Security for Public and Private Networks | 5G Magazine

How are operators and businesses protecting their public and private 5G/LTE network deployments? What difficulties are they encountering? What solutions and approaches do they have for securing the network? What role does standardization play in ensuring the networks' security? How is the industry innovating to tackle those obstacles?

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The Private Network Revolution

Why is 5G so important now to the Auto Industry?

The software-defined car is growing rapidly and will impact many parts of the automotive industry, including technology, market segments, business models, regulations, legislations, and all the players from OEMs to suppliers. Today, most cars are connected with 4G or the 5G cellular radio. We at Harman believe by 2025, 90% of the cars will be connected. This brings in an important change in terms of how automotive OEMs would look at technology convergence.

It will start with in-vehicle platforms moving away from Controller Area Network (CAN), Local Interconnect Network (LIN), and FlexRay interfaces to Ethernet. This also brings in a huge change in terms of where they should be investing their computing power, whether it has to be in the vehicle, on edge, or in the cloud. Today, most consumers are focusing on audio streaming applications like Spotify and video streaming services like Netflix coming into the vehicle.

We have also seen many announcements from leading carmakers focusing on the extended reality that brings in augmented windshields, which brings in metaverse types of applications, such as VR gaming, and VR virtual concerts. We also know about different levels of automation (Level 1-5). As the OEMs focus on service-oriented applications and gateways, they bring new use case scenarios.

If we expect the automotive market, which has about $2.5 trillion worth of data coming in the next five years, unlocking it cannot be done without a significant investment in cybersecurity.

What is driving software defined Vehicle trends?

  • Application Revenue $30B by 2030
  • EV, AV Features & Brand Loyalty
  • Experiences that are paid services
  • Future Proof Cybersecurity
  • Lifecycle of the car tied with $ saving

Cybersecurity has been a top priority for Automotive OEMs for the last 5 years, whether it is defending against recent Log4j & Spring4shell vulnerabilities or other ransomware attacks. Auto OEMs need to focus on strengthening their security environment with thousands of suppliers.

“Security doubts shouldn’t stand in the way of innovation and transformation.”

Risk will always be present but demands management, not avoidance. Too often, the calls for hesitation come from incumbent vendors with a financial stake in the status quo.

This time, the answer to the most pressing security requirements will not be found in interoperability standards alone. To compete safely at the speed of the cloud, telecom operators should evaluate industry best practices, collaboration, and innovation, setting the best security and privacy strategies based on individual regulatory and market contexts.

Is the network secure?

The combination of cloud, open interfaces, virtualization, and the latest generation of mobile standards is causing operators to ask an important and valid question: is this new world secure? Some answers to this question are, unfortunately, misleading. Security in telecom is always a moving target, one that is not solved by industry standards alone. It is solved by a mindset shift, by moving away from hearsay to embracing empirical data and informed viewpoints. The better approach to implementing effective security is based on the principles of clear analysis, innovative thinking, and learning from past experiences.

The path that telecom is on as it modernizes is one that other enterprises and industries have already been pursuing in the cloud, virtualization, and automation — with plenty of learnings to share. Over 15 years ago, enterprises began to move data and applications into the public cloud and make more use of open interfaces and open-source software. While today this seems like an inevitable trend, many enterprise CIOs initially resisted the move, raising concerns about security.

No compromise on security

For CEOs and CFOs, the prospect of cost savings, more scalable business models and a faster rate of innovation is compelling. The potential for a competitive edge (and the realization that new rivals were already reaping the rewards) put pressure on both CIOs and cloud vendors to come up with a solution that worked to satisfy both objectives: a modern, dynamic business with no compromise on security.

Embrace the change

Today the same arguments against cloud and open networks are happening in telcos. The telco industry, in general needs to be less skeptical. It needs to be an industry embracing change instead of resisting it, and an industry that encourages innovation and progress. Excessive concerns about the security of unfamiliar technologies, calls to delay adoption “until security standards are complete,” will result in telcos giving up ground to rivals. Many times the calls for hesitation comes from certain stakeholders who would prefer the change not to happen.

Standards are important guardrails for the industry, not the answer to all challenges

Standard Architecture and Security – At the center of telco standards there is the 3GPP, and at the center of that for security are GSMA/NESAS, ITU, IETF, and many others. These organizations together define a standard architecture and security framework for how mobile networks work, to avoid operators (or vendors) creating unique and non-interoperable equipment.

Actual Implementation Makes Difference – The standards do address security, but the actual implementation is what really makes a huge difference from one network to the other. Regardless of how detailed the standards are, operators must roll up their own sleeves and do their own homework to define the implementation framework for their network’s cyber security, resilience, and trust.

Layers of Defenses around Architecture – This is not just about security posture, vulnerability assessment, threat modeling, security operations, and governance/risk/ compliance or GRC. This is about building the layers of defenses around the standard reference architecture that operators adopt.

Standards and Vulnerability – In a similar way, Rakuten understood early on that no single reference architecture or standard for Open RAN can address every possible vulnerability and detect every possible threat. Even for a closed vRAN solution on a private cloud, the standards will not specify how to implement the security it recommends. The standards do define protocol and interface specifications and interoperability framework, they do also serve as a reference for implementation, but they alone do not specify the “how.” And that’s what the industry is struggling with today.

Our Pragmatic Approach – Our approach has been a pragmatic one, driven by our early adoption of the “new ways of building networks” and the lack of any reference implementation of a successful nationwide, Open RAN, cloud-native network deployment. In order to achieve our objectives, we had to leverage 21st-century technologies for our 21st-century networks with the utmost resilience, privacy, user and data integrity in mind. To this end, we are building on defense, finance, ecommerce and telco industry standards to protect the entire system.

Continuous Audit – Operators have always had to implement more than what is specified in any technical standard, to address the true spectrum of security challenges: process, technology, and people. Operators also have to continuously audit posture and correct deviations and drifts. By the time a standard is ratified, new vulnerabilities would have been identified, and new attack vectors would’ve been developed and that is why we strongly believe in a pragmatic, dynamic, and always on cyber security framework to help identify, respond, and recover from vulnerabilities or compromises to systems.

