FCC Announces Progress in Addressing Diameter Protocol Security Concerns, Paving Way for 5G and 911 Upgrades – Law Street Media

On July 27, Ajit Pai, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman, announced that work to resolve security concerns associated with the Diameter protocol has progressed substantially. Monday’s press release said this effort is an essential part of telecommunications infrastructure which is used to interchange authenticating, authorizing, and accounting information in and among communications networks.

Previously, Chairman Pai enlisted the help of the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), a chartered body whose mission is to “provide recommendations to the FCC to ensure, among other things, optimal security and reliability of communications systems, including telecommunications, media, and public safety,” according to CSRIC’s website. The chairman asked the CSRIC to analyze Diameter protocol threats and develop recommendations to mitigate risk.

The CSRIC recently did so, propounding best security practices for wireless service providers. The Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau recently conducted an assessment of the measures’ efficacy, finding “widespread adoption across the industry, with implementation of these measures either completed or underway by most providers,” according to Bureau Chief Lisa M. Fowlkes.

Chairman Pai applauded industry efforts, citing the importance of nationwide “secure and reliable communications networks.” He also thanked the CSRIC for its contributions, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically for its “efforts to promote network security during the transition to 5G networks” Current CSRIC members are helping promulgate security recommendations for the 5G transition, with particular regard to the migration of 911 emergency services from “from legacy to IP-based networks,” to realize so-called “Next Generation 911.”


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