CCI is establishing a 5G security testbed as a collaborative activity and joint resource of the Network. Principal development of the core network and expertise in standing up the equipment will be provided by the CCI Hub. CCI Nodes will explore research issues related to specific application modes of 5G, such as IoT management, smart ports, grid management, UAV and Satellite communications, factory automation, and transportation. The Hub and Node research will leverage base stations (gNBs) located at the Nodes that connect to the 5G core network located at the CCI Hub.
Each application area of 5G will require different security, authentication, and performance requirements from the core network and the gNBs. Core network security, transport networks, and gNBs will be explored for security vulnerabilities and for solutions to those vulnerabilities.
As use cases evolve, this testbed will be augmented with additional test equipment, commercial-grade networking software, and gNBs.
The 5G testbed organizational and technical design is based on important use cases, for each of which the sponsoring academic institution has demonstrated an impressive performance. The testbed will:
- Provide a high-quality and high-efficiency test and experiment facility for academic research by academic faculty, postdocs and graduate students, industry and federal partners, and entrepreneurs across the Network.
- Provide a training facility for red and blue-teaming and comprehensive 5G cybersecurity wargaming for (a) students and academic researchers (b) industry collaborators and (c) government workers working in 5G cellular research and development.
- Provide a vulnerability testing and validation service for off-the-shelf equipment for 5G vendors and government workers in 5G development and operations.
- Serve as a resource for other research areas that will likely be highly dependent on 5G. For example, agriculture is expected to benefit greatly though mass deployment of sensors on an agriculture field connected to 5G; exploring the benefits of this approach would be advantageous to the Commonwealth.
For an overview of the current 5G security testbed capabilities, see the video below: