5G-ENSURE Ouput: Use Cases

5G-ENSURE has identified a set of use cases illustrating security and privacy aspects of 5G networks. Based on similarities in technical, service and/or business-model related aspects, the use cases are grouped into  clusters covering a wide variety of deployments including, for example, the Internet of Things, Software Defined Networks and virtualisation, ultra-reliable and standalone operations. The use cases address security and privacy enhancements of current networks as well as security and privacy functionality needed by new 5G features.

The use cases exhibit a wide range of security concerns including user privacy, identity management, authentication, authorisation, key establishment for IoT, air interface protection, botnet mitigation,isolation of core network functionality, secure virtualisation and verification of virtualised node and platform, security monitoring and control, and lawful interception.

The main takeaways from the assessment are: 

  • 5G encompasses a variety of radio access systems expanding the capabilities of mobile devices and networks. To allow extended offers in terms of access or other services, there is a need to support alternative authentication schemes and associated identity management without compromising the high security of legacy authentication and identity management.
  • The increased emphasis on user privacy, including unlinkability between subscriber information and device identifiers and untrackability of user's location, requires new protection schemes. 
  • 5G networks should provide various kinds of virtualised Core Network functions (slices) for different types of subscribers or corporations that need totally different isolation properties. Virtualisation brings new types of roles and actors and new types of monitoring and assurance interfaces, as well as the need to verify and control the actions and entities corresponding to these various actors.     
  • The increasing trend of connecting important functions in society and corporations through mobile network technology leads to an increased demand for robustness and reliability in overload and denial of service situations. The balance between law enforcement and privacy emerging in recent years calls for enhanced schemes for separating the concerns of the parties involved.         
  • Most of these security and privacy enhancements should be built into the radio access and core networks and cannot be added as an afterthought. 

The continued analysis on security enablers and security architecture within 5G-ENSURE will assess in more detail the relevance of these use cases and their impact on the 5G system. It is, however, already clear that such security and privacy considerations need to enter the development of 5G standards at an early stage to have the required impact on the security and privacy considerations of next generation mobile networks.

Further reading for technical experts, especially within the 5G-PPP: 5G-ENSURE D2.1 Use Cases