Ericsson: AI won't be a silver bullet for security — but it can play a major part

Keeping your converged IP network secure
(Image credit: iStock/Thinkstock)

The importance of 5G networks has grown hugely in recent months and years as the amount of data generated, transferred and downloaded across the world has exploded.

But as this importance grows, so does the need to ensure these vital networks remain safe and protected from security threats. Hackers and cybercriminals have increasingly begun targeting network infrastructure to try and gain access to the valuable information within, so keeping the networks safe is key.

So with security threats growing and evolving every day, could AI be the answer to helping boost protection for these networks?

AI security

“When it comes to securing critical telecoms infrastructure - you need to be very careful giving the power to an AI too much," Keijo Mononen, Head of Security Solutions at Ericsson told TechRadar Pro at MWC 2024.

“AI will not be a silver bullet (as) security will evolve all the time, and AI will play a part of that evolution."

Ericsson is obviously a well-known player across the telecoms and network infrastructure space, but the company also plays a key role when it comes to security as well. Its Ericsson Security Manager is trusted by customers across the world for its proactive and thorough protection, helping simplify what can be a hugely complex undertaking for operators.

Designed to help address the needs of 5G security pros and admins, the platform can be valuable when it comes to automation - an increasingly common use for AI in the security sphere.

5G fibre optic

(Image credit: YouTube)

Mononen highlights that as networks become more complex, but also more distributed (particularly concerning edge networks) every single asset and computing source needs protection from security threats. These networks can sometimes contain thousands, or even tens of thousands of units, and that's where complexity can become an issue.

This is where the need for automation and orchestration in security orchestration and automation comes in, but as Mononen notes, “that’s something operators are needing, and most of them don’t have a solution like this.”

A transition is needed, he adds, noting that, "a big wave is still yet to come", but Ericsson Security Manager looks to offer this automation assistance, identifying the assets in the network that need to be protected, and building the security features in to use.

"When you have that complexity, then you need the automation…when the networks become dynamic and distributed, security also needs to follow," Mononen notes, adding that zero-trust approaches can also be a useful ally, as not trusting anyone means you are building in security everywhere, and having it be ready to evolve and detect new threats.

So with AI and zero-trust joining forces with offerings such as Ericsson Security Manager, the outlook for 5G network security is certainly more reassuring.

“We’re continuing on this journey which we have started," Mononen says, noting the increasing collaboration across the industry, especially as the journey towards 6G continues, “It’s a complex world, and requires complex solutions."

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.