Our thoughts in an earlier blog Ignore the hype about 5G private networks and focus on the global mobile connectivity your organisation really needs are still valid.
5G is the future, for sure, but LTE is here and will remain hugely significant for many years. Our advice remains the same: don’t get sidetracked by new buzzwords or FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out!). Don’t be oversold when looking for a private network solution. Make sure you really understand what LTE can do, because it’s probably what you need…
That said, Nokia’s CEO Pekka Lundmark recently commented that more money will be invested in private 5G networks than in public networks over the next 10 years. Providing dedicated services at a specific, clearly delineated location, often with stringent performance demands – seaports, airports, campuses, manufacturing sites etc - is how private 5G networks will initially be used.
Security Issues when devices roam between Private and Public Networks
One of the advantages of a private network is the high levels of security that it can provide. However, there are a couple of new problems that most of the industry have yet to address…
Firstly, the interface between private and public networks is not secure. As a device moves between networks, the data on it is exposed. Corporate data that has been transferred to the device in the private network becomes visible once the device has moved into the public network – creating a security breach.
This is also true even when the device remains on the private network. This is because the macro network never relinquishes control of the dual SIM that may be in the phone. Hence there would be an active private network which the customer thinks is secure as well as an active macro network that the private network/enterprise has no visibility over.
The team at Telecom26 was amongst the first to spot these issues - and develop a solution. In fact, we are the only provider that can offer secure roaming between public and private networks (with managed corporate security) thanks to our Global SIM cards.
We are currently working with various customers to help ensure that their data is secure when devices roam between public and private networks.
Managed mobile security for a US energy company - our trial
A large energy company in the US experienced issues with data security and data leakage from the use of employees’ mobile devices at one of its manufacturing facilities. It had two choices: ban all on-site mobile devices; or, deploy a private network with fully managed security capabilities.
Mobile devices can be viewed as ‘USB-like storage devices’, transferring data almost undetected via NFC, USB, Airdrop, Bluetooth, and so on. Once on the device, this data is then visible to many other connections, including the Internet. Of course, this can create a security breach for organisations if a device is not fully security managed.
In this case, the customer chose one of the world’s best-known systems integrators to deploy a greenfield private network. In turn, Telecom26 was chosen by the SI for a trial. Telecom26 has provided complete security management for all mobile devices used on the customer site. The customer required 500 managed devices – however, the Telecom26 solution can scale limitlessly should the customer require expansion in future.
The Telecom26 Solution
T26’s unique dual-SIM solution now provides the customer with complete visibility into all data transferred to or from any Telecom26-enabled device, whether it’s on the public network or the customer’s private network.
If any data security breach is detected, the Telecom26 SIM sends a notification to the customer, allowing them to ‘lock down’ the device and ensure that no sensitive data is transferred. Definitely possible but currently not developed. We can only segment domains or content type as banned.
A further benefit of Telecom26’s dual SIMs is that they ensure managed connectivity of the device to the most appropriate network – so, if one SIM detects that the device has entered the private network it will ensure optimal connectivity, while the other SIM is de-registered from the public network – ensuring that data is never transferred unwittingly while on the private network. The same process occurs when the device leaves the private network.
With a dual Telecom26 SIM solution, both networks are controlled by Telecom26 which enable our customers with the visibility into both the public and private network transactions. When a Telecom26 SIM enabled device is on the public network, the private network SIM is searching to see if a private network is available. Since the network priority of a private network is higher than the public network, once detected, the SIM will register onto the private network. Upon receipt of this registration, Telecom26 will then send a network disconnect message to the SIM that is being served by the public network. And vice a versa when exiting the network.
The dual SIMs also minimise device ‘drop out’ as it moves between private and macro networks, thus ensuring improved QoE for the user.
T26 is unique in being able to offer a dual-SIM managed security solution for private networks. We work with major SIs (as in this case) to provide full mobile managed security, or we can also provide our own end-to-end solution through our network of infrastructure and connectivity affiliates and partners – one of which is currently helping Nokia to deploy private networks.
But we also provide single SIMs and eSIM hybrids, ensuring that we can meet the managed mobile security requirements of any organisation, whether a greenfield deployment or a private network transformation.
To learn more about how Telecom26 can improve Security for 4G LTE and 5G Private Networks, please click here.