Best of Breed Tech & Operations – Our philosophy has been focused around leveraging best of breed in tech and operations. We fully adopted cloud and virtualization for the cost and operational benefits they bring, we fully adopted Open RAN for the flexibility and choice it provides, and we are relentlessly automating our network with a vision to achieve a level 4 autonomous network. At the same time, we’ve developed the security framework leveraging telecom and non-telecom standards and best practices, such as 3GPP, GSMA/NESAS, NIST, ITU, IETF, ISO, and others.

Security Before

One approach to security has been characterized as “security through obscurity” — proprietary techniques known only to a small few, and therefore, in theory, reducing the attack surface and the possibility of a compromise. Telecom has traditionally felt protected by the sorts of closed, proprietary systems this gave rise to, that were hidden behind traditional perimeter-based security and access. Traditional telecom still has the posture and behavior of an enterprise before the rise of the mobile worker and remote access.

We already know this approach can lead to unexpected consequences, both from the simplicity of password/ credentials compromise that leads to total internal access, or the very advanced cyber breach cases that we hear about. Vulnerabilities encountered today are more commonly shared across all industries, open source communities and enterprises.

Key Points

  • Proprietary/closed systems are not always equal to secure systems.
  • Open, interoperable technology stacks are not equal to un-secure systems.
  • Every digital system, HW or SW, is vulnerable and potentially compromisable.

Log4J Compromise

The recent log4j compromise is a very good example of an open-source vulnerability that needed to be immediately addressed by everybody, including telecoms. Rakuten Mobile immediately went into response mode:

(1) We ran a cyber security incident to detect/prevent attacks, and breaches, and determine our attack surface.

(2) We installed new controls on our intrusion prevention systems and our web application firewalls to block attacks.

(3) We installed new rules to monitor outbound communications for any evidence that we have been compromised.

(4) We monitor runtime for any new software executions/installs on the network.

(5) We run vulnerability scans across our network to find where Log4j is installed.

(6) We also received communication from several vendors about their state and next steps to secure their systems.

Our next steps involved patching: We immediately identified vulnerable libraries of log4j that were internally accessible. We worked with the business and app owners to prioritize development to safeguard our assets and fix the vulnerability. This is what security looks like in a modern software-driven telecom network.

An openly better approach

By one standard, a house can be “secured” with a padlock on the front door, but securing the front doors while windows are wide open turns the whole property insecure. As telecom increasingly turns to software to achieve innovative solutions, lower cost, and greater speed and flexibility, it can also adopt the most up-to-date, proven practices in securing networks. When a vulnerability in open source software is identified, the whole community of experts rush to fix it. This collective mindset is foreign to some industry players. In the enterprise world, embracing this approach has been the norm for decades.

Let us be clear about how cloud-native networks and open interfaces present both a different security challenge and a solution. By definition, open interfaces increase the potential entry points for attack on a telecom network (we call this the attack surface). But what they also do is increase the speed and the number of resources that can be brought to bear on protecting against, identifying, neutralizing and recovering from attacks. In this light, the recent German BSI recommendations on security in Open RAN networks are entirely reasonable, providing a list of vulnerabilities that should be addressed. Operators must be responsible for their own implementation of security and privacy, appropriate to their regulatory and market context.

Telecom regulators have much to gain from the ability of open, cloud-based networks to enable:

  • Greater innovation, due to network disaggregation.
  • A more granular trust in supply chain. Best practice from other industries, particularly enterprise IT.
  • And a widely available resource and technology capability system that should make a network using Open RAN and cloud more secure than legacy networks.

5G Applications: How operators are helping Customers Leverage the New

5G is now being deployed nationwide and becoming available across geographies. It can reach 255 million people in more than 16,000 cities and towns, and large investments are being made in this space. With 5G in millimeter-wave, high-bands, and C-bands rollouts, the 5G network has grown horizontally and vertically across industries and geographies. This has led to many use cases in the individual userspace and across enterprise segments.

The focus is on enterprise customers or mid-market customers such as manufacturing, healthcare, retailers, and financial services. It is crucial to leverage the capabilities of 5G in terms of low latency and massive connectivity, e.g., for smart factories, smart cities, or to relook at business processes differently. Enterprises need to think about how they can take advantage of the network capability.

Private 5G and Edge

Earlier in the year, AT&T launched a private 5G edge in partnership with Microsoft. The intent was to move deep into the customer space to even smaller footprints in manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, and retail. These industries are using next-gen technologies that will engage with the end customers. Using the nuances of AI/ML will enhance the end-user experience by automating many daily activities. Thus, we can see an increase in the number of sensors, video centers, and endpoints connected to the network. 5G, with its impeccable ability to ensure low latency high-speed processing is the core of this deployment.

Connected world – 5G is not only impacting the Fortune 10 or Fortune 50 customers, but it is changing the dynamics of all small-scale enterprises that we can think of. With better connectivity and agility, 5G is improving productivity and business outcomes tied to it, and it has for sure now made its entry to a small clinic as well. There is no denying that 5G uses cases impact the user experience in every segment.

Healthcare – As healthcare organizations innovate and digitize operations, the amount of data usage, security for that data, and transfer continues to increase. 5G will eventually help hospitals and other health providers meet these growing demands and help with the transmission of large files, the expansion of telemedicine, and the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI). 5G will also increasingly help medical professionals be able to “see” better and interact with more patients virtually due to the lower latency and highly reliable nature of evolving 5G deployments.

Manufacturing – The future of smart factories will be filled with sensors, each monitoring different aspects of the working environment. They’ll also feature connected tools, using information ranging from location to accelerometer data to understand where and how they’re being used to guide workers accordingly. Many industrial spaces have become early adopters of this because of the need for data ownership models to scale with Industry 4.0—a term describing the technology, research, and development in automation, process industrial IT, and manufacturing technologies. 5G’s high capacity, wireless flexibility, and lower-latency performance make it a good choice to support manufacturers in these environments. Advanced manufacturing facilities use automated processes and robotic equipment throughout their production process. 5G and related technologies can help enable large-scale, near-real-time monitoring and proactive maintenance of factory automation equipment, helping to improve production. An Automated Material Handling System equipped with IoT sensors and 4K wireless cameras can demonstrate remote monitoring of factory automation equipment. With 5G, this type of automation could be equipped with a full suite of devices to collect important data on acceleration, position, temperature, humidity, and gasflow rates. Safety could also get a boost as 5G’s lower latency could help enable critical data to get to emergency first responders with lower lag times.

