The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has initiated an exercise to frame security standards around network function virtualisation (NFV), a key feature of 5G technology. The National Centre for Communication Security (NCCS), a unit under DoT, has started work to frame security standards that will be binding on telecom operators and equipment makers. 

According to the draft Indian Telecommunications Security Assurance Requirements (ITSAR), prepared by NCCS, NFV allows for the network functions developed by various vendors to run on commercially off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware servers by using virtualisation technologies. As per the draft, while the introduction of NFV in the mobile network has benefits of savings on opex, capex and automation gain, the virtualisation technologies and the underpinning COTS hardware present new challenges to network security in realising the network functions. 

In this regard, comments have been sought from all stakeholders including telecom firms, network vendors, academia etc. A meeting will be held on February 27, 2023, wherein the issue will be discussed by NCCS with the stakeholders.