Ericsson and Canadian Universities Spearhead $80M Cybersecurity Initiative for Resilient 5G Networks


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  • Ericsson partners with Concordia University, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Waterloo for an $80M cybersecurity initiative under the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC).
  • The initiative focuses on developing AI solutions to enhance the security of 5G networks, ensuring resilience against potential cyber threats and attacks.
  • Ericsson Canada’s 70-year legacy in innovation plays a pivotal role in driving the collaboration, aiming to secure the future of telecommunications networks.

In a move to fortify the cybersecurity of Canada’s digital infrastructure, Ericsson, a key player in the country’s innovation landscape, has joined forces with Concordia University, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Waterloo. The collaboration marks a significant milestone in the realm of cybersecurity, as the partners secured a coveted spot in the National Cybersecurity Consortium’s (NCC) program, a flagship initiative of the Government of Canada’s Cyber Security Innovation Network (CSIN). With a staggering $80 million in funding, the collaboration is set to revolutionize the security landscape of 5G networks through innovative AI solutions.

Building cyber resilient 5G networks

The R&D initiative spearheaded by Ericsson and its academic partners aims to bolster the security of 5G networks by leveraging the power of automation and artificial intelligence. As 5G networks become integral to various sectors such as energy, utilities, logistics, public safety, and manufacturing, the need for heightened security measures becomes paramount. While 5G networks inherently exhibit high levels of resilience, the dynamic nature of emerging business contexts and use cases poses unprecedented challenges. The collaboration will focus on developing AI techniques to detect, protect, and prevent attacks on 5G networks, ensuring the integrity of national infrastructures.

Ericsson’s role in this initiative extends beyond fortifying existing security measures. The company plans to explore the application of AI-based solutions in predicting and detecting upcoming attacks, pushing the boundaries of 5G orchestration capabilities. By introducing new defense mechanisms at runtime, Ericsson aims to stay one step ahead of potential threats, laying the foundation for advanced AI capabilities in mobile networks. This project is not merely a response to current cybersecurity challenges but serves as a stepping stone towards preparing for the upcoming era of 6G networks.

Ericsson Canada’s 70-year legacy in innovation

Having played a vital role in Canada’s innovation ecosystem for seven decades, Ericsson Canada stands as a beacon of technological advancement. With R&D centers and offices in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, Ericsson Canada has been a consistent supporter of communication service providers through every generation of mobile communication. The company’s commitment to fostering 5G adoption and collaboration in Canada is evident in its role as a partner in the national ecosystem network.

Jeanette Irekvist, President of Ericsson Canada, emphasizes the importance of partnerships like the one with Concordia University, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Waterloo. As Ericsson Canada celebrates 70 years in the country, these collaborations continue to drive success, facilitating the development and adoption of made-in-Canada solutions in the field of telecommunications.

Strengthening the cybersecurity ecosystem

Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, applauds the investment in the Cybersecurity Innovation Network, recognizing the crucial role it plays in strengthening Canada’s cybersecurity ecosystem. In an era where digital trust is paramount, the collaboration between the National Cybersecurity Consortium, Ericsson, and university partners exemplifies the power of cross-sectorial partnerships. This union between the private sector and academia showcases how innovation today can thrive in the economy of tomorrow.

Eva Fogelström, Director of Security at Ericsson Research, echoes the sentiment, emphasizing the shared competence and collaborative ability within cybersecurity. As the world becomes more interconnected through 5G platforms, these partnerships play a pivotal role in addressing key cybersecurity challenges. The engagement with the National Cybersecurity Consortium signifies Ericsson’s commitment to tackling these challenges collectively with academic and local ecosystem partners.

The collaborative effort between Ericsson and Canadian universities marks a significant leap forward in securing the future of 5G networks. The initiative not only addresses current cybersecurity challenges but also positions itself as a catalyst for advancing AI capabilities in preparation for 6G networks. As the partners embark on this transformative journey, the question lingers: How will this pioneering collaboration shape the landscape of cybersecurity and AI integration in the evolution of mobile networks, ensuring a secure and resilient digital future for Canadians?

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Aamir Sheikh

Amir is a media, marketing and content professional working in the digital industry. A veteran in content production Amir is now an enthusiastic cryptocurrency proponent, analyst and writer.

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