Zain KSA and Enea Announce Next-Gen Signaling Overlay Security Innovation

Enea, a world-leading telecom network security specialist and Zain KSA, a pioneering mobile telecommunications and digital services provider in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, announced a collaboration to pilot the world’s first mobile network signaling overlay technology, significantly extending signaling firewall capabilities. The patent-pending signaling security overlay was conceived in Enea’s Technology Research unit in 2023, with patents filed in December 2023.

Enea’s signaling overlay technology represents a novel approach to enhancing mobile network security and efficiency. By employing transport layer-aware distributed ingestion across both virtual/cloud and traditional network infrastructures, signaling firewalls gain deeper insights into network events, ensuring robust protection against emerging threats. Leveraging the adaptive signaling firewall’s advanced techniques for detection and protocol correlation, the overlay technology enables mobile operators to safeguard their networks against sophisticated attacks.

The long-standing collaboration between Zain KSA and Enea is underpinned by Zain KSA’s commitment to network security and its willingness to embrace new technologies, making it an ideal partner for this initiative. Additionally, Zain KSA’s extensive network infrastructure provides an optimal environment for field validation of the concept.

The signaling security overlay technology pilot project will be undertaken in Zain KSA’s network in Saudi Arabia during 2024. The Kingdom is at the forefront of 5G development as part of Saudi Vision 2030’s goal to become an ICT leader and transform into a sustainable digital economy. With the global threats on telecom networks escalating, network security has become a high priority for Zain KSA, which has consistently invested in security for both signaling and messaging to safeguard its extensive digital ecosystem. This pilot will accelerate the technology innovation and deployment of next-generation signaling security solutions for complex and more sophisticated network security attacks.

Anders Lidbeck, CEO of Enea, and Eng. Abdulrahman Al Mufadda, COO of Zain KSA, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the world’s first pilot at Mobile World Congress Barcelona. While Zain KSA will be the first to test the new technology, the pilot program may be expanded to several other markets and customers. The trial, to commence in 2024, underscores both companies’ commitment to advancing telecom technology and enhancing network security.

“The emergence of cloud and virtualized infrastructures, along with the proliferation of private networks and APIs, has introduced new complexities and vulnerabilities in mobile networks, significantly increasing the risk of sophisticated cyberattacks,” commented Anders Lidbeck. “This partnership builds on our long-standing relationship with Zain KSA, and emphasizes our shared commitment to enhancing network security and embracing innovation.”

Eng. Abdulrahman Al Mufadda added, “At Zain KSA, we are dedicated to driving the digital transformation goals of all our customers through advanced, reliable, and secure ecosystems. Zain KSA’s collaboration with Enea reflects our dedication to securing and advancing our network infrastructure. By being the first to test this promising technology, we are cementing our position at the forefront of telecom innovation, furthering our commitment to providing secure and cutting-edge solutions to our individual and business customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”