Daksha Bhasker, CISM, is an Associate Director for Governance at Bell Canada managing controls on complex custom Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions. Her role has encompassed security controls for Sarbanes Oxley compliance and security risk management in complex deals with large enterprise customers. She received a M.S in computer systems engineering from Irkutsk State Technical University, Russia and a MBA in electronic commerce from University of New Brunswick, Canada. In over a decade of experience in the telecommunications industry, she has held various management position in business intelligence, product management, business operations controls and strategy planning. Her interests in security includes research, analysis and authorship.
Carriers no longer want their speciality pizzas delivered in a box, fully baked with pre-determined toppings. In fact they figure that it is economical to purchase standard pizza ingredients wholesale, bake ginormous crusts and believe they can please their customers faster by delivering custom toppings by slice on demand.
Mobile network operators (MNOs) must grapple with complex security management in fourth generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) deployments. The security architecture of 4G LTE may lull MNOs into a sense of complacence that the technology intrinsically addresses security in LTE operations. 4G LTE has known security vulnerabilities. Besides inherent LTE vulnerabilities, 4G LTE includes long standing internet protocol (IP) based security weaknesses. The third generation partnership project (3GPP) has included security in their system architecture evolution (SAE) from inception, yet there are numerous security considerations deferred to the MNO. In terms of service delivery and operations MNOs are left to manage both LTE and IP based security vulnerabilities. This leads to complex security management requirements for MNOs. This paper covers a broad sweep of security issues that MNOs should consider when operating 4G LTE networks, and proposes directional preventative measures with the objective of highlighting the critical role MNOs have to play in securing 4G LTE operations.