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Article

Towards a Security Reference Architecture for NFV

1
Department of Management Information Systems, King Faisal University, Hofuf 31982, Saudi Arabia
2
Sensor Network and Cellular Systems Research Center, University of Tabuk, Tabuk 71491, Saudi Arabia
3
Department of Information Technology, University of Tabuk, Tabuk 71491, Saudi Arabia
4
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Abbass Nasser, Christophe Moy, Ali Mansour, Hadi Aggoune, Mohammad Ayaz and Koffi Yao
Sensors 2022, 22(10), 3750; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22103750
Received: 8 March 2022 / Revised: 14 April 2022 / Accepted: 1 May 2022 / Published: 14 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Systems for Wireless Communications and Networks)
Network function virtualization (NFV) is an emerging technology that is becoming increasingly important due to its many advantages. NFV transforms legacy hardware-based network infrastructure into software-based virtualized networks. This transformation increases the flexibility and scalability of networks, at the same time reducing the time for the creation of new networks. However, the attack surface of the network increases, which requires the definition of a clear map of where attacks may happen. ETSI standards precisely define many security aspects of this architecture, but these publications are very long and provide many details which are not of interest to software architects. We start by conducting threat analysis of some of the NFV use cases. The use cases serve as scenarios where the threats to the architecture can be enumerated. Representing threats as misuse cases that describe the modus operandi of attackers, we can find countermeasures to them in the form of security patterns, and we can build a security reference architecture (SRA). Until now, only imprecise models of NFV architectures existed; by making them more detailed and precise it is possible to handle not only security but also safety and reliability, although we do not explore those aspects. Because security is a global property that requires a holistic approach, we strongly believe that architectural models are fundamental to produce secure networks and allow us to build networks which are secure by design. The resulting SRA defines a roadmap to implement secure concrete architectures. View Full-Text
Keywords: network function virtualization; virtual network function; cloud computing; reference architecture; security reference architecture; patterns; virtual machine environment; ETSI network function virtualization; virtual network function; cloud computing; reference architecture; security reference architecture; patterns; virtual machine environment; ETSI
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alnaim, A.K.; Alwakeel, A.M.; Fernandez, E.B. Towards a Security Reference Architecture for NFV. Sensors 2022, 22, 3750. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22103750

AMA Style

Alnaim AK, Alwakeel AM, Fernandez EB. Towards a Security Reference Architecture for NFV. Sensors. 2022; 22(10):3750. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22103750

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alnaim, Abdulrahman K., Ahmed M. Alwakeel, and Eduardo B. Fernandez. 2022. "Towards a Security Reference Architecture for NFV" Sensors 22, no. 10: 3750. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22103750

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