ABI Research, a provider of research and analysis on trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies, stated in its latest report "Femtocell and Small cell Security" that outdoor small cells carry a bigger security risk given the rapid growth in today's network.
With more operators planning larger scale deployments of small cells in enterprise and urban outdoors in response to increased demand on the network capacity, security will start becoming a key concern as outdoor small cells are susceptible to a wide range of external attacks. ABI estimates that by 2016, small cell shipments will overtake macrocells reaching 15 million units through 2019.
ABI listed data privacy threats, service fraud, denial of service, and operation malfunctioning as some of the security threats posed by the outdoor small cells and cautioned operators that pre-emptive measures are crucial to ensure that subscribers' confidence in the network is not impacted. ABI recommended a wide range of security measures including storing credentials in protected unit, authenticating femto and core mutually and performing location verification which are required for main functions such as device booting and establishment of core connection.