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Security, trust and privacy

New technologies bring exciting opportunities, but also a greater potential for malicious attacks. Solving and proactively tackling the challenge of security, privacy and trust will be key to unlocking the full value potential of 6G. Download e-book

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What is this research about?

We are researching a security vision and security technology enablers for the 6G era that achieve the highest benchmarks for privacy and trust. 6G will bring new capabilities and novel performance attributes to the network and enable diversity of new use cases and applications. But unless consumers, businesses and industries are comfortable that these networks and applications are secure, private and trustworthy, they will never embrace them.

Why is this research important?

The 6G world will bring holographic telepresence, autonomously collaborating robot systems, massive digital twinning, the digital transformation of our workplaces and even enhanced personal health monitoring. It’s clear that security and privacy will be of paramount importance. With billions more connected devices and sensors, and millions of subnetworks operating in untrusted domains, we can expect more and new types of threats. While artificial intelligence and machine learning will help in the fight, they will also provide new opportunities for hackers.

Security And Trust Challenges

What are some of the main challenges?

  • A 6G network will be able to locate a person’s precise position in a room, as well as track their habits. Hacked bio data could be used for sophisticated fraud and extortion attempts.

  • The confidentiality of business data will assume even greater importance, as business models increasingly rely on controlled access to and ownership of customer, process and business data. Ransomware attacks, corporate espionage and “deep fakes” will pose ever bigger threats in the 6G era

  • The unparalleled processing power of quantum computing will give attackers means to hack current cryptographic algorithms and dependent security procedures once thought impenetrable.

  • Localized industrial and campus networks will become the norm, as will their appeal to attackers, raising the possibility of industrial and critical infrastructure sabotage that could cause considerable damage to equipment and lives.

Which technologies could help to overcome these challenges?

  • Many of today’s cryptographic algorithms will need to be replaced with quantum-safe concepts. This change needs to start now, so we can protect today’s long-term archived data against future disclosure. Also, Quantum Key Distribution may provide a way to secure 6G networks and protocols.

  • Anonymization and enhanced privacy-preserving technologies will help to protect our data. This includes homomorphic encryption, a technique which allows us to analyze data without disclosing it.

  • Trust technologies like Trusted Platform Module and Trusted Execution Environments will attest data and system integrity as well as provide proof of data ownership anchored in silicon and hardware.

  • Distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain technology will be used for tamper proof tracking of security claims like data access rights. Distributed ledger technologies provide a secure framework to simplify establishment of trust across heterogeneous operator domains and enhance 6G era use cases.

  • Industrial networks will be safeguarded with measures such as physical layer protection and jamming detectors. They will have countermeasures like directional null steering for uplink jamming mitigation and frequency hopping.

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