Integrating Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital identities poses significant challenges for mobile operators, especially as they transition to 5G technologies. PKI is critical for ensuring secure communication between devices on a mobile core network, relying heavily on digital certificates for identity verification and encryption. As 5G technology promises increased connectivity and faster data speeds, it also increases the complexity of the 5G core. It makes it challenging for mobile operators to manage and distribute digital certificates efficiently.
Understanding the challenges: a telco perspective
The traditional PKI models may not be fully equipped to handle the dynamic and flexible nature of 5G networks, which require instantaneous and secure connections. Mobile operators are tasked with ensuring that the lifecycle of digital certificates— from issuance to revocation—is meticulously managed to maintain the integrity of the network. They must also ensure that these certificates can be quickly and securely updated or replaced to respond to threats or security policy requirements, which is a non-trivial task given the potential scale of 5G networks.
Additionally, the interoperability between different vendors and operators adds another layer of complexity, as each entity may support different certificate profiles and provisioning standards. Ensuring seamless integration while maintaining high-security standards is a delicate balance that mobile operators must achieve to fully realise the benefits of 5G technologies. The need for robust, scalable, and flexible PKI solutions is paramount to address these challenges and secure the future of mobile communications.
Enter managed PKI
A managed Public Key Infrastructure can be an effective solution for telecommunications companies and mobile operators facing challenges associated with PKI and digital identities, particularly in the context of rolling out 5G technology.
- Lifecycle Management: The management of certificate lifecycles ensures that certificates are always up to date and revoked when necessary, which is essential for maintaining the security of 5G networks. It also provides visibility and awareness for the customer to enhance operational safety.
- Operational Simplification: Managed PKI services simplify the complexity of deploying and managing a PKI. Since these services are typically operated by experienced third-party providers, they can take on the burden of the technical details, allowing telcos to focus on their core business.
- Compliance: Managed PKI providers are experts in security and will ensure that the PKI adheres to the latest security standards and compliance requirements. This is crucial in a landscape where security threats are constantly evolving.
- Expertise and Support: Providers of managed PKI services have specialised knowledge and experience that most mobile operators may not have in-house. Continuous support and expert advice from these providers can be invaluable.
- Flexibility and Customisation: Managed PKI services often offer flexible solutions that can be customised to meet the specific needs of a mobile operator, including supporting a wide range of protocols used in 3gpp and accommodating specific certificate profiles.
Simplified security for expanding 5G networks with managed PKI services
In conclusion, managed PKI services can help mobile operators navigate the complexities of digital identity and certificate management, particularly as they expand their 5G networks, by providing expertise, reducing complexity, ensuring scalability, and improving security. With a trusted managed services partner they can now focus on security operations and important processes and conserve its human resources.