Transportation – 5G technology has the potential to provide increased visibility and control over transportation systems. The lower latency, high capacity, and high reliability can enhance how goods and people travel. Once added to existing network architectures, 5G will eventually help unify network protocols, improve safety and reliability, and provide end-to-end connectivity across our cities and beyond.

Retail – Innovative trends and personalization are reshaping what many people expect when they enter a store or building, and retail companies need a network that can handle the amount of data required. Adding 5G technology to an existing network architecture can help power new offerings that many retailers are beginning to provide, such as VR and AR, futuristic dressing rooms, and personalized improvements to the hospitality industry.

Financial services – 5G is poised to help banks and other finance companies deliver new, innovative services, such as wearable technology, highly secure and instant data transfer, or financial recommendation software through AI. The low latency, high data capacity, and high reliability of forthcoming networks will help create a new platform for the delivery of services—virtually wherever the customer is located. 5G could allow, for example, customers to get personalized attention via a video session without necessarily finding and traveling to their nearest branch via a remote teller.

What are the security concerns? How does 5G address them?

“In today’s world, the network’s security is of prime importance. It’s on the top of the mind of everyone, be it the CEO, CSIO, the CTO, or the CMO. Moreover, it’s an important topic in all boardroom conversations as glitches in security will impact the brand.”


Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf’s cloud-native platform, helps organizations end cyber risk by providing security operations as a concierge service. Arctic Wolf solutions include Arctic Wolf® Managed Detection and Response (MDR), Managed Risk, Managed Cloud Monitoring, and Managed Security Awareness; each delivered by their Concierge Security® Team.

CEO: Nick Schneider

Founded: 2012

Funding: US $150M (Series F)

HQ: Eden Prairie, Minnesota, US



Arkose Labs

Arkose Labs bankrupts the business model of fraud. Their innovative approach determines true user intent and remediates attacks in real-time. Risk assessments combined with interactive authentication challenges undermine the ROI behind attacks, providing long-term protection while improving good customer throughput.

Backed by Microsoft, PayPal, SoftBank and Wells Fargo, Arkose Labs is hailed by customers as a user-friendly solution to an ever-evolving fraud landscape.

CEO: Kevin Gosschalk

Founded: 2017

Funding: US$ 70M (Series C)

HQ: San Mateo, California, US

Awards: 2020 Gartner Cool Vendor in IAM and Fraud, Cyber Defense Magazine as a 2021 “Hot Company in Fraud Prevention”, top 10 finalist in the RSA Innovation Sandbox and more




Axonius is the cybersecurity asset management platform that gives organizations a comprehensive asset inventory, uncovers security solution coverage gaps, and automatically validates and enforces security policies. By seamlessly integrating with over 300 security and management solutions, Axonius is deployed in minutes, improving cyber hygiene immediately.

CEO: Dean Sysman

Founded: 2017

Funding: US$ 200M (Series E)

HQ: New York, NY, US

Awards: Most Innovative Startup of 2019 at the RSAC Innovation Sandbox, named to the CNBC Upstart 100 list and Forbes 20 Rising Stars



Block Armour

Block Armour is a Singapore and Mumbai-based venture focused on harnessing Blockchain and emerging technologies to counter growing Cybersecurity challenges in bold new ways. Its Secure Shield platform delivers comprehensive Zero Trust-based security for Enterprise systems, Cloud, and IoT. Block Armour solutions harness Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) architecture to render critical infrastructure invisible to attackers; while customized agents along with private Blockchain and TLS technology delivers a new breed of digital identity and access control for all users and connected devices. Its solutions are also crafted to secure smart city information infrastructure.

CEO: Narayan Neelakantan

Founded: 2016

HQ: Singapore




Canonic is a SaaS Application Security platform that continuously profiles apps and user accounts, identifies suspicious or out-of-policy behavior, and automatically reduces the SaaS attack surface. Canonic’s patent-pending App Sandbox captures any add-on and integration behavior — it provides access intelligence as well as threat & vulnerability insight by dynamically assessing network, data and platform API activities.

CEO: Boris Gorin

Founded: 2020

Funding: US $6M (Seed)

HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel




Claroty empowers organizations to secure cyber-physical systems across industrial (OT), healthcare (IoMT), and enterprise (IoT) environments: the Extended Internet of Things (XIoT). The company’s unified platform integrates with customers’ existing infrastructure to provide a full range of controls for visibility, risk and vulnerability management, threat detection, and secure remote access. Claroty is deployed by hundreds of organizations at thousands of sites globally.

CEO: Yaniv Vardi

Founded: 2015

Funding: US$ 400M (Series E)

HQ: New York, NY, US




Cyera gives organizations instant Data Reality, taking the guesswork out of cloud data security. Security teams have a complete, current, and correct picture of their data reality across all clouds and datastores. Cyera instantly provides companies a strong baseline for all security, risk management, and compliance efforts and ensures the entire organization operates with the same policies and guardrails.

CEO: Yotam Segev

Founded: 2021

Funding: US $60M (Series A)

HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel




Cyware is a product-based cybersecurity provider. They offer a full-stack of innovative cyber fusion solutions for all-source strategic, tactical, technical and operational threat intelligence sharing & threat response automation. Cyware’s Enterprise Solutions are designed to promote secure collaboration, inculcate cyber resilience, enhance threat visibility and deliver needed control by providing organizations with automated context-rich analysis of threats for proactive response without losing the element of human judgment.

CEO: Anuj Goel

Founded: 2016

Funding: US$ 30M (Series B)

HQ: New York, NY, US




Darktrace, a global leader in cyber security AI, delivers world-class technology that protects over 6,800 customers worldwide from advanced threats, including ransomware and cloud and SaaS attacks. The company’s fundamentally different approach applies Self-Learning AI to enable machines to understand the business in order to autonomously defend it.

CEO: Poppy Gustafsson

Founded: 2013

Funding: US$ 50M (Series E)

HQ: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK

Awards: Darktrace was named one of TIME magazine’s ‘Most Influential Companies’ for 2021



Deep Instinct

Deep Instinct applies deep learning to cybersecurity. Deep learning is inspired by the brain’s ability to learn. Once a brain learns to identify an object, its identification becomes second nature. Similarly, as Deep Instinct’s artificial brain learns to detect any type of cyber threat, its prediction capabilities become instinctive. As a result, zero-day and APT attacks are detected and prevented in real-time with unmatched accuracy.

