To enable new digital services to thrive, the 6G infrastructure needs to ensure reliability, trust, and resilience across different types of environments. However, as the 6G network becomes more widespread, concerns about security and privacy are increasing. It’s important that the 6G network integrates AI tools, hardware components, computing functions, IoT devices, and edge nodes to provide a more comprehensive solution. The current IT security solutions are not designed to handle a large number of connected devices, especially IoT devices that lack strong cryptography or mutual authentication. This makes them vulnerable to security breaches.
To build the foundation for the 6G network, several technologies are being considered, such as post-quantum cryptography, artificial intelligence, machine learning, multi-access edge computing, and distributed ledger technologies like blockchains. These technologies require new approaches to authentication, encryption, access control, communication, and detecting malicious activity. Novel security techniques are needed to satisfy the higher security requirements of the future network, and new security approaches are necessary to ensure trustworthiness and privacy.
There are many different 6G architectures being proposed, but our previous work has identified 4 segments that require dedicated security considerations: platform, functions, orchestration, and specialization. One of the big changes with 6G will be the move to a cloud-native and microservice architecture, which allows for scalable applications in dynamic cloud environments. The 6G Core will have enhancements to address various industries and their unique requirements. AI/ML support will also be developed further to enhance scalability and resource-efficiency. One of the key enhancements will be decentralizing AI/ML operations to keep data at the edge for improved security and privacy.
CONFIDENTIAL6G’s research will be based on 3 pillars: post-quantum and privacy-preserving cryptography, confidential computing, and confidential communication.
CONFIDENTIAL6G will develop tools, libraries, and blueprints to ensure confidentiality in 6G. This includes cryptographic enablers as the foundation for building advanced software components, platforms, and applications that enhance secure communication and computing. This will involve using techniques such as secure multi-party computation and federated AI/ML orchestration. The development of future systems will also rely on advanced cryptographic protocols that are resistant to quantum computing attacks, and formal security proofs to ensure the highest level of security.
Explore and define modern, efficient and quantum-resistant security enablers, cryptographic primitives, libraries and tools for confidential computing (i.e. multi-party AI/ML) and networking (such as decentralized blockchain networks) applicable in 6G and across a complete edge-cloud continuum, addressing the challenge of open-source solutions developed in the context of multi-vendor interoperability.
Prototype efficient, sustainable, attestable, GDPR compliant and secure methods for confidential computing, based on both hardware and software mechanisms, applicable on collaborative privacy- preserving AI/ML accessed by multi-stakeholders and tenants.
Design and development of secure and privacy-preserving edge-cloud networking suitable for confidential collaborative computing orchestration, distributed and federated Machine Learning operations.
Integrate developed mechanisms, algorithms and tools into a set of modular containerized framework, tested and evaluated in the predefined B5G-relevant use cases.
To facilitate 6G security standardization, exploitation, and dissemination of the developed cryptographic and privacy-preserving libraries, tools, and mechanisms , and providing a clear strategy in relation to EU supply capabilities and opportunities in the context of a future cloud continuum.