IP convergence creates security headaches for telcos

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IP convergence creates security headaches for telcos

Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure warns of dangers.

Network convergence presents the biggest security threat facing the telecoms sector, a UK government agency warned today at Infosecurity Europe 2007.

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) believes that the shift to IP networks increases the security threat to telecoms networks.

"I see the environment over the next four or five years seeing increased threats. For a start we are having network convergence occurring," said Roger Cumming, head of knowledge and advice delivery at the CPNI.

Cumming added that issues were raised by the rise of next-generation networks and the growing prominence of IP as the technology enabling convergence onto a single platform.

One problem is that current telecoms networks have a large number of well defined and protected nodes, but changes in infrastructure mean that the number of nodes has reduced and if one is taken out the impact would be significantly greater.

"The intelligence of the network, and the ability to penetrate the really damaging aspects of the network, is moving towards the edges and at the same time the government's objective rules encourage the whole idea of developing greater business in the local loop and allowing increased access to those nodes, " he said.

"All of that is throwing up greater challenges in how to manage the associated risks."
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