Security in Software-Defined Networking: Threats and Countermeasures
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In recent years, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) has been a focus of research. As a promising network architecture, SDN will possibly replace traditional networking, as it brings promising opportunities for network management in terms of simplicity, programmability, and elasticity. While many efforts are currently being made to standardize this emerging paradigm, careful attention needs to be also paid to security at this early design stage. This paper focuses on the security aspects of SDN. We begin by discussing characteristics and standards of SDN. On the basis of these, we discuss the security features as a whole and then analyze the security threats and countermeasures in detail from three aspects, based on which part of the SDN paradigm they target, i.e., the data forwarding layer, the control layer and the application layer. Countermeasure techniques that could be used to prevent, mitigate, or recover from some of such attacks are also described, while the threats encountered when developing these defensive mechanisms are highlighted.