Deep Instinct brings a completely new approach to cybersecurity that is proactive and predictive. Deep Instinct provides comprehensive defense that is designed to protect against the most evasive unknown malware in real-time, across an organization’s endpoints, servers, and mobile devices. Deep learning’s capabilities of identifying malware from any data source results in comprehensive protection on any device, any platform, and operating system.

CEO: Guy Caspi

Founded: 2015

Funding: US$ 67M (Series D)

HQ: New York, NY, US




EclecticIQ is a global provider of threat intelligence, hunting and response technology and services. They enable you to stay ahead of rapidly evolving threats and outmaneuver your adversaries by embedding Intelligence at the coreTM of your cyberdefenses with our open and extensible cybersecurity platform and ecosystem. The most targeted organizations in the world – including governments and large enterprises – use EclecticIQ platform to operationalize threat intelligence, enable threat hunting, detection and response, and accelerate collaboration.

CEO: Joep Gommers

Founded: 2014

Funding: US$ 3.5M

HQ: Amsterdam, Holland




GitGuardian is a cybersecurity startup solving the issue of secrets sprawling through source code, a widespread problem that leads to some credentials ending up in compromised places or even in the public space. The company solves this issue by automating secret detection for Application Security and Data Loss Prevention purposes. GitGuardian helps developers, ops, security, and compliance professionals secure software development, and define and enforce policies consistently and globally across all their systems. GitGuardian solutions monitor public and private repositories in real-time, detect secrets, and alert to allow investigation and quick remediation.

CEO: Jérémy Thomas

Founded: 2017

Funding: US $44M (Series B)

HQ: Paris, France



Grip Security

Grip security provides comprehensive visibility across all enterprise SaaS applications – known or unknown for apps, users, and their basic interactions with extreme accuracy to minimize false positives. Armed with deep visibility, Grip secures all SaaS application access regardless of device or location as well as mapping data flows to enforce security policies and prevent data loss across the entire SaaS portfolio.

CEO: Lior Yaari

Founded: 2021

Funding: US $19M (Series A)

HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel




JupiterOne ( is the software cloud-native security platform built on a graph data model, to expose the complex relationships between organizations’ cyber assets. It enables you to create and manage your entire security process from policy creation, to compliance and certifications, to operating a secure cloud infrastructure while your company quickly grows and evolves. Use cases include: Cyber Asset Visibility & Management, Cloud Security Posture Management, Governance & Compliance, and – Security Operations & Security Engineering.

CEO: Erkang Zheng

Founded: 2018

Funding: US $30M (Series B)

HQ: Morrisville, North Carolina, US




Lacework is the data-driven security platform for the cloud. The Lacework Polygraph Data Platform automates cloud security at scale so our customers can innovate with speed and safety. Lacework can collect, analyze, and accurately correlate data across an organization’s AWS, Azure, GCP, and Kubernetes environments, and narrow it down to the handful of security events that matter.

CEO: David Hatfield

Founded: 2015

Funding: US$ 1.3B (Series D)

HQ: San Jose, California, US




Laminar delivers data leakage protection for everything you build and run in the cloud. Laminar’s Cloud Data Security Platform allows you to Discover and Classify continuously for complete visibility, Secure and Control to improve risk posture and Detect Leaks and Remediate without interrupting data flow. Complete data observability for everything running in your public cloud accounts. Both agentless and asynchronous monitoring of datastores, compute as well as data egress channels allows sanctioned data movements and alerts when something’s wrong. Data protection teams can reduce the attack surface, detect real-time data leaks and get back in control of their data.

CEO: Amit Shaked

Founded: 2020

Funding: US$ 32M (Series A)

HQ: New York, NY, US




Lightspin’s cloud security platform protects cloud and Kubernetes environments throughout the development cycle and simplifies cloud security for security and DevOps teams. Using patent-pending advanced graph-based technology, Lightspin empowers cloud and security teams to eliminate risks and maximize productivity by proactively and automatically detecting all security risks, smartly prioritizing the most critical issues, and easily fixing them – from build to runtime.

CEO: Vladi Sandler

Founded: 2020

Funding: US $16M (Series A)

HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel



Menlo Security

Menlo Security enables organizations to outsmart threats, completely eliminating attacks and fully protecting productivity with a one-of-a-kind, isolation-powered cloud security platform. The solution delivers on the promise of cloud security—by providing the most secure Zero Trust approach to preventing malicious attacks; by making security invisible to end-users while they work online; and by removing the operational burden for security teams.

CEO: Amir Ben-Efraim

Founded: 2013

Funding: US $100M (Series E)

HQ: Mountain View, California, US



Noetic Cyber

Noetic Cyber enables security teams to make faster, more accurate decisions to detect coverage gaps and reduce cyber risk. The Noetic solution is a cloud-based Continuous Cyber Asset Management & Controls Platform that provides teams with unified visibility of all assets across their cloud and on-premises systems, and delivers continuous, automated remediation to close coverage gaps and enforce security policy. Noetic improves security tool and control efficacy by breaking down existing siloes and improving the entire security ecosystem.

CEO: Paul Ayers

Founded: 2020

Funding: US $15M (Series A)

HQ: Waltham, Massachusetts, US



Nozomi Networks

Nozomi Networks is the leader in OT and IoT security and visibility. Their solution accelerates digital transformation by unifying cybersecurity visibility for the largest critical infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, mining, transportation, building automation and other OT sites around the world. Nozomi network’s innovation and research make it possible to tackle escalating cyber risks through exceptional network visibility, threat detection and operational insight.

CEO: Edgard Capdevielle

Founded: 2013

Funding: US $100M (Series D)

HQ: San Francisco, California, US

Awards: Recognized as the Market Leader in OT and IoT Cybersecurity in 9th Annual Global InfoSec Awards at #RSAC 2021 and 2019 and more.



Onclave Networks

Onclave Networks, Inc. is a global cybersecurity leader transforming the future of securing all IT/OT devices and systems. Improving on the methods and technology used by the Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), Onclave’s mission is to provide the fastest path to a more secure, simplified and scalable solution – making it easier and cost-effective for enterprises to manage and continuously monitor. Onclave’s solution aligns with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Zero Trust Architecture as published in Special Publication 800-207.

