In recent blog posts by my colleague Lenny Burakovsky, the issues facing service providers (SPs) around mobile security were discussed.
It’s something we’re speaking to operators about a lot as we help them figure out how to address the inherent security weaknesses in 4G networks.
F5 followers will know that at the end of last year we announced our new Synthesis architecture, to promote the delivery and orchestration of software defined application services (SDAS) throughout data centre, cloud, and hybrid environments. While the challenges they’re facing aren’t dissimilar to those faced by businesses in other industries who have to deliver applications to users quickly and securely, service providers clearly have very specific needs, extremely demanding end users and operate in a rapidly changing market.
Firstly, security is key. There are several reasons why security is weaker on LTE / 4G networks and I would suggest watching this video which explains why the network is facing scrutiny over security concerns.
As F5’s research showed, if security isn’t improved quickly consumers will lose trust in their service providers and are at risk of leaving for an alternative provider. Annoyed customers equals lost customers equals lost revenues, so it’s a pressing issue, particularly when operators are spending billions on next generation networks.
Synthesis is designed to protect end-user devices, networks, and cloud deployments with industry-leading performance and scale. It offers dynamic, intelligent security which is implemented at the network, session, and application layers, to give service providers a scalable and transparent solution.
However, although security is extremely important, this is about more than just securing apps. The expansion of our architecture will enable SPs to optimise service offerings that generate new and enhanced revenue streams.
For example, the Synthesis expansion will unleash broadband services for optimum performance. This will be done by giving providers an intelligent service chaining, dynamic policy enforcement, Diameter routing and interworking, and DNS functionality, which will drive performance levels and make for happy consumers.
Another benefit will be the delivery of future-proof scale and extensibility for ultimate value. We will give organisations a multi-service platform that provides important network services, such as security, policy enforcement, local DNS, IPv6 migration, and content filtering, with additional granular control over traffic policies and steering provided by programmable iRules capabilities, which is an unrivalled offering.
Importantly, the developments will also provide integration points with an ecosystem of technology partners. We pride ourselves on our seamless integration with technology partners in the next-generation service provider ecosystem, allowing us to fit in with the customer’s needs and allow for collaboration and joint offerings.
So, as SPs expand the breadth of their offerings, and cater for increasingly demanding consumers using more data and more advanced devices, it's imperative that they can orchestrate many disparate services into a seamless delivery network. We can help them do this.