Author: Anouck van der Ham

Events

RAN World 2018 – Rome (09 – 10 October…

 

RAN World 2018 – Rome (09 – 10 October 2018) 

RAN World is the essential meeting place for the operator, research and vendor communities looking to get the most out of the network, and to pave the way for next generation networks. The event is bringing a select group of 250 senior decision makers together.

October 9th – 10th, 2018 – Sheraton Parco De’ Medici, Rome Hotel, Rome, Italy

 

Events

Cyber Security Week – The Hague (04 – 05…

 

Cyber Security Week – The Hague (04 – 05 October 2018)

On 4 & 5 October a dedicated CSW Expo will take place at the Fokker Terminal in The Hague. During the expo, national and international organisations will display their innovative cyber security solutions. By participating, you will get access to extensive technology expertise and new business channels. Each day, more than 800 visitors are expected.

October 4th – 5th, 2018 – Fokker Terminal, The Hague, The Netherlands

Blogs

Is your lawfully intercepted data complete and trustworthy?

 

Is your lawfully intercepted data complete and trustworthy?

Lawful Interception is a powerful tool for Police and Intelligence Services to fight crime and terrorism. Obviously, the availability of lawful interception is of paramount importance and even a short downtime of this service could have disastrous consequences for ongoing investigations.

Thus Police and Intelligence Services invest heavily in the quality of monitoring centers, e.g. by implementing a high availability configuration, train their technical staff to monitor the system around the clock and enter into a 24×8 maintenance and support contract with their supplier. Despite all these precautions, something could still go wrong and valuable data to fight crime and terrorism could be lost forever.

The cause for a disruption of the lawful interception service might not even be found in the technical environment of the law enforcement agency. There is also a dependency on the systems that are installed at telecom providers. These systems intercept a target’s electronic communication in the telecom operator’s network and are a valuable part of the whole chain for lawful interception.

In short, for Police and Intelligence Services it is critical that they can trust the data provided by telecom providers and that no data is lost. Automated end-to-end Lawful Interception test tooling helps law enforcement with the validation of the complete LI chain for all telecom providers and ensures timely detection of certain non-compliances. For this purpose Group 2000 developed the LIMA Élite solution.

With the LIMA Élite solution, the complete paths from target interception in the network via the LI mediation systems at the operators to the Monitoring Center are automatically being tested, 24×7 for each operator, network, and technology. In case LIMA Élite detects an anomaly an alarm is raised instantly, alerting the LEA staff that actions are required to restore the LI chain.

Please, contact Group 2000 should you have an interest to learn more about LIMA Élite.

Blogs

How Mobile Network Operators benefit from active network capacity…

 

How Mobile Network Operators benefit from active network capacity management

One of the most valuable assets for an operator is the mobile network. The main source of income for an operator is the revenue generated from subscriptions that want to make use of the mobile network. A bad customer experience related to the mobile network will almost immediately cause a decrease in the revenue. Therefore terms like ‘quality of service’ or ‘quality of experience’ are very important for an operator.

The solution sounds simple, ensure that there is enough capacity available on the network.
However, in reality, dimensioning a mobile network is a very complex assignment that consists out numerous (external) factors that influence the available capacity of the network. Here are a few examples:

  • Weather conditions – The weather influence the range and capacity of a cell. Rain leads to a weaker signal in a certain area. This effect differentiates if it is raining heavily or even when the rain consists out or big raindrops.
  • Maintenance – A mobile network consists of a massive amount of equipment and there is always some sort of maintenance ongoing. In order to safely let the mechanic access a site, the operator needs to shut down all the cells located on that site. This means that the available capacity in that area is strongly reduced.
  • Area – An operator needs to take the area into account. Things like Football stadiums, train stations, hospitals or even property development have influence (in their own way) on the capacity needs in a certain area. For instance, when a new residential area is created the capacity need is bound to grow and when a football match is ended there is going to be a (short) peak in the capacity need.
  • Innovations – The evolution of smartphones (and apps) have changed the needs of the subscriber drastically. Also the introduction of LTE(4G) and the upcoming 5G the mobile network landscape is changing. With every technology evolution, the capacity is increased but the range of cell is reduced, meaning that more hardware is needed to replace a cell with ‘older’ technology.
  • Legislation – The operator(nor vendor) are bound to (local) rules and regulation that limits the transmitting power of the cell but also the height of the site or the allowed frequencies.
  • Events – New year’s eve and disasters cause massive peaks in demands.

Expanding a mobile network is very costly, so the operator cannot simply keep adding capacity to its network while on the other hand maintaining a concurrent pricing model. Also, the extra capacity is only required for a (small) period of time, after that the capacity will not be used.

The solution is network capacity management
With capacity management, the operator can influence the behavior of their network. The operator can configure QoS rules that will be applied when certain thresholds are breached. As a result, certain limitations will be applied and subscribers are limited in connectivity, speed or usage of services. By controlling the available capacity the need to expand the capacity for let say new year’s eve is reduced. Meaning that the operator will not be obligated to invest in the costly expansion of their network. With a capacity management solution, the operator has obtained the freedom to choose between expanding or what (percentage of) service needs to be limited.

