As part a series of new videos on telco challenges, Rakuten Symphony Chief Business Officer Rabih Dabboussi discussed his three principles to keep in mind when thinking about Open RAN security. The disaggregation of the RAN into the DU and CU moves the logic into software deployable on COTS servers with cloud native containerization provided by Kubernetes. This environment contains a lot of open-source software which brings new risks to an MNO.
Even so, Dabboussi reminds us of the first principle: that every digital system is vulnerable to compromise – with no exceptions. It’s important to keep in mind that Open RAN is not unique in requiring security.
Next principle: if the cloud is secure enough for banks and finance, governments, airlines, utilities, police and other industries, why is there a belief that it’s too unsecure for mobile telecom? A small handful of vendors control the lion’s share of the RAN market, and no one questions their security or their comments about the strength of cloud security.
The last principle is that there is a strong proof point for the advantages of cloud telecom and Open RAN, which is the Rakuten Mobile network in Japan. All the questions and challenges of adopting cloud telecom and Open RAN were asked and answered when that network was built.
Open RAN and cloud telecom are ready for use in brownfield and greenfield networks alike, but they are not perfect. Watch Dabboussi's security principles video for more and consider taking him up on his invitation to see the Rakuten Mobile network up close.