CEO: Don Stroberg

Founded: 2016

Funding: Total funding $1M till date

HQ: McLean, VA, US




OneLayer is a cyber security platform dedicated to private cellular networks, that enables organizations to unleash their full potential. Private cellular has all the ingredients to be more secure, yet most of the existing security solutions such as firewalls, NAC, IDS/NDR and Asset Management tools, are not applicable in the new cellular environment. Hence, they are unable to secure the network itself, exposing it to lurking threats.

The multi-purpose promise of private networks, combining IT/OT use cases, endpoint mobility, roaming across networks and cloud edge services, further increases the attack surface. Accordingly, cybersecurity is considered to be the main adoption barrier by both customers and technology providers. 

OneLayer ensures that the best IoT security toolkit and approaches will be simply implemented in your private cellular environment. We extend and adopt existing security methodologies to this new type of network and provide full asset visibility, context-based segmentation, cellular anomalies detection & response and zero-trust device connectivity.

CEO: Dave Mor

Founded: 2021

Funding: US $8M (Seed)

HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel



Orca Security

Orca Security provides cloud-wide, workload-deep security and compliance for AWS, Azure, and GCP, without the gaps in coverage, alert fatigue, and operational costs of agents. Unlike competing tools that operate in silos, Orca treats your cloud as an interconnected web of assets, prioritizing risk based on the severity of the underlying security issue combined with environmental context, including its accessibility and potential damage to the business. This does away with thousands of meaningless security alerts to provide just the critical few that matter, along with their precise path to remediation.

CEO: Avi Shua

Founded: 2019

Funding: US$ 340M (Series C)

HQ: Portland, Oregon, US



Polar Security

Polar is the automates cloud data security & compliance – wherever your sensitive data is, however fast developers create it. Polar’s agentless DSPM (Data Security Posture Management) platform automatically finds where your data stores are, what sensitive data is inside, and where the data is moving, to find data vulnerabilities and compliance violations.

CEO: Mark Yelen

Founded: 2021

Funding: US $8.5M (Seed)

HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel




Privafy protects Data-in-Motion. Data-in-motion has rapidly become the most vulnerable part of every organization’s information and communication architecture. As organizations embrace the openness of the Internet and move data and applications to the cloud, traditional network security technologies and systems are no longer effective in protecting data as it moves between cloud workloads and applications.

Privafy’s security-as-a-service application secures data wherever it travels. The company’s cloud-native technology integrates all the functionality of traditional point solutions, such as encryption, firewall, DDoS protection, IDS/IPS and DLP technology, to provide comprehensive data protection as it moves between locations, clouds, mobile devices, and IoT. Deployed in minutes, Privafy works seamlessly with existing infrastructure to protect organizations of all sizes against today’s most damaging data-centric attacks, all while disrupting the cost associated with complex, archaic network solutions.

CEO: Guru Pai

Founded: 2019

Funding: US $22M

HQ: Burlington, Massachusetts, US




Revelstoke SOAR is low-code, high-speed Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response Platform built on a Unified Data Layer. Revelstoke’s next-gen SOAR gives SOC teams the power to work smarter, faster, and more effectively than ever before.

CEO: Bob Kruse

Founded: 2020

Funding: US$ 5M

HQ: San Jose, California, US




SecurityGen is a global start-up focused on telecom security. They deliver a solid security foundation for driving secure Telco digital transformations and ensuring next-gen enterprise intelligent connectivity. SecurityGen’s extensive product and service portfolio ensures complete protection against existing and advanced telecom security threats.

CEO: Amit Nath

Founded: 2022

Funding: No external funding

HQ: Rome, Italy

Awards: Security Gen earned second place in the ROCCO Research Vendor Innovators Award and also won the Vendor Innovation Award at this year’s Telecoms World Middle East Awards for its new ACE automated breach and attack simulation platform for mobile networks.




SentinelOne is a pioneer in delivering autonomous security for the endpoint, datacenter and cloud environments to help organizations secure their assets with speed and simplicity. SentinelOne unifies prevention, detection, response, remediation and forensics in a single platform powered by artificial intelligence. With SentinelOne, organizations can detect malicious behavior across multiple vectors, rapidly eliminate threats with fully-automated integrated response and to adapt their defenses against the most advanced cyberattacks.

CEO: Tomer Weingarten

Founded: 2013

Funding: US$ 267M (Series F)

HQ: San Francisco, California, US

Awards: Recognized by Gartner in the Endpoint Protection Magic Quadrant as a Leader and has enterprise customers worldwide.



Spry Fox Networks

Spry Fox Network’s multi-layered security solution addresses fraud detection and prevention and reduces data breaches. 

The solution consists of three different components:

  • Quantum Path Network Exposure Function (QP-NEF)
  • QP (Quantum Path) Cloud Monet, a SaaS platform
  • Quantum Path Location Authorization (QP- LOKA)

With a presence in UK and USA, Spry Fox Networks is a team of high caliber, end-to-end wireless networks experts with over three decades of experience in designing, developing, integrating, and deploying various wireless products. We have also designed networks and built innovative solutions for various use-cases across Core (5GC/EPC), RAN, UE, SDN, OSS, BSS, IMS, and telecom applications. Our ecosystem-wide experience as Vendors, Service Providers, Systems Integrators, and Solution providers has given us unique insights into telecom networks.

Director: Steven Ballantyne

Founded: 2014

Funding: No external funding

HQ: Swindon, Wiltshire, UK




Snyk is the leader in developer security. Their solution enables developers to build secure applications and equip security teams to meet the demands of the digital world. Snyk’s developer-first approach ensures organizations can secure all of the critical components of their applications from code to cloud, leading to increased developer productivity, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, cost savings and an overall improved security posture. Snyk’s Developer Security Platform automatically integrates with a developer’s workflow and is purpose-built for security teams to collaborate with their development teams.

CEO: Peter McKay

Founded: 2015

Funding: US$ 75M (Series F)

HQ: Boston, MA, US



As software continues to eat the world, end-users are increasingly using the plethora of authentication and authorization (AA) services for social media, banking, healthcare, pensions, childcare, home automation, and almost everything that is considered part of modern life.

