The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a team of researchers, including researchers from FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing, $1 million to continue their work to help thwart cyberattacks ― from computers and mobile devices to large-scale networks.
The research aims to create security solutions for 5G/6G networks. While these Next Generation Networks (NextG) provide faster, high-bandwidth and high-quality services ― and have the capability of connecting millions of IoT (Internet of Things) devices ― they also increase the possibility of compromised security.
Transportation, energy systems, manufacturing, healthcare and agriculture are among the many sectors that may use wireless devices on NextG Networks. Drones, autonomous vehicles, smart city sensors and power grid devices communicate through wireless connections ― some of them unattended or not regularly updated.
“The new technology doesn’t just add bandwidth,” said Professor Kemal Akkaya, head of the Advanced Wireless and Security Lab (ADWISE) in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, who is FIU’s co-principal investigator on the project, along with Professor Ahmed Ibrahim. “It’s a matter of significantly increasing the number and types of devices. While your phone is something you own and carry with you, which makes it possible for you to manage and protect to some degree, some IoT devices can be accessed by outsiders physically or through cyberattacks. An attack like that could go unnoticed for some time.”

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