Toward secure outsourced middlebox services: practices, challenges, and beyond

Cong Wang, Xingliang Yuan, Yong Cui, Kui Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Modern enterprise networks heavily rely on ubiquitous network middleboxes for advanced traffic processing such as deep packet inspection, traffic classification, and load balancing. Recent advances in NFV have pushed forward the paradigm of migrating in-house middleboxes to third-party providers as software-based services for reduced cost yet increased scalability. Despite its potential, this new service model also raises new security and privacy concerns, as traffic is now redirected and processed in an untrusted environment. In this article, we survey recent efforts in the direction of enabling secure outsourced middlebox functions, and identify open challenges for researchers and practitioners to further investigate solutions toward secure middlebox services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-171
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Network
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Encryption
  • Inspection
  • Middleboxes
  • Pattern matching
  • Protocols

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