ETSI Releases White Paper on Multi-Access Edge Computing Security
Thursday, June 03, 2021 | Comments

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) published a white paper titled “MEC Security: Status of Standards Support and Future Evolutions,” which was written by several authors participating in multi-access edge computing (MEC) and other related ETSI groups.

The white paper, the very first initiative in this domain, aims to identify aspects of security where the nature of edge computing leaves typical industry approaches to cloud security insufficient.

“The publication of this white paper, as a joint effort of experts from different standards bodies and companies, is a clear sign of a growing interest from the industry on end-to-end edge computing security,” said ETSI ISG MEC Chairman Dario Sabella. “Starting from this work, the ETSI ISG MEC is now seriously considering addressing the identified future challenges, also in collaboration with other SDOs, in order to further help the ecosystem in securing end-to-end MEC environments.”

Edge computing environments are by nature characterized by a complex multivendor, multisupplier, multistakeholder ecosystem of equipment and both hardware and software devices. Given this overall level of system heterogeneity, security, trust and privacy are key topics for the edge environments. The advent of edge cloud federations and the presence of (far) edge devices in internet of things (IoT) environments, requires an end-to-end approach to requiring MEC security by leveraging existing standards relevant in the area.

In this heterogeneous scenario, talking about end-to-end MEC security implies considering the impact on the elements coming from all stakeholders involved in the system. In this perspective, the paper provides an overview of ETSI MEC standards and current support for security, also complemented by a description of other relevant standards in the domain and cybersecurity regulation potentially applicable to edge computing. The white paper concludes on a general perspective of future evolutions and standard directions on MEC security.

“Edge computing evolution will happen in parallel with the related infrastructural technologies, and security challenges will be associated with the ones for these technologies, with the additional ‘edge twist’ of being an extremely distributed cloud very much relying on network functionality,” said Diego Lopez, chair of the NRV Network Operators Council. “We need to consider the consolidation of hybrid clouds and NFV through the seamless integration of computing and networking, the integration of acceleration mechanisms at all levels, the pervasiveness of AI, and for sure the evolution of networks towards the 6G goal.”

Find the full white paper here.

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