Table of Contents
End-of-Life (EoL)

CIoT Security

GTP deployments on a Palo Alto Networks firewall include cellular IoT security.
Cellular internet of things (CIoT) security enables you to protect your mobile network and CIoT traffic from attacks and to get visibility into CIoT communications in your network. If you are a mobile network operator (MNO) or a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), for example a utility company that focuses on oil, gas, or energy operating as an MVNO, you can use CIoT security to secure CIoT traffic. The firewall supports CIoT technologies (S11-U tunnels, Narrowband IoT [NB-IoT], and LTE-M). The firewall also supports logging of Remote UE identifiers using Proximity Service (ProSe) with device-to-device (D2D) communications over air interfaces in your network. The logging is especially helpful in public safety use cases.
Acronyms in the Topology Figure
Mobile Management Entity
Packet Gateway
Serving Gateway
CIoT security includes:
  • Support for CIoT Evolved Packet System (EPS) optimization:
    • GTP Stateful Inspection of S11 and S11-U tunnels
    • GTP-U Content Inspection of S11-U tunnels (inspect the content of inner IP sessions of S11 GTP-U tunnels)
  • Filtering traffic from IoT devices that connect a mobile network using EUTRAN-NB-IoT (Radio Access Network for NB-IoT). For example, allowing only devices that use NB-IoT to access the network. LTE-M filtering is also supported.
  • Displaying and reporting on D2D (device-to-device) communication using
    Remote User ID
    (IMSI) and
    Remote User IP
    when you monitor GTP or Unified log messages, when you generate custom reports from the GTP
    or GTP
    database, and when you forward GTP logs.
The CIoT security deployment illustrates the S11-U data tunnel, which carries encapsulated data messages using GTP-U. If mobile-originated or mobile-terminated data is transported in control plane CIoT EPS Optimization with PGW connectivity, the MME and SGW use an S11-U tunnel. Information in the GTP payload initiates the establishment of the S11-U tunnel; the Create Session Request and Response exchange between the MME and SGW establishes the S11-U tunnel without needing a Modify Bearer Request and Response exchange to transfer downlink or uplink user data.
For use cases that involve less data (such as communication to or from an IoT device because IoT devices typically send data infrequently), you can use an S11-U data tunnel to reduce the number of signaling messages exchanged on the network. To inspect this data traffic, position a firewall between the MME and the SGW.
To protect your mobile network and CIoT traffic that use 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) technologies, follow the procedure to configure GTPv2-C Stateful Inspection to statefully inspect the S11-U tunnels. Create a Mobile Network Protection Profile and enable
GTP-U Content Inspection
to inspect the content of the GTP-U traffic inside the S11-U tunnels. Attach the profile to a Security policy rule (that identifies the application, such as
) and apply the rule to zones for network elements that use GTP, such as between an MME and SGW.
By enabling
GTP-U Content Inspection
, you can secure CIoT traffic by creating Security policy rules and applying the following security capabilities on IP traffic inside a GTP-U tunnel:
  • App-ID
  • Antivirus
  • Anti-Spyware
  • Vulnerability Protection
  • URL Filtering
  • WildFire
  • Data Filtering
The source and destination zones of GTP-U inner IP sessions are the same zones as those for GTP-U outer sessions.
The firewall does not support Decryption of IP traffic inside GTP-U tunnels.
If you use Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) as Radio Access Technology (RAT), your GTP Protection profile can filter GTP traffic generated for IoT devices and, thus, safely allow only
traffic for trusted services.
If you are using NB-IoT, create a Mobile Network Protection Profile with RAT filtering to
only NB-IoT traffic (allow
) from the trusted services and set the remaining RAT filters to

Recommended For You