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Intel Showcasing MEC Blueprint for Private 5G Zero Trust Access at MWC ‘23

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Intel Showcasing MEC Blueprint for Private 5G Zero

Trust Access at MWC ‘23

By Bob Ghaffari, VP Network and Edge Group, GM Enterprise and Cloud Network Division, Intel Corporation


Mobile World Congress is an opportunity to see groundbreaking solutions being introduced to the telecommunications industry that enterprises around the world can take advantage of.  This year’s event in Barcelona will be no exception.  One solution that will be showcased has been put together by Intel and four collaborating companies.  This solution shows an implementation of a critical global asset deployed on a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) Point of Presences over a private 5G network using a Kubernetes blueprint secured by Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA).


Maritime Ports are a Vulnerable Global Asset we need to protect from Cyber-Crime

The critical infrastructure is maritime ports.  These ports are the distribution point for 80% of all goods sold in the world1.  It is estimated that $14 Trillion of goods are shipped in containers worldwide2.  The shipping industry is a vulnerable asset to the world economy.  This was seen during the effects of the pandemic.  Maritime ports have a very large attack surface with many disparate connecting clients to maintain world shipping. This makes ports a prime target for hackers and bad actors from private parties to influential nation states.  Securing these assets is a high priority and Intel teamed up with hardware and software vendors to address the issue.


ZTNA is an essential security measure to protect critical infrastructure

In 2019 Gartner introduced the new security paradigm called SASE4.  Maritime ports and any other smart Infrastructure like, cities, mines, healthcare, or industrial manufacturing needs a set of solutions aligned to SASE.  At MWC Intel will be demonstrating ZTNA as it applies to securing the network of a maritime port.  With the help of Zscaler, Inc. we will show how a container scanning and tracking application is secured using ZTNA techniques in a SASE point-of-presence running in the network edge.


Intel and Supermicro provide compute platform for a secure point-of-presence

Creating a hardened compute presence in a network edge is a tricking undertaking.  These locations have extreme power, thermal and security requirements that need optimized compute infrastructure to support reliable processing of Internet of Things (IoT) devices like cameras and scanners.  Supermico provided a platform designed for such purposes.  The Supermicro SuperServer SYS-211SE-31A features the 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor with Intel Ethernet Network Adapter E810.  This platform is built for the edge with the latest Intel Xeon processors and the latest Intel 100 GbE network adapters. 

Automated Container Tracking is the workload

The application at the heart of this solution is the container identification recognition and scanning system called Conscan provided by Integrated Systems and Systems Design (ISSD).  This application deploys processing units at the ingress and egress points of a port.  This processing unit is the point of aggregation for multiple cameras and scanners that track the movements of trucks and containers in a port. This automates to logistics of the port to ensure containers are delivered to the right places at the right times while eliminating manual tracking.  By securing the application with ZTNA we prevent bad actors from installing malware and ransomware, performing reconnaissance, redirecting containers for illicit activities, and generally causing disruption to the economy.


Intel Smart Edge Software and Kubernetes Blueprints Make Provisioning Easy

While this demonstration is focused on the deployment of a single ISSD processing unit, the solution encompasses the management of multiple processing units across multiple locations worldwide.  We have enabled a cloud managed set of cloud ready applications that can be provisioned and orchestrated using a standard Kubernetes blueprint.  The framework for accomplishing this is from Rafay, Inc.  Rafay incorporates Intel Smart Edge Software for provisioning the software and the network in a distributed fashion over a 5G network.

Come see us at MWC

If you are going to MWC in Barcelona make a point of coming by the Intel booth to see the demonstration of Delivering 5G Zero Trust Access with SASE. 



(1)80% of international trade goes through Ports (Review of Maritime Transportation 2021, UNCTAD, 2021)

(2)$14T of goods are shipped in containers (https://theconversation.com/todays-global-economy-runs-on-standardized-shipping-containers-as-the-ever-given-fiasco-illustrates-158179)

(3)$16B Global Shipping in 2028 (statista.com/topics/1367/container-shipping)

(4) https://blogs.gartner.com/andrew-lerner/2019/12/23/say-hello-sase-secure-access-service-edge/

About the Author
Bob Ghaffari is currently Vice President, Network & Edge Group, General Manager, Enterprise and Cloud Division at Intel Corporation. He is responsible for working with key customers and partners to enable best-in-class solutions for the Edge and Cloud with a focus on network and security solution use cases. Ghaffari’s organization works closely with enterprises, service providers and industry partners to deliver agile, secure, scalable and cost-effective network and edge solutions for multi and hybrid cloud implementations. Prior to this position, Ghaffari has held several positions in product development, business development and marketing strategy. Bob has an EECS degree from UC Berkeley and a MBA from Santa Clara University.