Network function virtualization (NFV) is a new networking paradigm that virtualizes single network functions. NFV introduces several advantages compared to classical approaches, such as the dynamic provisioning of functionality or the implementation of scalable and reliable services (e.g., adding a new instance to support demands). NFV also allows the deployment of security controls, like firewalls or VPN gateways, as virtualized network functions. However, currently there is not an automatic way to select the security functions to enable and to configure the selected ones according to a set of user’s security requirements.
This paper presents a first approach towards the integration of network and security policy management into the NFV framework. By adding to the NFV architecture a new software component, the Policy Manager, we provide NFV with an easy and effective way for users to specify their security requirements and a process that hides all the details of the correct deployment and configuration of security functions. To perform its tasks, the Policy Manager uses policy refinement techniques.