With remote working becoming the norm, end-users also use AA services for accessing various corporate resources. In this increasingly ‘smart’ world, many IoT devices also avail of these AA services without any human interaction.

The AA services could be cloud-based or on-premise and are provided by a multitude of providers. At the other end of the chain are organizations that use the AA services to drive their business or digital transformation initiates.

We highlight the need for improved AA services using the market opportunities in Fraud Detection and Prevention (FDP) and Data Breach Reduction, which are just two sub-categories of the vast security landscape.

Opportunities in Fraud Detection and Prevention (FDP) and Data Breach Reduction

Fraud Detection and Prevention

As the adoption of digital services grows, so do the chances of malicious actors gaining access to the resources they are not authorized to. Unauthorized access could result in identity thefts and financial fraud. Just in the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector, the Fraud Detection, and Prevention market is expected to be worth $75 billion by 2028. There is clearly a need for ever improved AA services to enhance security and reduce online fraud. To detect and prevent these frauds, it would be hugely important to know where the transactions are being carried out from in a reliable way.

Data Breach Reduction

In its 2021 Cost of Data Breach Report, IBM Security reports that data breaches cost, on average, $4.24 million dollars and took an average of 280 days to detect and contain. Customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) was the most frequently compromised type of data, and the costliest at about $150 per record. Authorizing the data access based on the location of access in a device independent way would help in reducing data breaches.

Can mobile operators use 5G to enhance security and monetize their networks at the same time?

With market opportunities so big in just the two areas mentioned above, could there be a role for mobile operators to leverage their networks and grab a share of the security pie?

The answer is an emphatic Yes! 5G has functions such as NEF (Network Exposure Function) that expose the vast capabilities of Mobile Networks using standardized APIs. It allows mobile operators and private network operators to provide new services and monetize their networks.

Quantum Path Location Authorization (QP-LOKA)

Spry Fox Networks have developed a multi-layered solution to solve the security challenges mentioned above. The complete solution consists of three different components as explained here.


QP-NEF, Quantum Path Network Exposure Function, is the Network Exposure Function developed by Spry Fox Networks. It provides 3GPP defined as well as use-case-based custom APIs for application functions.

QP-Cloud Monet

QP (Quantum Path) Cloud Monet is a SaaS platform that leverages NEFs (such as QP-NEF) and other Network Functions deployed within multiple operators’ networks. It works as an API Gateway that enables the MONETization of MObile NETworks.

It provides APIs for various use-cases such as location authorization, quality of service, battery optimization, and many more. These APIs are used by different customers across verticals such as Fintech, IoT, Healthcare, etc.


QP-LOKA, Quantum Path Location Authorization, is a solution consisting of APIs provided by QP-Cloud Monet that is specifically designed to provide Location Authorization Service.

QP-Cloud Monet in turn uses APIs provided by QP-NEF. With the help of QP-LOKA, customers can ensure that the resources are only allowed to be consumed from the right location. QP-LOKA is privacy-aware, device-independent, and more reliable than other location authorization mechanisms.

It can be used as an additional authorization factor, for example, on top of password-less mechanisms such as FIDO for various purposes such as access control, non-repudiation, etc.

By deploying QP-LOKA, customers can significantly enhance their Fraud Detection and Prevention capabilities for financial transactions and also see a reduction in Data Breaches.

If you are a mobile operator, service provider, enterprise, or vendor, please reach out to us ( for demonstrations or trials.

Private cellular networks are a huge step toward better connectivity

Until recently, organizations had IT networks, OT networks, and cloud networks. We now have a new type of enterprise LAN based on a cellular protocol. This LAN is no different from any other LAN owned by the enterprise when it comes to security. Here too, the enterprise is responsible for security. 

Why do we need private cellular network security?

Public cellular networks have been around for years, and many security tools keep them running. Likewise, enterprise IoT networks are not new, and a wide variety of great security solutions have been developed to protect these networks. So why is a different security solution necessary for private cellular networks?

In the private cellular domain, three threat perspectives are combined:

  • Enterprise networks
  • IoT devices
  • Cellular networks

The presence of IoT devices within enterprise networks has long been known to expose them to IoT vulnerabilities. Yet, in public cellular networks, the value gained from a compromised IoT device is restricted to the device itself.

In contrast, in the private cellular domain, malicious access to a device has the potential to shut down the entire production process of an organization. This is a direct result of devices being connected to critical entities in the network, unlike the way it was in public networks.

What makes the security products from public cellular networks ineffective in private networks?

While public and private cellular networks both use the same protocols, they differ greatly in many other ways. From a security standpoint, there are only a few similarities. Carriers’ main priority is to keep their networks running and serve customers, and their security approach reflects this.

They focus on protecting their centric core, they are not sensitive to a single antenna malfunction, and they lack responsibility when it comes to protecting endpoint devices. This is not the case for private cellular networks. In these networks, the critical component is the endpoint user. An antenna malfunction (out of a handful in a network) can harm a business to a much greater degree, and the granularity of network protection is vital.

Everyone told me cellular networks are more secure…

Enterprises have security standards and security requirements that they need to meet to balance the risks, the effort, and the costs involved with protecting their networks. To reach this desired level of security, each organization has invested in security tools, such as visibility and policy control, XDR, etc.

The cellular protocols themselves provide better features than most IP networks since they use SIM authentication and traffic encryption by default. But one does not secure IoT devices merely with traffic protocols, one secures them with designated security tools.

Unfortunately, most of the existing IP network security tools do not apply to private cellular networks, exposing IoT devices to lurking threats.

Why are the current security solutions not applicable?

IP networks were built for enterprises and cellular networks were built for carriers. Connectivity is key for enterprises while charging and monitoring devices are crucial for carriers. 

Consequently, the architecture of their networks differs. IP networks, for example, were initially designed in a way that allows them to connect as efficiently as possible, which resulted in their MESH-like architecture. In contrast to them, a cellular network has a star topology (like a network that has just one router).

Therefore, there are three main changes between enterprise IP networks and enterprise cellular networks that prevent the current security products from adapting.

The Network Access Control (NAC) absence

Routing of network traffic is not done by IP switches but by the cellular core (and in the future with the O-RAN too). This prevents the implementation of an existing NAC (Network Access Control) that authenticates, authorizes, and segments the private cellular network.

