DHS Solicits R&D for Wireless Network, Device Cybersecurity Standards
Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ‪Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency‬‬‬ (CISA) and ‪Science and Technology Directorate‬‬‬ (S&T) are seeking development of new standards to improve the security and resilience of critical mobile communications networks through a new solicitation.‬‬

The solicitation establishes a research and development (R&D) project for a secure and resilient mobile network infrastructure (SRMNI). The solicitation specifically seeks innovative approaches and technologies to protect legacy, current and 5G mobile network communications, services and equipment against all threats and vulnerabilities.

“The deployment of 5G technologies offers opportunities for innovation, efficiency and economic growth, but it may also present risks we’re not currently positioned to manage,” said Chris Krebs, CISA director.

Security risks were identified in the DHS ‪Study on Mobile Device Security‬‬‬, which called for government-funded R&D to address challenges impeding the government’s adoption of mobile technologies. The study also called for developing cooperative agreements with private-sector entities, such as mobile network operators and associations, and enhanced U.S. government participation in development of consensus-based voluntary mobile security standards and best practices to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of U.S. government communications.‬

“The newly created SRMNI R&D project will lead the government’s development of innovative solutions and technologies to protect legacy, current and 5G mobile network communications, services and equipment,” said William N. Bryan, senior official performing the duties of the under secretary for S&T. “The project will provide a comprehensive approach to S&T’s mobile security R&D focus on securing all aspects of mobile communications through public-private partnerships.”

CISA and S&T will hold a joint ‪SRMNI industry day‬‬‬ May 16 to introduce the solicitation to mobile security leaders and experts and to answer questions posed by attendees. The event is limited to 200 attendees. The solicitation seeks proposals that address three topic areas:‬
• 2G, 3G and 4G network protections
• Building security into 5G networks and leveraging 5G to demonstrate solutions that meet government security requirements and also seeks end-to-end protection of network traffic, including a development of a standardized secure voice capability for unclassified government communications.
• Innovative approaches to improve government visibility of network traffic from mobile devices to identify potential malware, attacks or attempts to exfiltrate data from or through the device.

Proposals are due June 26, and proposal selections will be announced Sept. 24. More information is here.

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