Capacity management is implemented by the vendors of mobile network hardware based on standards that apply at that moment. As a result, the way capacity is managed differs per technology and per vendor while the majority of the mobile networks are multivendor and consist out of multiple technologies(3G,4G)

If we look back at the aforementioned examples then it is virtually impossible to define one set of QoS rules that apply all the time to the entire mobile network. The best solution for an operator differs per situation (or even per area). These are one of the reasons for Group 2000 to develop LIMA Network Protect.

LIMA Network Protect
Is a multivendor capacity management solution that is designed map (predefined) rules to one or more areas.
Network Protect monitors the network health and it can apply capacity management to all equipment in a certain area. Independent of the technology or vendors that provide coverage in that area.

LIMA network Protect can perform capacity management very locally, up to cell level. However, the solutions also focus on the most fine-grained method to provide the operator with maximal flexibility when it comes to shaping their network. Therefore the solution is also capable of differentiation between services or even applications.
The latter is useful when it comes to DDoS attacks or malicious/ malfunctioning apps that cause a disturbance on the mobile network. Like a few years back the Angry birds game that caused a signaling storm on a mobile network due to a programming error.

Blogs

How advanced mobile network capacity management benefits society

 

How advanced mobile network capacity management benefits society

Mobile telephony and data transfer are indispensable in society, not just residents, but entire industries nowadays depend on the correct, thus unperturbed, functioning of telecom networks. Failure of these networks due to calamities or targeted cyber-attacks can have major social disruption and economic consequences and harms the confidence of citizens, businesses, and governments in the vital (cyber) infrastructure. Uninterrupted access to 112/911 can therefore no longer be guaranteed in such situations. With great personal and social consequences.

 

Resilience

In case of calamities and large-scale events, cell towers are quickly overloaded. Neighboring cell towers try to cope with the capacity shortage, which also overloads them. Due to this domino effect, the entire mobile network can be impacted by a local incident.

This took place, for example, during the attacks of 22 March 2016 in Brussels. Due to the overloading of a small number of cell towers, the entire Belgian telephone network was affected and the crisis center was temporarily unavailable.

The fire in the Dutch Vodafone data center of 4 April 2012 could also be considered, which resulted that even the entire Dutch cabinet was unavailable for a number of days.

These recent calamities have shown that the telecommunications network is highly susceptible to overload in unexpected situations and that the consequences of this overload after the cause has been removed often last long.

In addition to calamities, cyber-attacks can also have a major impact on the availability of the mobile network. By (DDOS) attacks on the mobile infrastructure, it is relatively easy to overload a part of the network and thus creates a domino effect that affects the entire network.

Failure of the mobile infrastructure has an impact on the access to the emergency services 112 / 911. After all, about 93% of the 112 calls in the Netherlands take place via the mobile phone. The unavailability of the 112 service might have potentially fatal consequences. The expectation is that other countries will have similar numbers. Despite the fact that the legislator has legally stipulated that telecom providers must make provisions that are necessary to guarantee uninterrupted access to 112 / 911, in practice, it appears that the uninterrupted access to 112 / 911 could not be guaranteed.

The consequences of national outages of a mobile network as a result of a regional overload situation and the subsequent domino effect on the mobile network, such as in Belgium after the attacks in Zaventem, not only resulted in the unavailability of the national crisis center, but also took away the ability of citizens to do 112 emergency notifications. The sharing of experiences, compassion by citizens through the usual means (social media) was also greatly reduced. This situation has irrevocably impacted the citizen’s confidence in the mobile (critical) infrastructure.

Implementing a solution which ensures a higher availability of the mobile critical infrastructure, either through providing a faster recovery after a failure or which could detect and reduce the impact of a disruption, prevent the domino effect, would not only greatly benefit mobile operators, but more importantly also our society.

 

Environmental and health benefits

Cell towers are a fundamental part of each mobile network. Placement of these cell towers is subject to permits and acceptance of society. The arguments against expansion or placement of new cell towers are often: landscape pollution, extra radiation, and environmental impact. Often valid arguments, but in decision making these arguments often outweigh the advantages of a readily accessible mobile network. Nevertheless, a technology that reduces the need for extra placement of cell towers will have an ecologically positive impact. Implementing advanced capacity management tooling within the mobile network of a telecom operator would result less need to over-dimension their mobile network infrastructure and therefore fewer cell towers and fewer possible negative effects.

The implementation of LIMA Network Protect not only contributes to the resilience of the mobile network and the resilience of the society, but it also reduces the possible environmental and health impact of the placement of cell towers.

 

LIMA Network Protect

LIMA Network Protect ensures higher availability of the mobile critical infrastructure, through ensuring a faster recovery after failure. LIMA Network Protect can provide a clear picture of the disruption through the built-in dashboard so that those responsible can act more efficiently. It will make the inherently vulnerable telecom network more robust without drastic changes to the network and would reduce the need for planned overcapacity of the mobile network, resulting in environmental and health benefits.

For more information about our LIMA Network Protect solution, please visit our LIMA Network Protect website.

