Base station and access radios used in 5G wireless network systems and 4G LTE networks might one day have authentication hardware and software intended to improve their cybersecurity characteristics, according to ComSovereign Holding, a developer of 4G LTE Advanced and 5G wireless communications systems. In its wireless network cybersecurity effort, ComSovereign said, the company collaborates with Total Network Solutions, a developer of blockchain technology.
Blockchain, according to the EuroMoney Learning educational organization, is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack or cheat the system. It said a blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain.
ComSovereign said its wireless network cybersecurity effort supports a presidential executive order issued on May 12 about improving U.S. cybersecurity. Furthermore, ComSovereign said the effort aligns with goals proposed by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) in its program to develop information and communications technology (ICT) supply chain Security 9001 standards.
“ComSovereign is working with the Total Network Solutions project engineering team to explore how blockchain technology could enhance wireless network security,” a statement from ComSovereign reads. “The companies will develop and incorporate advanced multifactor authentication, eSIM, and a tokenized mobile equipment identifier (MEID), called the enhanced MEID (E-MEID), to record network security data on a blockchain. Globally administered by TIA, MEIDs typically show the manufacturer code and the equipment serial number and are permanently affixed to the device and used to facilitate mobile equipment identification and tracking. In this pilot program, ComSovereign has begun integration and real-world/over-the-air (OTA) testing of new authentication hardware and software incorporated into several 4G LTE and 5G wireless network systems, including base stations and access radios. Further testing is ongoing to define and establish performance benchmarks for the new ICT supply chain Security 9001 standard.”
Supply chain security and integrity is a critical element of a comprehensive approach to 5G and all ICT, which ComSovereign embraces as a trusted U.S.-based manufacturer of critical wireless infrastructure, according to Dustin McIntire, the company’s chief technology officer.
“We can fundamentally improve network security by incorporating blockchain technology into the network for device verification,” he said. “This is critical to information assurance. As an organization, we firmly believe that ensuring the security of forthcoming 5G and beyond networks is of paramount importance.”
By creating a globally unique digital token that can represent any associated physical element of a wireless network, a tokenized or enhanced MEID will enable a new, secure, tamper-proof way to document, track and authenticate any wireless device, according to ComSovereign.