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Barkhausen Institut


Research for secure and trustworthy 6G Networks

Mobile communication of the next generation (6G) offers many attractive possibilities for industry. The novel concept of "Integrated Sensing and Communications" (ISAC) enables sensing and monitoring of the environment in addition to mobile communications. It is thus able to detect intruders, prevent collisions of autonomous vehicles or detect faulty machinery. When these tasks are taken over by the mobile network, substantial cost savings and lower maintenance requirements can be expected.

However, these novel sensory capabilities bring new risks in the area of security and privacy. Based on a security analysis, Barkhausen Institut is researching a security concept that enables a trustworthy implementation of the ISAC vision. Special security requirements from industry must be taken into account.

In addition to ISAC, the O-RAN concept is very significant as an open standard for the Radio Access Network (RAN). O-RAN promises open interfaces and interoperability, which should eliminate dependencies on individual manufacturers. Virtualization also makes it possible to flexibly integrate applications to optimize the RAN. Extensive security analysis is required to ensure that openness is not exploited.

Therefore, Barkhausen Institut first deals with a security analysis of O-RAN. Based on the results of this analysis, a security architecture is developed. This enables, for example, applications and components from non-trustworthy sources to be securely integrated. At this point, too, it is therefore important to test a secure virtualization environment so that non-trustworthy applications can also be integrated with little risk.

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Project Duration: 2022-2025

Contact: Dr. Ing. Stefan Köpsell (

Cooperation partners: Creonic GmbH (CRE), Nokia Solutions and Networks GmbH & Co. KG (NOK), secunet Security Networks AG (SEC), GmbH (UMB), Vodafone Group Services GmbH (VOD), Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK)