The US National Security Agency (NSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently released the first of a four part series titled Security Guidance for 5G Cloud Infrastructures. This series of four action-oriented documents is intended to provide guidance on how to move toward zero trust in support of securing 5G. It’s been created as a joint industry and government effort with the support of several large contributors through the NSA’s Enduring Security Framework (ESF).

This first release in the series is titled Security Guidance for Cloud Infrastructures Part I: Prevent and Detect Lateral Movement [PDF] and is focused on detecting malicious cyber actor activity in 5G clouds and prevent actors from leveraging a single compromised cloud resource to compromise the entire network. It is recommended for service providers and system integrators who are involved in building and configuring 5G cloud infrastructures.

It should come as no surprise that the guidance for preventing and detecting lateral movement in 5G cloud environments revolves around the concept of zero trust. To learn more about zero trust, check out NIST SP 800-207 along with guidance from NSA and CISA.

The guidance for 5G cloud environments involves robust perimeter protections as well as secure internal controls coupled with sufficient logging, monitoring, and automation. Cloud environments present myriad entry points and vulnerable interfaces where malicious actors could attempt to compromise environments including software, APIs and networks.

  • Implement secure identity and access management
  • Keep 5G cloud software updated and free from known vulnerabilities
  • Securely configure 5G cloud networks
  • Lock down communications among isolated network functions
  • Monitor for adversary lateral movement
  • Use analytics to detect sophisticated adversarial presence

For more information see the release on the CISA website:

The guidance is available here [PDF]: Security Guidance for 5G Cloud Infrastructures – Part I: Prevent and Detect Lateral Movement

All the guidance papers and other useful information will be available at the CISA’s 5G Security and Resilience page or at the NSA’s Enduring Security Framework (ESF) page.

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Marin Ivezic is a Cybersecurity & Privacy Partner in PwC Canada focused on risks of emerging technologies.