Security issues challenge the digital future

24 May 2017

A panel discussion at CommunicAsia2017 titled “Diversifying Your Business Model Through Creative Partnerships” veered straight into the critical subject of security at the outset.

Juniper Networks’ CTO Kireeti Kompella declared that security issues will “only going to get worse unless we do something about [them].”

Failure to develop effective security solutions will hold back the development of the upcoming 5G digital landscape before next generation networks can begin to deliver new services through creative collaboration, he said.

“We all know about SDN (Software Defined Networks), but I talk about the Self-Driving Network or the Self-Defending Network,” said Kompella, describing a network in which security was embedded and automatic.

He said the sheer scale of the IoT means that human intervention cannot effectively counter the growing number of security threats and intrusions.

“Humans are going to lose if you don’t have Artificial Intelligence on your side,” he said.

Beyond security, Ericsson’s Magnus Ewerbring, CTO, Asia-Pacific, named “integrity” in addition to security as one of the key issues for the industry in the IoT era. By this he means issues around trust, privacy, fraud and data protection.

“IoT will be both consumer and industrial, and security is important, but integrity will also be key,” he said, adding that “traditional operators [enjoy] integrity, trust and faith” from their customers.

The panel, comprising representatives from carriers, vendors, and analysts, then wrestled with ongoing challenges to the traditional carriers’ business models.

Whether they are providers of “dumb pipe or smart pipe,” and while internet giants like Facebook are highly dependent on them, Facebook and other OTT players were not significant sources of revenue for carriers.

Rohit Talwar, futurist speaker, Fast Future, told the conference that many carriers “like to find a reason not to innovate” and were too focused on “boxes.”

“Facebook and Google don’t want boxes,” he said. “They want the people who create intellectual property. They are selling people who create IP.”

Helen Wong, director of network product technology & strategy for Asia Pacific, Verizon, countered by saying that the new technologies of virtualization and cloud-based services-by their very nature-meant that carriers are finding partnerships which were “beyond boxes and vendors.”

Mike van den Bergh, CMO, PCCW Global, said his company actively collaborates with new players in areas from tap-and-go payments to smart housing.

“They all deliver revenue to us,” he said. “Everything in the cloud is part of wider partnerships to deliver next generation services.”

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