5G network security to be a US$11b market

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5G network security to be a US$11b market

The global market for 5G network security is expected to hit US$11.6 billion (~AU$16 billion) by 2026, and will increasingly move toward software and services, according to a recent report from ABI research.

Sales of network security appliances to telcos will initially drive the market’s growth as they invest in building out the infrastructure.

“Communication service providers (CSPs) are buying the solutions required primarily from network equipment providers and pure-play cybersecurity vendors. In time, other specialised third parties will penetrate the market as CSPs move towards 5G stand-alone,” said ABI Research digital security research director Michela Menting.

However, as those companies begin offering enterprise applications built to take advantage of those networks, the market will shift toward security service offerings to enterprises as CSPs aim to recoup some of their security initial security spend.

ABI Research warns that this pivot will be challenging for CSPs as they need to consider their own security posture for servicing certain industries which may have strict requirements.

“In large part, CSPs will likely obtain the technology and required skills either through acquisitions or by partnering with security-focused firms. As such, partnerships will be key for CSPs to seize the security software and service opportunity,” Menting said

The research shows that telcos and network equipment providers (NEPs) will work closely together to develop 5G infrastructure and bring offerings to enterprise.

However, it will be the role of cybersecurity specialist and hyperscalers to help fill the skills gap when it comes to the matter of integrating network security into complex systems that rely on virtualization and cloud environments.

ABI points to hyperscalers as “the biggest threats to NEPs” because of how fundamental the cloud is to 5G, and because their experience in security and services is complementary to 5G-powered offerings.

“Their only limitation is their traditional lack of experience with CSPs, and so they will need to prove they can offer carrier-grade security. But they are agile, they are competitive, and they are very keen to engage this market. The opportunity is there, and the market contenders are already jostling for space,” Menting said.

ABI Research focuses on how technology affects industries, economies, and workforces.

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