ANSI/SCTE 165-10 2020

IPCablecom 1.5 Part 10: Security

IPCablecom is aimed at identifying, qualifying, and supporting packet-based voice and video products over cable systems. These products represent new classes of services utilizing cable-based packet communication networks. New service classes in the near term include voice communications and videoconferencing over cable networks and the Internet.

IPCablecom is a set of protocols and associated element functional requirements developed to provide the capability to deliver Quality-of-Service (QoS) enhanced secure communications services using packetized data transmission technology to a consumer’s home over the cable television Hybrid Fiber/Coax (HFC) data network. IPCablecom utilizes a network superstructure that overlays the two-way data-ready cable television network. While the initial service offerings in the IPCablecom product line are anticipated to be Packet Voice and Packet Video, the long-term project vision encompasses a large family of packet-based services.

The purpose of any security technology is to protect items of value, whether a revenue stream, or a purchasable information asset of some type. Threats to this revenue stream exist when a user of the network perceives the value, expends effort and money, and invents a technique to get around the necessary payments. Some network users will go to extreme lengths to steal when they perceive extreme value. The addition of security technology to protect value has an associated cost; the more expended, the more secure one can be. The proper engineering task is to employ a reasonable costing security technology to force any user with the intent to steal or disrupt network services to spend an unreasonable amount of money to circumvent it. Security effectiveness is thus basic economics.

In addition, an IPCablecom network used to offer voice communications must be at least as secure as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) networks are today. Much of the PSTN security depends on the fact that each telephone is connected to a dedicated line. In order to provide the same level of privacy and resistance to denial-of-service attacks when an IPCablecom IP network is used for voice communications, appropriate cryptography-based security mechanisms have been specified. This secures both voice and signaling data transmitted over a shared HFC network and over a shared IP backbone.