The Firewall challenges

All data from IP networks flows in a single stream – headers then data, headers then data, in the same route. In cellular networks, however, the headers (signaling) and the data flow are separate. Implementing a “Man-in-the-Middle” firewall mitigation requires the firewall to correlate signals and data from two routes in real-time, and that is a difficult task.

Due to the increasing sensitivity of these networks to latency, this challenge has become more relevant. Also, it is important to note that cellular signaling and data routes are becoming increasingly encrypted. Moreover, as cellular technologies become more enterprise-oriented, they are being built as “Black Boxes”, eliminating the possibility of legacy tapping options.

The unique identifier challenges

IoT security can be broken down into two steps:

  • Filtering data to uncover unique insights, such as patterns, fingerprints, and anomalies.
  • Assign these insights to the source device identity that created them.

However, while enterprise LANs use MAC addresses and IP addresses, cellular networks rely on identifiers such as IMSI and IMEI. An even greater challenge arises when a cellular device tries to communicate with a server installed on the IP side of the network. So, even with the best existing IoT security products, an organization’s visibility and asset management abilities are severely impaired. Without visibility, other preventions and detection capabilities are not effective.

How can we maintain our network’s security standards?

We must bridge the gap between the existing IP networks and the new enterprise cellular environment.

OneLayer was built by world-class cybersecurity experts with a deep understanding of both cellular protocols and IoT security needs. In OneLayer, we developed a software solution dedicated to securing private cellular networks. We ensure that the best IoT security toolkit is implemented in your cellular environment, so you can achieve the desired standard of security for your private network. Our solution was designed to enable visibility, smart policy enforcement, and zero-trust capabilities within a cellular ecosystem. 

The new security paradigm – Zero Trust

The security paradigm has made significant evolution over the last couple of decades. In recent years, it has become broader and deeper to address the current level of global transformations.

On the other hand, security attacks are getting more sophisticated and rampant, resulting in catastrophic damages to businesses. Studies show that the average cost of a data breach is around $4.6 million, and it takes over 200 days to contain such incidents.

The security posture for the modern enterprise needs total re-invention rather than a refresh. Zero Trust security framework redefines the “perimeter” of the enterprise network and end users beyond the physical locations.

It enforces a strategy for continuous monitoring, accurate detection, and rapid, orchestrated response.

Why Zero Trust is crucial for Edge Applications?

The recent impacts of the pandemic, economic uncertainties, supply chain challenges, and dramatic shifts in customer trends have ushered in large-scale business transformations. Companies are modernizing applications for operational efficiencies and to streamline B2C, B2B, and B2B2X interfaces.

Cloud IT infrastructures, customers, end-users, data sources, and networks are moving outside of business premises. Many of these applications run across multiple infrastructures in the cloud, handle data and execute processes at the edge. Edge applications are becoming core to business transformation results. Hence, it’s crucial for CXOs to enable a robust security framework for those applications.


The Zero Trust framework is a perfect approach for the new security posture that is elevated by edge applications. Security executives should assess the relevance of Zero Trust for their enterprise security postures along with the security needs of other key business transformation initiatives.

While the Zero Trust framework is good for basic aspects of the applications beyond network boundaries, it is important to augment it with security requirements specific to 5G+ edge applications.

The following sections will review aspects of 5G+ edge systems to be considered for its Zero Trust security framework, highlight security challenges in edge applications, and suggest updates to the Zero Trust framework suitable for 5G+ edge applications.

Overview of Zero Trust security framework

Based on NIST

Zero Trust uses zero trust principles extending the network boundaries outside of local networks and taking into consideration the resources from on-prem, public cloud to hybrid cloud, users from local to remote, authentical from application level to transaction level, and dynamic threat detection and response capabilities.

NIST’s Special Publication 800-207 on Zero Trust Architecture lays out broader principles and guidelines for businesses to secure their resources.

” Zero trust architecture (ZTA) is an enterprise’s cybersecurity plan that utilizes zero trust concepts and encompasses component relationships, workflow planning, and access policies. Therefore, a Zero Trust enterprise is the network infrastructure (physical and virtual) and operational policies that are in place for an enterprise as a product of a Zero Trust architecture plan.” – NIST SP 800-207

A foundational Zero Trust architecture consists of a unified control plane that executes Security Policy decisions to promote the untrusted resources to be trusted.

The policy control plane interfaces with identity and access management, data access policies, security incident and event management, regulatory compliance, threat intelligence, etc., to establish a comprehensive approach for the enterprise-level Zero Trust security posture.

Aspects of 5G+ edge application for Zero Trust approach

First, in the 5G+ edge applications, the software, hardware, and users live across multiple physical locations.

Second, the on-prem/ cloud and edge have different types of systems.

Third, the application run time environments are not local and distributed from edge to core to cloud.

Finally, the type of security threats as well as the responses to incidents vary across the edge application layers.

Security must be built using a strong framework and integrated end-to-end across the edge application including the hardware devices and 5G+ mobile network.

Security challenges in edge application

The modern security attacks are rapid and infect infrastructure and applications in seconds. The “impact radius” of attack increases exponentially as each second passes by. Once the attack spreads deep, the response becomes expensive and the recovery impossible.

It is not uncommon for certain cybersecurity attacks to sleep for months and spread without getting noticed. Such devious attacks make any level of response ineffective without a safe point of recovery.

With multiple application layers, distributed microservices, hardware-software integrations, and processing of sensitive data outside of the business premises, edge systems open multiple points of “security vulnerability”.

Implementing security checks at every transaction or message might increase the complexity of the edge application and adds to their run time latency. Additionally, the levels of security requirements at the edge, core, and cloud vary significantly, and add more complexities to implementing a common framework or logic.

Zero Trust security framework for 5G+ edge applications

The security framework for 5G+ edge applications should address operational and deployment aspects of both hardware (edge devices) and software (edge applications).

In addition to the common application security aspects for the Zero Trust framework, the following list of characteristics of 5G+ edge applications should be considered:

  • Edge devices including the IoT sensors must be secured physically and digitally starting from installation, service, and operational phases.
  • AI models must be securely managed during the continuous deployment & integration steps.
  • The network, 5G+ wireless must be secured for access, interruptions, and attacks.

