University of Oulu

Madhusanka Liyanage, An Braeken, Shahriar Shahabuddin, Pasika Ranaweera, Open RAN security: Challenges and opportunities, Journal of Network and Computer Applications, Volume 214, 2023, 103621, ISSN 1084-8045,

Open RAN security : challenges and opportunities

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Author: Liyanage, Madhusanka1; Braeken, An2; Shahabuddin, Shahriar3,4;
Organizations: 1School of Computer Science, University College Dublin, Ireland
2Department of engineering, technology (INDI), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
3Mobile Networks, Nokia, Dallas, TX, USA
4Centre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-11-09


Open RAN (ORAN, O-RAN) represents a novel industry-level standard for RAN (Radio Access Network), which defines interfaces that support inter-operation between vendors’ equipment and offer network flexibility at a lower cost. Open RAN integrates the benefits and advancements of network softwarization and Artificial Intelligence to enhance the operation of RAN devices and operations. Open RAN offers new possibilities so different stakeholders can develop the RAN solution in this open ecosystem. However, the benefits of Open RAN bring new security and privacy challenges. As Open RAN offers an entirely different RAN configuration than what exists today, it could lead to severe security and privacy issues if mismanaged, and stakeholders are understandably taking a cautious approach towards the security of Open RAN deployment. In particular, this paper analyzes the security and privacy risks and challenges associated with Open RAN architecture. Then, it discusses possible security and privacy solutions to secure Open RAN architecture and presents relevant security standardization efforts relevant to Open RAN security. Finally, we discuss how Open RAN can be used to deploy more advanced security and privacy solutions in 5G and beyond RAN.

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Series: Journal of network and computer applications
ISSN: 1084-8045
ISSN-E: 1095-8592
ISSN-L: 1084-8045
Volume: 214
Article number: 103621
DOI: 10.1016/j.jnca.2023.103621
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This work is supported by 6Genesis Flagship (grant 318927) project. The research leading to these results partly received funding from European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no 101021808 (H2020 SPATIAL project). The paper reflects only the authors’ views. The Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318927
Detailed Information: 318927 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (