations and ensuring that user experience remains at the forefront of technological advancements.

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Why are Investments in Network Monitoring Necessary for Businesses?

Article | July 19, 2023

Businesses are depending more and more on information technology to accomplish daily objectives. The viability and profitability of a firm are directly impacted by the necessity of putting the appropriate technological processes in place. The misunderstanding that "the Internet is down" is often associated with poor internet connectivity shows how crucial network maintenance is since troubleshooting should always begin and conclude with a network expert. In actuality, though, that employee will spend time out of their day to "repair the Internet," and the money spent on that time is the result of the company's failure to implement a dependable network monitoring system. The direct financial loss increases with network unreliability. Because expanding wide area network (WAN) infrastructure and cloud networking have now become a significant component of today's enterprise computing, networks have grown much more virtualized and are no longer restricted to either physical location or hardware. While networks themselves are evolving, there is a growing need for IT network management. As organizations modernize their IT infrastructure, they should think about purchasing a network management system for several reasons. Creating More Effective, Less Redundant Systems Every network has to deal with data transfer through significant hubs and the flow of information. In order to avoid slowing down data transfer, not using up more IP addresses in a network scheme than necessary, and avoiding dead loops, networking engineers have had to carefully route networking equipment to end devices over the years. An effective IT management solution can analyze how your network is operating and provide immediate insights into the types of changes you need to make to cut down on redundancy and improve workflow. More productivity and less time spent troubleshooting delayed data transfers result from increased efficiency. Increasing Firewall Defense Given that more apps are being utilized for internal and external massive data transfers, every network must have adequate firewalls and access control setup. In addition to screen sharing and remote desktop services, more companies require team meeting software with live video conferencing choices. Programs with these features can be highly vulnerable to hackers and other vulnerabilities; thus, it's crucial that firewalls stop attackers from utilizing the software to access restricted sections of corporate networks. Your network management tools can set up your firewalls and guarantee that only secure network connections and programs are used in critical parts of your system. The bottom line is that your company network will constantly require security and development, and your underlying network must be quick and dependable to satisfy demands for both workplace productivity and customer experience. Which IT network management system, nevertheless, is best for your company? Effectiveness doesn't require a lot of complexity, and if it works with well-known network providers, there's a good chance the cost will be justified. Rock-solid security will be the most crucial factor, but you should also search for a system that can operate on physical, cloud, and hybrid infrastructure.

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Enhancing Rack-Level Security to Enable Rapid Innovation

Article | August 8, 2022

IT and data center administrators are under pressure to foster quicker innovation. For workers and customers to have access to digital experiences, more devices must be deployed, and larger enterprise-to-edge networks must be managed. The security of distributed networks has suffered as a result of this rapid growth, though. Some colocation providers can install custom locks for your cabinet if necessary due to the varying compliance standards and security needs for distinct applications. However, physical security measures are still of utmost importance because theft and social engineering can affect hardware as well as data. Risk Companies Face Remote IT work continue on the long run Attacking users is the easiest way into networks IT may be deploying devices with weak controls When determining whether rack-level security is required, there are essentially two critical criteria to take into account. The first is the level of sensitivity of the data stored, and the second is the importance of the equipment in a particular rack to the facility's continuing functioning. Due to the nature of the data being handled and kept, some processes will always have a higher risk profile than others. Conclusion Data centers must rely on a physically secure perimeter that can be trusted. Clients, in particular, require unwavering assurance that security can be put in place to limit user access and guarantee that safety regulations are followed. Rack-level security locks that ensure physical access limitations are crucial to maintaining data center space security. Compared to their mechanical predecessors, electronic rack locks or "smart locks" offer a much more comprehensive range of feature-rich capabilities.

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How to Rapidly Scale IT Infrastructure For Remote Workers

Article | April 13, 2020

Rapid IT infrastructure scaling is always challenging. In March 2020, the coronavirus caused a surge in remote workers as organizations switched overwhelmingly to work-from-home policies. Scaling IT infrastructure to support this sudden shift proved to be a struggle for IT teams, resulting in a migration to cloud-based applications and solutions, a rush on hardware that can support a remote environment, and challenges scaling VPNs to support remote worker security. Here are some of the insights and lessons learned from IT professionals.

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WillowTree, Inc.

We help our clients realize the potential of rapidly evolving mobile technologies, from developing a mobile strategy to launching mobile products. Our unique team permits us to address our clients concerns at the highest strategic level, while ensuring that all recommendations are presented in the context of real-world build costs and timelines. We then have the expertise to take the strategy through the mobile product design, development, testing and launch phases.

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