The Cellnex Private Networks business including Edzcom has been acquired by Boldyn Networks on 1 March 2024. Positioning Boldyn as the neutral host partner of choice in the growing private networks market and widening our portfolio of wireless solutions. Learn more.

Skip to Main Content

Private 5G key to safeguard critical operations, sensitive data

Private 5G network needs to prevent unauthorised users/devices to limit the risk of any data leakage

Private 5G networks offer significant security advantages over public networks for industrial applications, Janne Isosaari, senior director of operations for private networks Europe at Boldyn Networks said, adding that industrial facilities can deploy reliable private 5G networks that safeguard their critical operations and sensitive data.

“Private networks are deployed for exclusive use by an enterprise or campus, allowing only authorized users and devices to connect to the network. For private networks, data is encrypted and stored locally with limited access. It prevents leakage of data. The privacy/security is assured via private APNs,” said Isosaari.

Jamming, the inevitable disruption of wireless signals, remains a potential threat. However, the closed nature of private networks, working on a dedicated spectrum, makes them less susceptible compared to other wireless network solutions

— Janne Isosaari

Senior Director of Operation Private Network Europe, Boldyn Networks

The Boldyn executive also explained that industrial interconnectedness, driven by Industry 4.0 technology advancements, requires a constant and reliable network connection to minimise downtime from lagging. “To achieve this, securing this complex environment requires a team of experts who not only understand cybersecurity concerns but can also maintain optimal network performance. The network needs to prevent unauthorised users/devices to limit the risk of any data leakage.”

Commenting about the strategies that companies should adopt in order to enhance the security of private 5G networks in industrial environments, Isosaari said that while private 5G networks offer inherent security advantages due to their dedicated nature, it’s crucial to go beyond that and implement additional security measures following ISO27001 recommendations. “Treating private 4G/5G networks just like any other enterprise network is another key point. This means applying the same security protocols and access controls used for other network systems. This consistency simplifies security management and reduces the risk of introducing vulnerabilities,” the executive said.

Isosaari went on to say that the growth in IoT devices creates a complex security challenge for enterprises, as many IoT devices often lack robust security features, making them easy targets for attackers. “Moreover, patching vulnerabilities across all these devices can be a slow and heavy-labor process. IoT device ecosystem requires careful management to ensure end-to-end security,” Isosaari added.

The executive highlighted that private networks can significantly mitigate these threats as they allow for a central system to manage and authorise all devices, ensuring only those approved can access the network and its controls. “Additionally, private networks enable secure communication by encrypting all data flowing between devices, protecting sensitive information from unauthorised users/devices.”

When asked about the differences in the security implications in a scenario where the private network is on-prem core and RAN versos on-prem RAN, public core, the executive stated that on-prem core and RAN provide more control over data privacy and also usage statistics. “Since both core and RAN are within the infrastructure, the customers will have more control over user data and how it’s handled. This allows stricter access control and encryption policies,” the executive said.

“While on-prem core offers more control over data privacy, it’s not the only factor. Security implications depend on the overall network design and security practices,” he added.

*Adapted from RCR Wireless News, Private 5G key to safeguard critical operations, sensitive data

*RCR Wireless News published an editorial report dubbed “Securing the edge- Where 5G meets the enterprise”, in which key industry leaders and analysts explore the critical considerations surrounding the security of 5G private networks deployed at the edge for enterprises. Click here to access the report.