JCI US and Trend Micro partner to research and develop SIM card-based mobile network security solutions

mobile network security

JCI US Inc., a subsidiary of Japan Communications Inc., (JCI, Tokyo Stock Exchange First Section code: 9424), and provider of secure and reliable communications, and Trend Micro Inc. (T: 4704), a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today announced the completion of the proof-of-concept phase of their joint research and development into SIM card-based security solutions. The first phase of the research and development centered on securing mobile devices deployed within CBRS private 4G/5G networks via the SIM card. Future R&D efforts will focus on utilizing digital signatures and blockchain technology housed on the SIM card to ensure security and create circles of trust for mobile devices connected to a CBRS or another network. These efforts will leverage the JCI Group’s world-leading FPoS (Fintech Platform over SIM) blockchain version and Trend Micro’s Mobile Network Security (MNS) solution.

The joint research project took place in JCI US’ Denver SIM Technology and CBRS lab environment.  Trend Micro and JCI US engineers deployed programmed SIM cards to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected to a JCI US private 4G/5G network. The Proof-of-Concept aimed to confirm the ability to secure the IoT device via technologies housed on its SIM card. The testing successfully confirmed that malicious actors can be successfully blocked from the network even in cases where they manage to physically access a good device on the network and swap the SIM card to a compromised, bad device. Additionally, the joint research successfully highlighted how DDoS and other attacks from inside the network can be automatically identified and stopped via the SIM card by directly interacting with Trend Micro Virtual Network Function Suite (VNFS), which utilizes a zero-trust security model. As a final stage of the first phase of the project, JCI US deployed and validated the solution within its commercial CBRS network at Southlands, a major mall in Colorado.

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For the next phase of R&D, JCI US will expand FPoS technology to the Secure IoT area by collaborating with Trend Micro, a world-leading cybersecurity company, and combining FPoS with Blockchain.  In this phase, FPoS will generate “blockchain able” data so that information generated in the IoT terminal can be sent directly to the blockchain, minimizing the risk of compromise between the original data point and the blockchain data storage.  Using blockchain, FPoS for Secure IoT and Trend Micro’s MNS layered security will be used to secure individual endpoints, for example through digital signature-based firmware validation where if an endpoint’s firmware fails validation and is identified as having been changed without authorization, the endpoint is denied access to the network.

Regarding the completion of the proof-of-concept testing for Trend Micro’s MNS Endpoint Security utilizing SIM cards, JCI US President and COO Greg Deickman said “The SIM card is a discrete and highly secure computer housed inside all cellular devices. The JCI Group has long recognized this and created its Fintech Platform over SIM (FPoS) to provide the world’s most secure ID for the digital age, delivered via a SIM card. We are pleased to be working with Trend Micro to develop SIM card solutions to augment their layered security suite of products and services in 5G private networks to secure enterprise endpoints and networks.”

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Upon hearing of the successful delivery of the proof-of-concept, Akihiko Omikawa, executive vice president of IoT security for Trend Micro, said: “With over 30 years of security expertise and continuous innovation, Trend Micro protects and secures businesses, governments, and consumers with connected solutions across cloud workloads, endpoints, email, IoT, networks and telecom environments. Our Mobile Network Security is a comprehensive platform for protecting cellular networks and untrusted IoT devices. We’re delighted to be collaborating with JCI US, a leader in their industry, to make this vision a reality.”