FCC Makes Progress on Network Security Issues

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The wireless communications industry has made significant progress in addressing security risks associated with the Diameter protocol, a critical component of telecommunications infrastructure, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. He praised the agency’s Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) for its ongoing efforts to promote network reliability and security in the United States.

“Americans need and deserve secure and reliable communications networks,” said Pai. “Industry adoption of CSRIC network security best practices advances that goal. I commend the providers that have already implemented these measures and urge those with work underway to complete this important effort.” He also thanked CSRIC members who provide their expertise in addressing complex network security issues, including members of the current CSRIC VII who are working through the pandemic on efforts to promote network security during the transition to 5G networks and Next Generation 911.  

Chairman Pai previously charged CSRIC VI with examining and developing recommendations to mitigate network reliability and security risks related to the Diameter protocol, which is used to exchange authentication, authorization, and accounting information in communications networks. CSRIC VI recommended that wireless service providers implement specific security measures.

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau recently concluded an assessment of industry adoption of those measures. The bureau has been contacting wireless carriers to determine how they have responded to CSRIC’s recommendations for reducing Diameter related security risks. “We found widespread adoption across the industry, with implementation of these measures either completed or underway by most providers,” said Bureau Chief Lisa Fowlkes.

Pai has also charged CSRIC VII with developing recommendations to help manage security risks during the transition to 5G networks and as 911 services transition from legacy to IP-based networks, among other issues. Those efforts are underway.

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