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Network surprises: can we prepare for the unimaginable?

Surprises are inherent to the nature of the work we conduct, considering “anomalies” are the subject of anomaly management. We often find striking and unexpected occurrences in customer networks. Ultimately, many network issues cannot be laid out in a straightforward checklist- some things just happen naturally when deploying a wider variety of different services in mobile networks.

So we frequently see cases unanticipated (or even unimaginable) by our customers. For example, who would have thought that an optimization configuration error on DNS for subscribers would jeopardize the control-data separation on the MME?

Surprise, surprise

Well that’s exactly what we found when assisting a Tier 3 Level Operator (with a strong security orientation) in introducing a solution to identify security flaws at the core of their network.

The case is not wildly uncommon - something unintentional occurs, defying segregation of control messages and user data. If control messages/user data segregation is breached, the consequences are considerable, even leading to loss of availability or private data leakage.These things are so complex and unexpected, they cannot be anticipated.

The rapid evolution of mobile networks, though largely considered a boon (and rightly so), poses considerable challenges to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) as their increasingly sophisticated services open doors to increasingly sophisticated attacks. On top of this, they are tasked with complying with privacy and security standards that are truly challenging.

While there are security solutions that can claim to provide absolute segregation of control messages and user data, it’s difficult to account for issues like human error in network setup or configuration, especially when dealing with such dense and complex network environments. That’s why anomaly detection is key to maintaining a preemptive edge.

The whole story

imVision’s most recent case study offers a deep dive on this very issue. We address the case detailed above, our key findings upon deploying imVision’s Anomaly Management Platform (AMP), and adaptable options for mitigation in real time. View the whole case study: Control Messages and User Data Segregation to learn exactly how we can address critical segregation and human error.