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Telcordia Notes on Public Switched Network (PSN) Security...FREE

Document Number SR-NOTES-SERIES-19
Issue Number 01
Issue Date Jun 2002

    ABSTRACT: This document is your guide to securing the communications infrastructure.

    Telecommunications is the backbone of business and domestic life. Instant and reliable communications are imperative to our nation's critical infrastructures such as finance, power, water, and transportation. Ensuring the availability of service has never been more important, especially given the need for increased security in support of Homeland Defense. This Special Report (SR) from Telcordia is your guide to protecting and securing the Public Switched Network (PSN) - the network that provides circuit-switched services among all public users and includes packet-switched public data networks and services.

    Protection of the PSN is a matter of national security, as the Office of Homeland Security, the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, the Network Security Force, the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), and other prominent Commissions have made clear. You, as a carrier, network owner, or other telecommunications participant, are charged with providing this valuable protection. Understanding how to provide it, despite the many complicating factors, is imperative.

    The PSN is the hub of communications that enable the elements of the economy to prosper. The social and economic changes in the last decade have put the security, integrity, and availability of this critical infrastructure in jeopardy.

    Security threats are not one-time problems that can be dealt with all at once and forgotten. Like a biological virus, the threats evolve to take advantage of the environment and existing vulnerabilities, and they can never be completely eliminated. Therefore, all stakeholders must exercise constant awareness, vigilance, and action to protect the users of PSN services. This report is based on Industry Standards, Methodologies, and Practices that have been developed to address the multitude of security that exist in this complex network and will get you started in the right direction. With this document, you will learn:

    • The basics of PSN security
    • The elements of a security policy
    • How to assess PSN security
    The structure of the SR also includes separate, detailed sections that look at specific security issues for relevant critical technologies such as:
    • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/ Internet Protocol (IP)
    • Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
    • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
    • Local Number Portability (LNP)
    • Next Generation Network (NGN)
    As mentioned previously, this SR is part of the Telcordia Notes on Technology series of documents, With this series, Telcordia Technologies has devised a starting point for your search through the rapidly developing world of telecommunications. Written by the authors of the successful Telcordia Notes on the Networks document SR-2275, this series similarly contains technical material of interest to engineering and planning groups, as well as descriptions of the characteristics and background of these subjects in layman's terms. The difference is that Telcordia Notes on Technology zeroes in on one technology in each document and breaks it down into manageable terms. From the history, background, and basic elements through a discussion of what the future may bring, our subject matter experts cover the important aspects in as few words as possible. Each document in the series deals with complex, highly technical subjects, and presents the information in a way that makes it accessible and understandable to a variety of readers.

    Related documents include SR-2275, and GR-815.

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