On the Road to 6G

Joint EuCNC & 6G Summit

Milon Gupta

The theme of the 2021 Joint EuCNC & 6G Summit from 8th to 11th June 2021 was “On the Road to 6G”. The event, which was originally planned to take place in Porto, Portugal, was held in virtual format, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It included the conference as well as the exhibition.

The conference focused on a wide array of telecommunications aspects ranging from 5G deployment and mobile IoT to 6G exploration and future communications systems and networks, including experimentation and testbeds, and applications and services. The dominant topic in many sessions was 6G respectively Beyond 5G. However, many topics discussed were relevant for both 5G and 6G. This included particularly security.

Joint EuCNC & 6G Summit website

Workshop on Automated and Intelligent Security

On the first day of the event (8th June), the FAST workshop ‘From 5G to 6G Automated and Intelligent SecuriTy’, which was co-organised by 5G PPP project INSPIRE-5Gplus, addressed important cybersecurity risks.

Experts from a number of EC projects and a keynote speaker from IEEE explored innovative concepts for security management of 5G networks and beyond from a holistic high-level architecture perspective. Crucial topics discussed at the workshop for reaching a fully-automated and secured 5G infrastructure included the adoption of a set of emerging trends and technologies, namely, Zero-touch network and Service Management (ZSM), Software-Defined Security (SDSec)models, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) techniques, Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), Zero Trust models, and Trusted Execution Environments (TEE).

The workshop was opened by Pascal Bisson from Thales and Antonio Skarmeta from University of Murcia. It was organized around a set of key thematic areas structured in four sessions, with the participation of 13 5G projects and a prominent keynote speaker.

Session 1 was dedicated to ‘Security and Trust Architecture for Beyond 5G Networks’ and included presentations on related aspects, from the definition of a security management closed-loop to security and trust mechanisms and outlier detection for 5G security.

Session 2 explored ‘Automated and Intelligent (smart) Security network management’. The ­presentations covered topics like ‘ZSM Security Orchestration for Multi-Tenant 5G Networks’,
‘On-demand deployment of security services’, ‘Hardening Interdomain Vertical Services with Moving Target Defense’, and ‘Security Challenges on 5G CCAM Scenarios’.

In the keynote following this session, Ashutosh Dutta, IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer & Co-Chair for IEEE Future Initiative, presented key points to be considered for secure adoption and usage of 5G.

Ashutosh Dutta, IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer & Co-Chair for IEEE Future Initiative

Session 3 discussed ‘Security Beyond 5G Networks and Services’. It included presentations on ‘Trustworthy Networking Beyond 5G’and ‘Cloud-Scale SDN Network Security in TeraFlow’.

Session 4 finally explored ‘Security Enablers for Beyond 5G Networks and Services’. The presentations covered topics ranging from ‘Machine Learning Applied to 5G Network Cyber Range’, ‘Security and Trust in NetApp Deployment and Operation’, ‘5G Embedded Trust, and ‘Practical Autonomous Cyberhealth for Resilient Micro/Small/Medium-Sized Enterprises’.

The FAST workshop gave an excellent overview on the status of research on automated and intelligent security in 5G and highlighted the challenges on the road towards 6G.

Online presentation at the FAST workshop ‘From 5G to 6G Automated and Intelligent SecuriTy’

Smart Networks and Services JU

In a workshop on the final day of the event (11th June 2021), the objectives and structure of the new European Joint Undertaking (JU) on Smart Networks and Services (SNS) were presented. The envisaged budget volume of the SNS JU is 900 million euro, according to a statement published on the 5G-IA website.

The goal of the SNS JU partnership will be to define and implement the research, innovation and deployment roadmaps that will enable Europe to take a leading role in the creation of the next generation of smart network technologies and services, also known as 6G.

The SNS JU partnership will focus on facilitating the full digitization of European society including vertical industries and public administration services. The 6G SNS solutions will be designed and implemented in such a way that European values like security and privacy are safeguarded, and that European technological sovereignty is further strengthened. The SNS Partnership targets to have a perceptible positive impact on the quality of life of European citizens and a noticeable boost in the European data economy by 2030.

Further information

Joint EuCNC & 6G Summit website – https://www.eucnc.eu

FAST workshop page – https://www.eucnc.eu/workshops/workshop-8/

SNS Partnership – https://5g-ia.eu/sns-horizon-europe