CTIA 5G Security Test Bed assesses potential threats to 5G security

CTIA launched 5G Security Test Bed (STB), a security testing and validation initiative for commercial 5G networks.

CTIA 5G safety test bench

CTIA developed the STB in partnership with wireless, technology and academic organizations to test 5G security recommendations in real-world conditions using off-the-shelf equipment and facilities. The founding members of the 5G Security Test Bed – AT&T, Ericsson, T-Mobile, UScellular, MITER and the University of Maryland (UMD) – contribute invaluable industry expertise that strengthens STB’s ability to power the wireless security ecosystem improve and ensure strong protection on 5G networks.

5G is the most secure generation of wireless technology, with advanced protection built in from the ground up. The STB was formed to build on this foundation, testing use cases, making recommendations, and further strengthening 5G security to help consumers, businesses, and governments.

Led by industry leaders, governed by government priorities and managed by CTIA, the testbed is the latest in a series of steps the industry has taken to make 5G the most secure network ever. The founding members developed the initiative through their participation in CTIA’s Cybersecurity Working Group, which brings together the world’s leading telecom and technology companies to assess and address the present and future of cybersecurity.

The STB is primarily focused on reviewing the Communications Security Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) VII recommendations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for 5G networks. The STB will also serve as a valuable industry resource for CSRIC VIII, which focuses on 5G security and launched in June and whose membership includes CTIA SVP and CTO Tom Sawanobori.

“This initiative will complement and strengthen the FCC’s 5G security efforts, validating its recommendations and demonstrating 5G security capabilities, with cross-industry groups working together to test use cases and products in an actual 5G network with real hardware and software,” said Sawanobori.

The initial test bench configuration, created with Ericsson equipment, reflects the initial setup for most 5G networks – a 5G radio access network is connected to a 4G core to form a 5G Non-Standalone Network (NSA). to create. In 2022, the configuration of the STB will transition to a standalone 5G network (SA) with a 5G core, enabling testing of 5G SA use cases.

The STB is located in a secure laboratory facility at the University of Maryland and utilizes personnel with extensive experience in wireless security. The core wireless network is hosted in Northern Virginia by MITER, a not-for-profit research and development company.

The 5G Security Test Bed’s assessments and recommendations cover problem areas that will help transform cities, governments and industries. Applications include autonomous vehicles, immersive augmented and virtual reality, automated factory operations, enterprise 5G private networks, and more.

“We are pleased to have a security testing network in place, which is paramount to the success of 5G. This effort builds on the ongoing work of standards bodies like 3GPP and will allow the industry to demonstrate 5G security in a real-world environment for consumers, businesses and governments,” said Chris Boyer, VP, Global Security and Technology Policy, AT&T.

Ericsson has been working closely with operators to provide the latest equipment to expand secure 5G networks and devices across the country. We are excited to play an important role in this next critical step in ensuring robust 5G security for all users. Critical infrastructures in particular must have secure and resilient end-to-end communications while maintaining the trust and integrity of their supply chain. Ericsson is proud to be such a trusted supplier as we ship many of these next-generation devices from our 5G Smart Factory in Lewisville, TX and services from across the US,” said Jason Boswell, VP and Head of End-to -End Security, Ericsson North America.

“Securing 5G networks is a nationwide issue with significant implications for our economic and national security that requires industry and government collaboration. Ensuring that the next generation of wireless networks is secure and reflects democratic values ​​will provide an invaluable foundation for further innovation,” said Charles Clancy, senior vice president, general manager and chief futurist, MITER Labs.

“5G is the most secure generation of wireless networks yet, and we are committed to improving that protection even further. We are excited that the 5G Security Test Bed will provide an environment to assess potential 5G security threats raised by security researchers,” said Drew Morin, Director, Federal Cyber ​​Security Technology and Engineering Programs, T -Mobile.

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