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Ericsson Allies with Canadian Universities for AI Cybersecurity

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Ericsson is working with post-secondary partners on a new research drive toward innovative AI-based cybersecurity solutions as part of the Government of Canada’s new Cyber Security Innovation Network.

Ericsson is proud to partner in a flagship R&D initiative with Concordia University, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Waterloo in successfully applying to the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC). The NCC leads the Government of Canada’s new Cyber Security Innovation Network (CSIN) program that will provide up to $80M in funding to support cybersecurity initiatives across Canada.

This R&D initiative will build cyber resilience and secure 5G networks through automation and AI that can detect, protect, and prevent attacks on 5G and future 6G networks.

Jeanette Irekvist, President, Ericsson Canada, says: “Canada is a leader in cyber security and similarly, our researchers and experts at Ericsson have long been studying how to best innovate and secure telecommunications networks. We hope this partnership with Concordia University, the University of Manitoba and the University of Waterloo will help support the field and the adoption of made-in-Canada solutions. As we celebrate 70 years in Canada, partnerships like this continue to drive our success here.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, says: “In an increasingly digital world, trust is key to Canadians achieving their full innovative and economic potential. With this investment, the Cyber Security Innovation Network is strengthening our cybersecurity ecosystem by fostering partnerships to bridge sectors. The National Cybersecurity Consortium, Ericsson and university partners are showcasing how collaboration between the private sector and academia will ensure today’s innovations can thrive in tomorrow’s economy.”

Eva Fogelström, Director of Security at Ericsson Research, says: “Our shared competence and ability to collaborate within cybersecurity matters will continue to play a pivotal role as more of the world’s enterprises, societies and economies connect to the 5G platform. As a strong advocate for cross-sectorial partnerships, Ericsson is proud to engage with the National Cybersecurity Consortium and we look forward to addressing key cybersecurity challenges in 5G and 6G together with our partners in academia and local ecosystems.”

Mobile network platforms now serve as highly critical components within national infrastructures, supporting both mission and business critical processes across sectors including energy, utilities, logistics, public safety, and manufacturing operating in a new mobile cloud paradigm.

Professor Mourad Debbabi, Director of the Security Research Centre at Concordia University, says: “Ericsson’s involvement with Concordia and the NCC allows our common vision to become reality. Thanks to Ericsson, we can now proactively enhance 5G networks’ security to benefit all Canadians. Our collaboration will also enable us to train top cybersecurity talent across Canada.”

5G networks already ensure extremely high levels of resilience. However, the adoption of new business contexts and use cases at scale will also place unprecedented new demands on the network, generating complex security and privacy requirements, as well as a growth in potentially unsecure devices. To ensure the integrity of national infrastructures, the 5G platform must remain secure and highly resilient.

Charmaine B. Dean, Vice-President, Research and International, University of Waterloo, says: “We are pleased to collaborate with Ericsson and other academic partners to develop and enhance knowledge and expertise in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Through our network of interdisciplinary researchers across the University and our Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute (CPI), Waterloo contributes to this critical need to support and advance the initiatives of the Government of Canada’s new Cyber Security Innovation Network.”

Assistant Professor Azadeh Tabiban, Computer Science at the University of Manitoba, says: “This industry-academia collaboration and funding support enable building practical solutions that can be integrated with real-world environments. Such a joint effort leads to more transparent and secure 5G networks, which increases the wider adoption of 5G-enabled technologies with cost-effective and life-saving benefits to our society.”

Ericsson will build on the 5G platform’s inherent resilience and security by researching and developing new innovative AI techniques that can enhance and automate the current security of 5G networks by new means to detect zero-day attacks. Ericsson will also explore the impact of AI-based solutions in predicting upcoming attacks, detecting ongoing attacks, and applying 5G orchestration capabilities to test and deploy new defense mechanisms at run time.

The project is expected to lay a strong foundation to advance the development of AI capabilities in mobile networks and will serve as a springboard into ongoing research of upcoming 6G networks.

70 Years of Connecting Canadians

Ericsson Canada has played a vital role in the country’s innovation ecosystem for 70 years, including supporting communications service providers through every generation of mobile communication. Ericsson Canada is also a partner in the national ecosystem network aimed at fostering 5G adoption and collaboration in Canada. Ericsson Canada has R&D centres and offices in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto and is among the leading R&D spenders in the country – averaging some CAD 345 million per year.

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