Blogs

Checks, balances, and measurements for your Lawful Interception IT…

 

Checks, balances, and measurements for your Lawful Interception IT Architecture

Lawful Interception (LI) architectures deployed in telecommunication networks consist of many complex building blocks which are connected and integrated together. If one of these building blocks fails for whatever reason, potential important and often crucial intercepted data can be lost. The result: insufficient proof in court and more important non-compliance with local regulation.

Both telecommunication operators and LEA’s have an increased demand to determine if the end-to-end communication and IT technology chain is acting according to requirements and standards. Hence the need for a comprehensive but cost-efficient monitoring and measurement solution was born. A solution reducing the complexity for all stakeholders in the domain whilst creating the unfailingly and consistently data you need for compliance (Network Operators) and guarantee to receive the right data (LEA’s).

Group 2000 has a long history regarding providing innovative and sustainable compliance solutions like LIMA Élite.

LIMA Élite was built around an existing monitoring and measurement platform used to simulate targets as the modems act as normal phones. Various actions are supported by the platform, like connecting to the right network and technology. Support for dialing, sending SMS and retrieving websites via the mobile connection was added to  complete the functionality of the existing platform. A new backend system orchestrates all tests and also acts as a law enforcement monitoring facility (LEMF) to validate the output of the LI environment.

Furthermore, we correlate the intercepted data with the right action taken and to verify that the interception is working. All relevant ID’s are embedded in the technology and functionality in order to ensure that correlation is done in a perfect way independently of the execution of the actions to support long delays in delivery of the intercepted data.

The LIMA Élite backend supports many input formats, like ETSI-232, LEMF specific export formats, ETSI-671, and many others. To support the flexibility in configurations of the backend, the software makes use of flexible and easy to configure open source technology like Docker.

The modularity of LIMA Élite solution also opens chances for other derived, however, useful solutions, which might be topic for a follow-up blog.

For more information about our LIMA Élite solution, please visit our LIMA Élite website.

 

News

Winners SBIR Cyber Security III Second Phase

Winners SBIR Cyber Security III Second Phase

At the end of 2016, The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) opened a third SBIR Cyber Security tender. The SBIR was focused on the resilience of our society and proposals had to concentrate on the research programmes of Nationale Cyber Security Research Agenda (NCSRA-II).

Recently, RVO has announced the 13 winners of the second phase: innovation development.

1. KPN

2. Group 2000 Nederland B.V.

3. Tracks Inspector B.V.

4. Delft Dynamics B.V.

5. Bitsensor B.V.

6. Adversitement B.V.

7. Slatman IT

8. Cybersprint B.V.

9. InnoValor B.V.

10. Embedded Acoustics B.V.

11. Software Improvement Group B.V.

12. Storro B.V.

13. Intrinsic-ID B.V

More information about the SBIR (in Dutch) and read the article in Computable.

(Author: The Hague Security Delta (HSD))

Events

Security & Policing Home Office Event – Farnborough (6-8…

 

Security & Policing Home Office Event – Farnborough (6-8 March 2018)

This UK Government event is the largest police, security and National Resilience event in the UK and provides a platform for showcasing world leading technologies, products and solutions to more than 570 police services, Government departments, organisations and agencies from the UK and overseas Security & Policing 2017 will bring together international professionals and experts from Government, law enforcement, police service, CNI and industry to share knowledge and experience.

March 6, 2018 to March 8, 2018 – FIVE (Farnborough International Venue & Events) Show Centre, ETPS Rd, Farnborough GU14 6AZ
Booth: # 19A

 

Events

Bedrijvendagen Twente – The Netherlands

 

Bedrijvendagen Twente – The Netherlands (15 February 2018)

Bedrijvendagen Connects! This annual event, hosted by the University of Twente, consists of a series of events aimed at creating and improving contacts between students, post-graduates and alumni on one side, and potential employers on the other. Every year, more than 2,500 students and recent graduates meet over 150 companies through a great variety of activities, which take place on or around the University of Twente’s own campus. www.bedrijvendagentwente.nl

February 15, 2018 – Universiteit Twente, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
Booth: # 1

Blogs

ETSI – The importance of effective standardization

 

ETSI – The importance of effective standardization

Group 2000 has been an active member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for over ten years.

As a technology supplier, we strongly believe that standardization is crucial for creating intelligent security solutions for law enforcement, intelligence agencies, telecom providers and internet service providers. Standardization and active collaboration across the industry makes it possible to combine platforms and solutions from multiple technology vendors, enabling better end-to-end security solutions.

In the field of Lawful Interception, the work of ETSI’s Technical Committee Lawful Interception (TC-LI) has proven to be very effective. The participants are government organizations, telecommunication providers, and technology vendors. Group 2000 actively participates in this committee, covering all aspects of interception and working closely together with other ETSI committees and with the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

The interoperability that is a core element of Group 2000’s strategy and our LIMA product portfolio is based on the adoption of these ETSI and 3GPP standards. The successful implementation of these standards enables lower integration costs and a faster time-to-market for our customers.

Group 2000 will continue to actively participate in and contribute to the ETSI TC-LI standardization efforts and promote the standardization efforts in the years to come!