Next-gen mobile technology is being deployed globally, and cloud-native apps on fifth-generation (5G) networks will drive advances within the IT security industry. According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, 5G network security will be a $9 billion enterprise market opportunity in 2025.
The deployment of cloud edge computing infrastructure and network-function virtualization (NFV), plus API-driven platforms, and the isolation capabilities of network slices provide significant growth opportunities for new offerings.
Both security software and services will be in demand from large enterprises seeking to leverage Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC), and Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) technologies.
5G network security market development
“Initial spending on security will be by communication service providers (CSPs) as they focus on securing their own mobile infrastructure and network. As CSPs advance, there is an opportunity for them to recoup that investment and monetise it through enterprise security offerings,” said Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research.
This will most likely be in partnership with network equipment providers and pure-play cybersecurity vendors. There’s an upside for public cloud hyperscalers as well. The 5G core will introduce apps and a data ecosystem into mobile edge computing distributed environments — including app-level and interface API security.
The integration with the public cloud infrastructure offerings will be key and allow value to be delivered initially via software, and eventually through managed services.
“There is serious potential to explore OPEX delivered security models through the cloud once requirements around performance and latency can be met. CSPs, notably Tier Ones, are keen to attract security-sensitive industries to 5G and this is driving them to integrate security software and services into their 5G networks,” says Menting.
At present, many traditional IT cybersecurity solutions do not adapt to cellular wireless core networks, so a period of transformation will be required. There will be an ongoing effort for CSPs to create a security portfolio for enterprises, as well as for solutions vendors to provide carrier-grade offerings.
Currently, network security appliances remain easier to implement, particularly from CSPs who continue to consume hardware for performance and scale, and particularly for hybrid networks (4G/5G).
In time, security software and services offerings for enterprises will increase once the 5G core standalone mode becomes mainstream. ABI Research believes these will likely emerge post-2023.
Outlook for 5G network security apps growth
According to the ABI assessment, it’s clear there will be an opportunity for new entrants to penetrate the network security market as 5G is deployed; especially for pure-play cybersecurity providers, as demands for network security appliances soar.
“But increasingly, hyperscale public cloud providers and new innovative software and cloud vendors will see opportunity, notably in the private 5G network market,” Menting concludes.
I believe that more CIOs and CTOs around the globe are evaluating 5G private network application opportunities. They anticipate wireless technology security advances will become the catalyst of change that empowers forward-looking organisations to adopt Industry 4.0 initiatives.
Private 5G infrastructure will support industrial-scale Internet of Things (IoT) wireless network connectivity – with inherently low latency, mission-critical reliability, and a high degree of data security – applied to enable new digital transformation use cases.
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