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UW team helping to develop secure 5G mobile networks

A team of computer scientists at the University of Waterloo is leading a $1.5 million multi-partner consortium to develop secure 5G mobile networks and improve the country’s security and defence.

The group is being funded by the Department of National Defence.

Other partners involved in the three-year project include École de technologie supérieure in Montréal, University of Regina, BlackBerry, NoviFlow, and Rockport Networks, with support from Rogers Communications.

“Our mobile communications networks can be sliced using software into fit-for-purpose networks that operate virtually, each with a different degree of isolation and level of quality-of-service to meet security and performance requirements,” Raouf Boutaba, the project’s principal investigator and director of Waterloo’s Cheriton School of Computer Science, said in a news release.

“However, network softwarization also introduces vulnerabilities that can compromise services, including slices. The goal of the consortium is to deploy 5G network slices that not only have high performance, flexibility and reliability but also have increased security levels required for critical applications.” Boutaba added.

One area the consortium plans to tackle is to create artificial intelligence systems to detect a range of cyberattacks on 5G network slices as they happen, and respond quickly and automatically with countermeasures to keep the network secure. CityNews Kitchener

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