AT&T Unveils New Hadoop-Based Security Platform; And Other News

AT&T Unveils New Hadoop-Based Security Platform

AT&T’s latest security platform uses big data analytics on top of Hadoop to assess billions of security threats in mere seconds. It collects information from every corner of its network, leveraging the data sent by the routers, switches, and servers to identify and analyze threats in order to respond quickly and avoid them.

Jason Porter, VP of security at AT&T says that the AT&T Threat Intellect system allows the company to protect consumers and react quickly to limit the impact of threat events: “This is reducing the time it takes us to deploy security capabilities by greater than 95%. It allows us to be much more accurate, because we can correlate many different signatures. And more than it ever has before, the machine learning can identify that there is an abnormal traffic pattern and, with high confidence, detect a correlated threat event.”

Rather than characterizing it as a collection of security services, it would be more accurate to describe the Threat Intellect System as a machine-learning empowered brain that analyzes data patterns and threat activity with unprecedented speed and efficiency. Given the vast reach of AT&T’s network, which ranges from data centers to millions of user-end mobile devices, this brain constantly improves and learns to identify threats at an increasing rate before automatically deploying security solutions.

“AT&T secures more connections than any communications company in North America,” said Steve McGaw, a chief marketing officer at AT&T. “No carrier experiences the depth and scale of security threats we see on a daily basis– more than 30 billion vulnerability scans and 400 million spam messages are detected on our IP network. The power of Threat Intellect gives us the ability to process 5 billion security events, a full day’s worth of activity for all of our security customers combined – in only 10 minutes.”

This Hadoop-based architecture can analyze the 117 petabytes of traffic flowing across the network, which in turn frees up AT&T’s scientists to focus on developing and improving the security architecture and machine-learning itself, by feeding relevant data back into the security platform.

Porter continues on to say that “our PhDs and data scientists can focus on new things — they are always going to be reshaping and changing their attack rules, what this allows us to do is identify those more rapidly. We made the commitment to make security foundational, at the time we did Domain 2.0. So simultaneous to doing software-defined networking, we agreed that everything had to feed [data] into this platform.”

EU Levels New Antitrust Charges Against Google

The European Union’s antitrust authorities have been struggling to rein in Google’s activities in the region since 2010, arguing that the search giant’s actions have been harmful to consumers. The latest round of charges leveled against Google deal with its comparison shopping and advertising practices. The EU has argued in the past that the company unlawfully use its dominant market position to force companies to sign restrictive agreements to host Google’s search engine and ads on their websites. Sometimes these agreements prevent third-party websites from hosting rival advertisements.

The Commission is arguing this time around that it has uncovered more evidence that lends support to their view that Google is using its weight to stifle competition. This dominance, they argue, allows Google to privilege certain advertisements to the detriment of rival advertisements and reduce choices for consumers.

Google, on the other hand, is arguing that its products and innovations have had the net effect of empowering consumers and increasing the range of choices European users have. Google currently controls 80% of the market for on-site search hosting and roughly 90% of the European search market overall. If found guilty of violating EU competition regulations, Google can face staggering fines amounting to 10% of its global annual revenues.

Ericsson Applies to FCC for 5G Demo Trials

Ericsson has recently filed an application with the FCC for permission to conduct temporary 5G demo trials in partnership with T-Mobile, which it is planning to carry out later this summer. The telco manufacturer disclosed that it would use one base station and one user device to carry out the demonstration indoors at T-Mobile’s Washington headquarters, and planned to conduct the trial on government spectrum bands only: “We are seeking to demo 5G to T-Mobile. Ericsson is requesting to operate on the government spectrum bands only because this phase of our 5G research was designed in Sweden to operate on these bands. We have no plans to request that this spectrum be repurposed for commercial use.”

The Swedish telco also added that “the demo will last only two days, but we are seeking authorization for 60 days because the dates may be shifted at the last moment due to customer business needs.” Ericsson plans to run the demo on the 14.7 to 15.5 GHz bands in order to analyze the nature of millimeter wave transmissions indoors. T-Mobile is also working with Nokia, in addition to Ericsson, in developing 5G infrastructure.

All four of major US telcos have plans to roll out 5G in the near future, given that connections are projected to double by 2020 and increasing to an astonishing 500 billion connections by 2030. The FCC is planning to release spectrum in four large swathes by 2020 for commercial use.

NSF Invests $400 MM in Advanced Wireless Research Initiative Along with US Telcos

The National Science Foundation has announced today that it will be investing $400 million over the next seven years to develop wireless platforms and promote advanced wireless research in conjunction with the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative begun by the Obama administration. With experts anticipating rapid growth in wireless interconnections by 2020, the need for high-bandwidth, low-latency, and high-speed connections will grow exponentially.

As such the NSF noted in its press release that its investments had the aim of supporting “the research community in experimenting with and testing novel technologies, applications and services capable of making wireless communication faster, smarter, more responsive and more robust.”

Among factors driving the need for innovation in the wireless space is the predicted growth of the internet of things and ballooning rates of data being trafficked over an ever increasing number of smartphones. Wireless technologies also need to be improved and become more reliable in light of the prospect of self-driving vehicles and remote surgeries, which will need sturdy connections.

“NSF is a leader in catalyzing and supporting our nation’s academic research community to advance scientific discovery and innovation,” said NSF Director France Córdova. “In the area of computer networking and communication, NSF has nurtured communities of researchers, experimenters and developers from the very beginning. The efforts of the Advanced Wireless Research Initiative will continue this progress and have profound implications for science and society in the years to come.”

In addition, the NSF has announced that it will partner with US Ignite and other related public agencies in forming the Advanced Wireless Research Consortium, which has the mission cultivating cutting edge wireless research by fostering productive relationships between academics and industry leaders. Intel, Nokia, and Qualcomm, in addition to the Big Four wireless carriers in the US have all expressed support for the consortium.

The most exciting plan that this consortium has is by far the Advanced Wireless Research Platform, a city-scale wireless research platform that will become a testbed for trials in 5G architecture, millimeter wave, network security and privacy, and low-latency gigabit services. Industry partners have committed $35 million to support the development of such city-sized platforms.

“Working with other agencies and industry partners, NSF’s support of fundamental research on advanced wireless will be transformative and take us beyond the current and next generation of wireless — beyond what has been envisioned thus far,” said Jim Kurose of the NSF. “Many promising areas of research, including millimeter-wave networks, dynamic spectrum sharing and network virtualization, are maturing after years of federal investment but require additional experimentation and testing at scale.”

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