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Open RAN (Radio Access Network) security is a much discussed topic these days regarding how it makes 5G more secure.

In an open RAN, network software is less interdependent on hardware, reducing the risk associated with upgrades or isolated security breaches.

Additionally, the enhanced modularity available with open interfaces makes it easier for operators to move toward a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) operating model.

What this does is enable the seamless and effective patch management needed to fix any security vulnerability found in open RAN. In an open RAN, discrete software updates can be more transparent and less impactful on the overall network than software updates in a traditional network.

It’s also salient to point out that the O-RAN Alliance has specified open interfaces, thereby lowering security risk through standardization.

In an open architecture, operators have more interfaces available to monitor, which can help detect incongruencies and enhance security. Defined interfaces between functional elements afford operators the ability to insert controls, further increasing their ability to secure the network. 

According to experts in this area, operators that avoid vendor lock-in by choosing open RAN will also be better-positioned to leverage new security capabilities as they are developed.

Essentially, supply chain flexibility gives them a new way to prioritize secure solutions, in addition to allowing them to pick best-of-class suppliers that meet their requirements.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Open Ran Security Fundamentals, a 2-day course that provides a solid introduction to Radio Access Network (RAN), Open RAN 101, O-RAN architecture, virtualization, O-RAN security features, O-RAN vulnerabilities and operation and deployment security options.

Additionally, open RAN Security Fundamentals covers the security of disaggregated and open RAN architectures: all aspects of interoperability of open hardware, software, and interfaces for cellular wireless networks.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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