A Smart and Adaptive Framework for Enhancing Trust in 6G Networks

Duration: 01/01/2024 – 31/12/2026   |   Total Funding: € 4,325,270

Challenge

Network architectures that need to support a broad range of services are the consequence of the operator-centric strategy. As a result, there are now monolithic network entities, such as mobility management, serving gateway, and packet data network gateway in 4G, as well as network functions, such as Access Management Functions and User Plane Functions in 5G that are designed to simultaneously support many end users. Monolithic network services could become significant bottleneck sources as the number of linked devices/users rises. In order to overcome these challenges, network services need to be re-directed on users, following a user-centric approach, the distinguishing characteristic of the 6G architecture, enabling user-definition, user-configuration, and user-control.

In order to implement the user-centric 6G network, architectural redesign of the core network is required, driven by the distributed edge-cloud continuum and the openness of the 6G system. However, the 6G vision for an open, distributed and user-centric evolution of the current Service-Based Architecture core network creates many security challenges and risks. The existing 5G security architecture is adaptable to a centralised network architecture, and in 5G, trust connections between network parts are created at the protocol level, rather than involving device and network behaviour. In the envisioned 6G network ecosystem, trusted connections are critical for all parties involved, extending security and privacy to a more inclusive framework, such as trustworthiness, which should be assured as a native feature. Therefore, the most significant paradigm adjustments are the shift from a security-only focus to a broader scope of native holistic approach that includes safety, security, privacy, resilience and reliability.

Project Objectives

SAFE 6G aims to apprehend this vision through the:

1

Design, implementation and evaluation of a cognitive coordination framework of the distributed Explainable AI/ML techniques that realise the Level of Trust at each user-centric 6G System instance across the edge-cloud continuum, together with an MLOps training framework.

2

Design and development of the five AI-assisted user-centric functions (safety, security, privacy, resilience and reliability) that altogether in a zero-trust approach and under cognitive coordination realise the native trustworthiness of a user-centric distributed 6G ecosystem.

3

Pursue of compatibility between the developed framework with currently developed edge cloud continuum MetaOS, reassuring interoperability, compatibility and sustainability of the proposed SAFE-6G framework in future deployments.

4

Verification and validation of the proposed framework using two Metaverse-based pilots, where the immersive-applications will be tested considering different 6G system setups, different service flavours, deployments and under various threats and attacks.

eBOS Role in the Project

eBOS’ technical role in the project is to design and develop an open-source AI-based Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) stack that emphasises strong network security and safety, tailored to function seamlessly with SAFE-6G’s proposed user-centric 6G Packet Core. The developed AI-empowered SDP will provide the protection of infrastructure nodes and ensuring the availability of relevant microservices to specific users, creating new opportunities and capabilities for the telecommunication industry.

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. SAFE-6G project has received funding from the Smart Networks and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS JU) under the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 101139031.