Demand for private network deployments will be driven by heavy industry verticals

With enterprise 5G maturing, the importance of private networks for the enterprise domain will continue to grow.

private network deployments

According to ABI Research, the demand for private network deployments will be driven primarily by heavy industry verticals. Industrial manufacturing, energy production (including mining, oil and gas, and logistics) alone will generate private network revenues of $32.38 billion by 2030, representing half of the $64 Billion overall private network revenues.

“These findings show the importance of private networks, particularly for automating mission- or even life-critical use cases, that require the highest possible network reliability and availability and are characterized by a high degree of network integrity to prevent data from leaving the enterprise premises,” says Leo Gergs, Research Analyst for 5G Markets at ABI Research.

“Enterprises that require network slicing capabilities to separate mission-critical from non-mission-critical use cases within the same physical network will turn to private networks.”

What’s causing the surge in private network demand?

Two main factors are causing the surge in private network demand. Gergs explains, “First, there is a huge rise in demand for automation and enterprise digitization. What has started with Industry 4.0 is now exacerbated by the aftermath of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

“Enterprises in industrial manufacturing, logistics, and oil and gas are now accelerating their digitization plans to reduce their dependency on manual labor availability and increase the resilience of their business operations against sudden disruptions to supply chains. The second is the addition to the demand-side effect.”

Gergs continues, “The market for private network deployments will also benefit from a supply-side effect. The freeze of Release 16 gives enterprises the much-needed reassurance of 5G capabilities for enterprise-grade connectivity, which allows chipset and module manufacturers to grow the device ecosystem for compatible hardware.

“The maturing device ecosystem, in turn, drives down prices per module and therefore makes the deployment of private 5G network more cost-efficient, which will spur additional interest from enterprises.”

A durable business strategy is key

There is a growing number of private network offerings emerging on the market to address this rising opportunity. While private network operators like Ambra, Citymesh or Edzcom are threatening traditional CSPs’ market share by monetizing managed services other than connectivity, hyperscalers like AWS, Google, and IBM are launching their private network offerings in co-creation efforts with telco players.

In addition, software companies like Athonet or Quortus benefit from trends toward network virtualization, which allows them to offer a virtualized core network either through System Integrators or to enterprises directly.

“These breathtaking developments show the amazing pace at which this market is evolving. Against this backdrop, it is important that all players in the enterprise connectivity domain develop a durable business strategy to profit from this rising market,” concludes Gergs.

Expansion opportunities in the next-generation wireless BSS market

Business support systems (BSS) are necessary to provide the fast-changing requirements in 5G and enhance customer experiences, a Frost & Sullivan research reveals.

BSS market

They also help communication service providers (CSPs) deliver personalized service experiences for consumers and businesses.

BSS market could experience a slowdown

Vendors have introduced advanced BSS features, including the ability to support flexible deployments (core and edge) and options for network slice lifecycle management, which are critical in helping CSPs deliver on multi-partner business models.

However, due to COVID-19, the global BSS market is estimated to experience a slowdown in the short term, whereas the long-term outlook remains positive.

“It is evident that BSS can significantly drive efforts to help organizations address key concerns such as introducing digital services and enabling customers to personalize their service experience,” said Vikrant Gandhi, Senior Industry Director, Information & Communication Technologies at Frost & Sullivan.

“However, businesses from across many other industry verticals are still relatively early in their digitization efforts and are facing issues similar to those of CSPs in the early days of their digital transformation efforts.”

Gandhi added: “Given the evolving situation, it is more critical than ever for wireless networks to function reliably and support the connectivity requirements across the board. BSS vendors are supporting existing 4G (and earlier generations) network services that currently drive the majority of their revenue.

“Going forward, while the wireless industry remains a priority for BSS vendors, they are also able to align BSS solutions to meet the needs of communications, financial services, healthcare, and media and entertainment companies, as well as government entities.”

BSS vendors can partner with CSPs to create immense growth prospects

  • Pioneer new price plans and partner-based business models such as B2B, B2C, and B2B2X for 5G success.
  • Introduce AI-driven BSS and customer experience solutions that help CSPs deliver differentiated 5G services.
  • Leverage cloud-native principles and support flexible deployments (core and edge) to help operators monetize different features of the network and create new opportunities.
  • Implement a robust 5G policy that can set performance characteristics, including quality of service (QoS) and latency. With 5G, the policy can control networks and services down to the device level to ensure the best customer experience while managing valuable network resources.

Bit-and-piece DDoS attacks increased 570% in Q2 2020

Attackers shifted tactics in Q2 2020, with a 570% increase in bit-and-piece DDoS attacks compared to the same period last year, according to Nexusguard.

bit-and-piece DDoS attacks

Perpetrators used bit-and-piece attacks to launch various amplification and elaborate UDP-based attacks to flood target networks with traffic.

Analysts witnessed attacks using much smaller sizes—more than 51% of bit-and-piece attacks were smaller than 30Mbps—to force communications service providers (CSPs) to subject entire networks of traffic to risk mitigation. This causes significant challenges for CSPs and typical threshold-based detection, which is unreliable for pinpointing the specific attacks to apply the correct mitigation.

Improvements in resources and technology will cause botnets to become more sophisticated, helping them increase resilience and evade detection efforts to gain command and control of target systems. The evolution of attacks means CSPs need to detect and identify smaller and more complex attack traffic patterns amongst large volumes of legitimate traffic.

