With the move towards 4G and LTE, many consumers have been unaware of the network risks that could slip into the mobile networks that they use every day. Mobile operators on the other hand are quite rightly concerned that the transition to IP based networks could open them up to a variety of attack vectors never experienced before by the industry.

The rise of always-connected smart devices and the proliferation of mobile applications have led to increased demands around performance and scale, which can also affect reliability. Moreover, since subscribers now interact with a number of different types of networks (3G, 4G LTE) and protocols, centralised management for visibility and control throughout a provider’s mobile broadband network has become all the more essential.

Attacks on the network can also affect, or even come from, end user devices – meaning that it’s urgent that service providers get a lid on the risk as quickly as possible. With DDoS on the rise and risks from malware, botnets and worms a growing concern as smartphones (effectively pocket PCs in technological terms) become increasingly prevalent, mobile operators need to start looking at the security products they may not have considered in the past.

Attacks on networks are nothing new to the IT industry, in many ways it can be a whole new world for service providers. Fortunately, this is where F5 can come in: we recently announced the launch of our S/Gi Firewall product, designed to address exactly these issues and consolidate disparate security platforms across 3G and 4G networks.

With our full proxy BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager and running off our VIPRION 4800 hardware, we are uniquely able to offer one system to manage mobile network security with the capacity to meet the demands of even the busiest service providers.