5G Security Test Lab to be established

The development of the test lab, currently in the 1st phase of its plans, is expected to take 3 years to complete

by ASILA JALIL / pic by TMR FILE

CYBERSECURITY Malaysia (CSM), Celcom Axiata Bhd and Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the first 5G Security Test Lab in the South-East Asia region to reduce and mitigate threats related to 5G.

CSM CEO Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab (picture) said the development of the test lab, currently in the first phase of its plans, is expected to take three years to complete.

“The first year includes the framework development and we will also start deploying the infrastructure needed for the test lab. We hope to begin by this year before the deployment of 5G, which is going to be done in stages by the end of the year,” he said at a press conference after signing the MoU in Cyberjaya, Selangor, yesterday.

The test lab will be built within CSM’s premises in Cyberjaya and it will be used to execute test cases related to the Internet of Things (IoT) and telecommunication security, as well as to improve the country’s preparation in responding to 5G-related cyber attacks.

The facility encompasses a comprehensive 5G Test Bed ecosystem incorporating technologies such as 5G radio access network, edge network, core network, cloud application and end-user devices that are equipped with security test tools and equipment.

Amirudin added that the rollout of 5G would see a rise in cyber threats which will make national security and public safety more vulnerable.

“Thus, relevant skill sets, knowledge and tools are required to protect organisations and individuals from cyber threats.

“This MoU aims to establish a strategic partnership on technological capabilities, strengths and capacities which CSM finds necessary to adopt in realising our cyber security vision,” he said.

Celcom Axiata CEO Idham Nawawi said the collaboration is aligned with the government’s National Digital Infrastructure Plan aspiration that aims to prepare Malaysia for 5G while paving the way to ensure a safe and sustainable digital ecosystem.

Idham said his concerns with the development of 5G is in ensuring the whole ecosystem is protected from cyber threats which is why the MoU would enable the three companies to explore various avenues that would mitigate threats related to 5G security.

“We feel it is established at the best time as cyber security within today’s digital ecosystem has become more vital, especially since new norms require the rakyat to depend on technology and connectivity for education, business and livelihood.

“Through this collaboration, Celcom Axiata plans to also engage and synergise with our established business partners from various technology pillars, and leverage 5G cyber security test lab as a platform for research analytics, development and assessment of secure IoT solutions for business-to-business or B2B and business-to-consumer or B2C,” he said.

He said the MoU also enables them to work with smaller companies that may not have the resources to best manage potential threats that may harm their operations.

“We will also work with smaller companies that do not have the resources to build proper infrastructure to defend themselves and their customers from the threats.

“This test lab could help because by working together, we can capitalise a number of resources as well as expertise,” he added.

Huawei Malaysia CEO Michael Yuan said the group is well-positioned to provide the technology, services and solutions needed to overcome cyber security risks as it has extensive expertise in the field of 5G, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

“Cyber attacks have become so rampant and can be extremely damaging to both individuals and businesses. In line with Malaysia’s ambition to be the Asean Digital Hub, it is our responsibility as a technology partner to help the country realise that vision,” he said.

Based on data from the Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team, there have been a total of 1,916 reported incidents on cyber security threats based on general incident classification statistics as of February this year.

Fraud activities recorded the highest number of reports at 1,248 followed by intrusion (430), malicious codes (102), cyber harassment (72), intrusion attempt (21), spam (14), content related (13), vulnerabilities report (13) and denial of service (3).