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PSCR 2020_5G Security – Evolution not Revolution



Jeffrey A. Cichonski


5G has promised to change the way we communicate with an ambitious slate of capabilities not yet available in the 5G networks deployed today, but rather are still being developed and specified by 3GPP. To understand the security posture of 5G networks, Jeff describes the state of 5G standardization, how researcher discovered vulnerabilities are addressed in the standards process, and highlight how certain deployment models limit the security capabilities. This will be grounded in 3GPP specifications as well as commercially available technology. While the 5G core network architecture looks radically different than that of LTE, it is comprised of much of the same functionality and depends on aspects of LTE in the 5G deployments available today. A seismic shift in the architecture design is the fact that 5G introduces the notion of a Service Based Architecture (SBA) for the first time in cellular networks. This new design has fundamental impacts on the way new services are created and how the individual Network Functions (NF) cooperate – not only is the core network decomposed into smaller functional elements, the communication between these elements is also expected to be more flexible, routed via a common service bus and deployed using virtualization and containerization technologies. The security implications and opportunities around cellular networks finally taking advantage of these modern IT technologies are discussed. The cellular networks of tomorrow (5G) are largely based on the cellular networks of today (LTE). The 5G specifications have been developed to build upon LTE and this will highlight the similarities, differences, and the interdependencies of the two systems. This session will include an overview of the 5G security architecture, how it addresses LTE security challenges, a dive into security features new to 5G, security opportunities introduced with increased use of commodity internet technologies, and finally a quick lo
Conference Dates
July 28-30, 2020
Conference Location
Boulder, CO
Conference Title
PSCR Stakeholder Meeting 2020: The Digital Experience


Cybersecurity, 5G, Mobile Networks, Cryptography


Cichonski, J. (2020), PSCR 2020_5G Security – Evolution not Revolution, PSCR Stakeholder Meeting 2020: The Digital Experience, Boulder, CO, [online], (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created October 28, 2020, Updated October 29, 2020