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CISA, NSA Publish Report on Open RAN Security Considerations; Mona Harrington Quoted

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The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Security Agency have issued a document outlining the security considerations when implementing a 5G open radio access network infrastructure.

Some of the security considerations discussed in the paper are multivendor management; Open Fronthaul security; rApps and xApps; artificial intelligence and machine learning; and other network considerations including open source software, distributed denial-of-service and virtualization and cloudification, CISA said Thursday.

Open RAN is an exciting concept, one that opens up several doors to innovation, improved network performance, and a more diverse and competitive cyber ecosystem,” said Mona Harrington, acting assistant director of CISA’s National Risk Management Center.

However, with those benefits come the potential for additional security concerns. As a community, we must work together to not only identify these concerns but also develop the practices and architecture to mitigate them,” Harrington added.

Since Open RAN is implementing technologies found in 5G core networks, organizations fielding Open RAN would benefit from adhering to best security practices applied to 5G operations and deployments, according to the report.

NSA and CISA published the paper through the Enduring Security Framework.