Based on the above characteristics that are specific to 5G+ edge applications, the three mentioned updates are recommended to strengthen the Zero Trust security framework.

Edge vulnerability analysis

Due to the physical exposure of edge devices, they are subjected to added security vulnerabilities not typically considered with digital assets.

The devices can be altered or damaged by acts of threat agents. Their basic functions may get affected by harsh environments such as the weather in outdoor installations or in the manufacturing floors.

The security analysis of 5G+ mobile network should be included to cover its characteristics. A proper analysis of these edge devices, 5G+ mobile networks and their vulnerabilities to security issues should be fed to the policy engine to enforce augmented policy decisions.

Edge device access policy

Applications access edge devices using specific protocols and features. Enforcing proper rules and policies both during the initial deployment and during operation should result in highest level of security safeguards for the application.

In applications such as autonomous vehicles, the edge devices may be constantly moving and switching between 5G+ mobile networks.

Certain applications have millions of devices generating billions of transactions a minute. Since each edge device have unique identifier and follows secured messaging protocols, it is possible to define an effective edge devices access policy.

Edge application management

Edge applications incorporate AI and machine learning models for executing decisions at the edge. These models get updated upon model retraining and may introduce changes to the decision logics. When ML models are used as part of the security posture, the logic updates may introduce security vulnerabilities.

The edge application management should dynamically feed the intelligence to the policy engine based on the updated assessment of security parameters with each deployment.

Enforcing proper rules and policies during the continuous deployment phases should result in the highest level of security safeguards for the application.


The security paradigm will continue to evolve and should stay steps ahead of sophisticated cybersecurity threat actors.

Zero Trust is a modern approach to security framework for businesses and an excellent foundation for CXOs enforcing robust security posture for their organizations.

Businesses may adopt NIST foundational recommendations and augment them with security features specific to their applications.

With the widespread adoption of 5G+ edge applications across all industries, businesses must ensure the most trusted and resilient security posture is enforced.

Zero Trust security framework for 5G+ edge applications is one step closer to achieving that goal.

Taking technology from bleeding edge to leading edge

Jim Brisimitizis served at Microsoft for over 13 years in various roles, including overseeing the Microsoft for Startups program. When he left, he conceived a new model ecosystem to catalyze enterprise innovation harnessing 5G and edge computing solutions, by bringing together select, cutting-edge startups, leading platform partners, and enterprises under the banner of the 5G Open Innovation Lab.

The ultimate goal: help the ecosystem cross the divide from bleeding edge to leading edge.

Since its founding in 2019, the Bellevue, WA. – based Lab has built a powerful roster of sponsoring partners, including T-Mobile, Microsoft, Intel, Amdocs, Dell, Ericsson, Nokia, and many others. The Lab and its partners select “batches” of startups to collaborate on customized engagements ranging from product ideation to proof-of-concept trials to enterprise-scale deployment.

Millions of IoT devices: Lab startups, platform partners focus on securing future

Over 70 startups have graduated from the program to date, and their track record is impressive. The companies have raised collectively over $1B total and several have sold in multi-million dollar deals since joining the Lab.

While their solutions include remote surgery, autonomous tractors, IoT, AI, robotics, hyperscale data processing, and much more, Brisimitzis – the 5G OI Lab Founder and CEO – says cybersecurity is fundamental. It’s why the Lab has selected a number of security-focused startups, along with partnering with F5 and Palo Alto Networks – two of the leading security platform companies in the world.

“Security, while important today, becomes infinitely more important in a more connected world. Just look at all of the possibilities enabled by 5G. Some forecasts predict over 25 million IoT devices alone will be active by mid-decade. The threat vectors and surface attack areas broaden significantly. No company can solve that challenge alone. We believe it takes an ecosystem approach.” says Brisimitzis

“5G security can be a proactive quiver in enterprise digital transformation. With threats on the rise – including exploits, malware, malicious URLs, malicious DNS, spyware and command and control (C2) – bringing advanced cybersecurity capabilities to the 5G environment is critical.”, says O’Brien.

Cyberattacks increasingly frequent, costly

The threats are staggering. On average, it takes more than 250 days to find and mitigate a network breach. Cyberattacks are up 92%, and the average data breach now costs $3.86 million, according to Mike Seymour, CRO of Onclave Networks, a rapidly growing McLean, VA.-based cybersecurity firm and 5G OI Lab participant.

Just as 5G opens new use cases across all industries from manufacturing to healthcare, security is fundamental, says Keith O’Brien, Chief Technology Officer-WW Service Provider at Palo Alto Networks. And he says working directly with the next frontier of digital transformation startups to build in security from the start is a key.

Zero Trust is the foundation of cybersecurity

A fundamental focus for all security solutions platforms and startups alike is Zero Trust. O’Brien says the concept is simple: “never trust, always verify,” securing an organization from outside and within, leveraging network segmentation, preventing lateral movement providing Layer 7 threat prevention and simplifying granular, “least access policies” for all 5G environments and telco clouds.

But even though Zero Trust is one of the big buzzwords in cybersecurity, there’s tremendous confusion, according to Onclave’s Seymour.

“Most CIO/CISO’s don’t have time, staff or budget to understand the different nuances so they end-up deploying more of what they know: VPN’s, Firewalls, and VxLANs…none of which were designed to scale with simplicity to support the massive number OT/IoT devices constantly being added to existing IT networks,” Seymour says.

New government standards touted for increased security

Most security companies including Onclave and Palo Alto Alto Networks point to new federal government standards being developed following a White House Executive Order to improve the nation’s cybersecurity as an important step, helping bring a more holistic and simpler approach to security. Seymour says the initiative is gaining serious momentum, specifically within the Department of Defense.

“As the DoD increases pilots with solutions like Onclave’s utilizing the new standards, we see enterprises with critical infrastructure such as hospitals and utilities rapidly following suit in the next year.”

While cyberattacks grow exponentially in sophistication and number seemingly by the minute, the consensus among security providers is a Zero Trust framework will dramatically reduce threats and attacks as well as cost and complexity in the network, and provide a critical foundation for enabling the transformational promise of 5G. And you can expect plenty of the leading-edge solutions to emerge from the 5G Open Innovation Lab ecosystem.

Read the complete article in the 5G Magazine

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