Zain KSA and Enea announce next-gen signalling overlay security technology

25th April 2024
Kristian McCann

Zain KSA and Enea have announced a pioneering initiative in next-gen signaling overlay security technology.


The technology marks a significant development, enabling operators to enhance their signaling firewall architecture to shield both virtual and traditional network infrastructures from emerging threats.

On 25th April 2024 in Stockholm, Sweden, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Enea, a telecom network security specialist, and Zain KSA, a mobile telecommunications and digital services provider in Saudi Arabia, declared their collaboration to pilot the world’s first mobile network signaling overlay technology. This innovation, initially devised in Enea’s Technology Research unit during 2023 with patents filed in December 2023, significantly expands signaling firewall capabilities.

Enea's signaling overlay technology utilises a novel approach to boost mobile network security and efficiency. By implementing transport layer-aware distributed ingestion across both virtual/cloud and traditional network infrastructures, signaling firewalls are equipped with deeper insights into network events, providing robust protection against emerging threats. The adaptive signaling firewall's advanced detection and protocol correlation techniques enable mobile operators to defend their networks against sophisticated attacks.

This enduring partnership between Zain KSA and Enea is strengthened by Zain KSA’s dedication to network security and its openness to adopting new technologies, making it an excellent partner for this initiative. Moreover, Zain KSA’s extensive network infrastructure creates an ideal setting for field validation of the concept.

The signaling security overlay technology pilot will be conducted within Zain KSA’s network in Saudi Arabia throughout 2024. As part of Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom aims to become a leader in ICT and transform into a sustainable digital economy, positioning itself at the forefront of 5G development. With escalating global threats to telecom networks, network security has become a crucial priority for Zain KSA, which continuously invests in security for both signaling and messaging to protect its vast digital ecosystem. This pilot will expedite the innovation and deployment of next-gen signaling security solutions for complex and sophisticated network security attacks.

A memorandum of understanding for this world-first pilot was signed at the Mobile World Congress Barcelona by Anders Lidbeck, CEO of Enea, and Eng. Abdulrahman Al Mufadda, COO of Zain KSA. Although Zain KSA will be the first to trial the new technology, the pilot programme may extend to several other markets and customers. The trial, set to begin in 2024, highlights both companies' dedication to advancing telecom technology and enhancing network security.

"The advent of cloud and virtualised infrastructures, along with the proliferation of private networks and APIs, has introduced new complexities and vulnerabilities in mobile networks, significantly heightening the risk of sophisticated cyberattacks," stated Anders Lidbeck, CEO of Enea. “This partnership builds on our longstanding relationship with Zain KSA, and underscores our shared commitment to enhancing network security and embracing innovation."

Eng. Abdulrahman Al Mufadda, COO of Zain KSA, 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."

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