Why Your Private 5G Network Needs An Enterprise-Grade Security Solution

Jun 21, 2022
4 minutes
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The arrival of 5G technology has reshaped what’s possible for enterprise networks, applications and IT systems by offering far greater capacity, lower latency and higher throughput than previously possible. For that reason, interest in private 5G networks is skyrocketing to accommodate new use cases, services and applications. But enterprise 5G requires enterprise-grade security. That’s why Palo Alto Networks has partnered with NTT to provide the same maximum visibility and security to private 5G-as-a-Service as it does to other enterprise networking architectures.

Why Manage Private 5G?

Enterprises focused on smart manufacturing, transport and logistics, critical infrastructure, oil, gas and mining are discovering the tremendous potential of 5G networking to support technologies such as Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC) and massive IoT (MIoT).

But CIOs are wary of using carrier solutions that are little more than repurposed consumer services. Functionalities such as MMS, global roaming, lawfully intercept or emergency services location are extraneous to enterprise environments. What’s more, they don’t want a per-usage data model. They don’t want to pay per device, and they don’t want a black-box approach that gives them little visibility into where the data is, what it's doing and where it's going.

In addition, they need to manage the complexity of 5G so that their current IT staff can work with it as easily as they would their legacy WiFi network: creating and managing VLANs, grouping and allocating devices, and setting user permissions.

With a managed service from NTT, every aspect of enterprise private 5G networking, including design, build, integration, solutions, management and optimization is taken care of. NTT crafts each solution specifically for the individual client, designing it around their use cases and strategies. Finally, NTT deploys, runs and optimizes private 5G as a full Network-as-a-Service.

What Is Enterprise-Grade Security?

5G has built-in security for the signaling layer, but enterprise data, devices, applications and networks still create a vast attack surface essentially identical to any other enterprise network. Palo Alto Networks offers 5G-native security for highly distributed, cloud-native 5G networks with containerized 5G security, real-time correlation of threats to 5G user and device identifiers and 5G network slice security. In short, enterprise-grade security for private 5G networks means visibility and enforcement across the following:

  • All layers, including applications, signaling, data, management and slice.
  • All locations, such as the radio access network (RAN), data center, Open-RAN, while roaming and internet-facing nodes.
  • All vectors ranging from threats, vulnerabilities and attacks, including malware, command & control, remote code execution, and botnets.
  • All software lifecycle stages starting with DevOps through CI/CD and runtime.

Palo Alto Networks leverages automation, ML and AI to detect and defend against zero-day threats across the core 5G network, even in containerized Kubernetes environments, applying multiple modes of security including the following:

  • Cloud security posture management to monitor posture, detect and respond to threats and maintain compliance with standards and regulations.
  • Cloud workload protection to secure hosts, containers and serverless across the application cycle.
  • Cloud network security to monitor and secure cloud networks and enforce identity-based micro-segmentation.
  • Cloud infrastructure entitlement management to enforce permissions and securing identities across workloads and clouds with Identity and Access Management (IAM).

5G networks enable new enterprise use cases, such as smart manufacturing, smart cities and industrial-scale IoT networks with ultra-low latency, mission-critical reliability and a higher degree of mobility. But now, enterprises need new solutions to protect their investments in this groundbreaking technology. Palo Alto Networks in connection with NTT provides enterprises with a scalable, managed infrastructure that simplifies the deployment and security of private 5G networks so businesses can accelerate their digital transformation and prepare themselves for the future.

To learn more about NTT and Palo Alto Networks partnership and solution offers, view the better together battle card.


Andre Ferreira is the Director of Enterprise 5G Customer Solutions at NTT, with over 25 years of experience in the ICT industry focusing on emerging technologies. Andre is responsible for all solution architecture and technical aspects of the NTT Private 5G Product and particularly enjoys meeting with clients to explore how this new and exciting technology can benefit them.

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