Switching to deep learning-based predictive models recommended

Analysts recommend service providers switch to deep learning-based predictive models in order to quickly identify malicious patterns and surgically mitigate them before any lasting damage occurs.

“Increases in remote work and study mean that uninterrupted online service is more critical than ever,” said Juniman Kasman, CTO for Nexusguard.

“Cyber attackers have rewritten their battlefield playbooks and craftily optimized their resources so that they can sustain longer, more persistent attacks. Companies must look to deep learning in their approaches if they hope to match the sophistication and complexity needed to effectively stop these advanced threats.”

In the past, attackers have used bit-and-piece attacks with a single attack vector to launch new attacks based on that vector. There was a tendency to employ a blend of offensive measures in order to launch a wider range of attacks, intended to increase the level of difficulty for CSPs to detect and differentiate between malicious and legitimate traffic.

In an increasingly 5G and edge world, DNS matters

Infoblox identified the challenges Communication Service Providers (CSPs) face in transitioning to distributed cloud models, as well as the use cases for multi-access edge computing (MEC), 5G New Radio (NR), and 5G Next Generation Core (NGC) networks.

distributed dns

“Distributed cloud models such as 5G and multi-access edge computing networks have the potential to drastically change the CSP industry, delivering high-bandwidth, low latency services to network customers,” said Dilip Pillaipakam, Vice President and GM of Service Provider Business at Infoblox.

“Yet to fully take advantage of the benefits of these new technologies, DNS will have to evolve to address the challenges that come from delivering these high-value services at the network edge.”

DNS will need to be increasingly automated

DNS is a critical element to these new network architectures and technologies, enabling devices to access the network securely and reliably. And as 5G NR, NGC, and MEC technologies enable faster, more distributed networks with significantly more connected devices, DNS will need to be increasingly automated and operate at greater scale and with greater flexibility.

Yet, despite the importance of DNS to the reliable functioning of these networks, the survey found that few CSPs believe that their DNS is currently capable of supporting MEC or 5G NEC.

To meet this need, networks will need to leverage the benefits of distributed DNS technology that can enable network managers to meet users where they are—at the network edge.

Other key findings

  • CSPs consider DNS to be critical to the adoption of next-generation network technologies like 5G (71%), cloud-based managed security services (66%) and MEC (63%).
  • More than one third of CSPs surveyed plan to implement MEC (36%), 5G (35%), and NEC (35%) in the next 12-18 months.
  • Despite this, the lack of a mature vendor solution ranks as the largest obstacle these providers face in MEC (36%), 5G NR (46%) and 5G NEC (39%) deployments.

The CSPs surveyed included companies that represent all aspects of the industry; the largest groups were converged operators (46% of respondents), mobile operators (26%), and fixed-line and cable operators (10% each). The survey asked about their plans for implementing MEC, 5G NGC, and 5G NR technologies, business use cases, as well as concerns and obstacles to implementation.

distributed dns

The survey’s findings indicate that the future of DNS will hinge on the delivery of a fully distributed and fully capable edge-based DNS.

“CSPs seeking to advantage of the benefits of cloud-based and distributed technologies like MEC, 5G NR, and 5G NGC, will need DNS services that can keep up with the challenge of edge-centric network models,” continued Pillaipakam.

“DNS providers will need to adapt and evolve to ensure that customers in this industry are provided with the features, flexibility, and security that these new architectures demand.”

HECVAT toolkit helps higher education institutions assess cloud adoption risks

Higher education institutions are increasingly adopting cloud-based solutions in order to lower costs, improve performance and productivity, and increase flexibility and scalability.

HECVAT

Before settling on a solution, though, they must assess it for security and privacy needs, including some that are unique to higher education.

To help them do that more expeditiously, EDUCAUSE – a US nonprofit association that aims to advance higher education through the use of information technology – has created HECVAT: the Higher Education Community Vendor Assessment Toolkit.

About HECVAT

“The HECVAT provides a suite of questionnaires about information security and privacy controls to help higher education institutions appropriately assess third party and cloud services,” Brian Kelly, Director of the Cybersecurity Program at EDUCAUSE, told Help Net Security.

The intended audiences for the HECVAT are colleges and universities and the third-party service providers they contract with. Its benefits for the former are obvious, and for the latter, it reduces the burden that service providers face in responding to requests for unique security risk assessments from higher education institutions.

“The main benefit of the HECVAT is a consistent and shared framework for risk assessments that is being widely adopted across higher education,” Kelly pointed out. “Once completed, the HECVAT can be used by multiple institutions.”

The tool comes in various versions:

  • Full: A robust questionnaire used to assess the most critical data sharing engagements
  • Lite: A lightweight questionnaire used to expedite process
  • On-Premise: A unique questionnaire used to evaluate on-premise appliances and software

Before initiating a risk/security assessment if a product an/or service uses sensitive data, users should use the Triage tool to determine assessment requirements. All of those resources are available here.

A number of cloud providers have already completed the HECVAT questionnaire and those assessments can be accessed here.

Future plans

“The HECVAT was first released for use in October 2016. In 2019, the word ‘cloud’ was changed to ‘community’ to better reflect the spirit and intent of the toolkit and its expansion beyond the cloud,” Kelly explained.

“As adoption and use grow, the EDUCAUSE member-led Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC), Internet 2, and the REN-ISAC will continue to collaborate and work on the HECVAT to meet the needs of the higher education community. While established amongst information security practitioners, we’ll be promoting the HECVAT’s use to university business officers, risk managers and procurement groups over the next year.”