Zero-touch network and service automation are essential to unleash the business potential of 5G and beyond. The ultimate automation target is a largely autonomous operation driven by high-level policies and rules, enabling self-configuration, self-monitoring, self-healing and self-optimization – without further human intervention.
Automation is not only about technology; it also requires changes in the mindset of people. Trust is a major barrier to adoption and striving to build it requires a continuous learning process. As more automation processes are deployed and operate safely and efficiently, human trust will increase and the requirement for a level of supervision/intervention will diminish. Having native security (e.g. an adaptive secured framework, access control, trustworthiness, data protection) can help to establish confidence and instill trust as the automated processes deliver the intended business outcomes.
The threat surface in the ZSM environment is extensive, firstly due to the openness of the ZSM framework. The framework is modular, extensible and service-based and expands across multiple domains. Its interfaces are open and offer model-driven services. Protecting the interfaces and the management services within and across the domains is essential to ensure the trustworthiness of the ZSM framework.
In addition, the ZSM services can be produced and consumed by new players coming from diverse industries (e.g. government, vehicle industry, energy, transport, etc.). Each player may require or support different trust levels according to its own deployment/execution environments, security policies and regulations. This variety demands flexible and adaptive security control.