Wireless Security Institute

Securing Adoption of 5G and Beyond Technology

In response to the nation’s challenge to develop and validate 5G security protocols and data protection technologies, Idaho National Laboratory has established the INL Wireless Security Institute (WSI). The Institute’s mission is to lead and coordinate government, academic, and private industry research efforts fostering more secure and reliable 5G wireless technology. The institute draws on INL’s extensive expertise and unique facilities that have been used for nearly two decades to analyze, design, test, and improve cellular, radio, and satellite communication systems for government agencies and global wireless communication companies.

MISSION: Enable government and industry to maximize the benefits of 5G and beyond technology by providing superior policy and decision data, security evaluation, engineering support, and technology development.

Security Focus Areas and Strategy

5G Device and Network Security Analysis

• SA Device vulnerability and threat analysis
• Extension to gNodeB/RAN and 5G core network
• 5G evaluation, range buildout, and analysis for the energy sector

Wireless Test Bed Idaho

Cellular Drone Security

• Secure nationwide networks including frequency reuse
• 5G enhanced authentication including device-to-device (D2D) schemes
• Impact from 6 GHz reallocations


Secure Spectrum Sharing Architecture

• Spectral efficiency improvement with cyclic prefix
• Mission Critical Ultra-reliable Low-latency (URLLC)
• Spectrum Cyber Initiative: WiFIRE
• Clandestine and video surveillance communications

Collaborating on National and Global Challenges

Through research partnerships, recognized leadership, and differentiating capabilities, INL is becoming a catalyst for discovery and the preferred provider for wireless security and resilience research and evaluation.

The Wireless Security Institute draws on this expertise to organize and facilitate bi-annual Wireless Security Workshops which provide a collaborative and innovative forum for the 5G Security community. The Workshops discuss critical security challenges, security needs and actions needed to strengthen collaboration and engagement between industry, government and academia.



WSI-Federal partners - Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice
U.S. Government
WSI-University partners University of Utah, North Carolina State University, Florida International University, Mississippi State, Virginia Commonwealth University, Utah State, University of Texas, San Antonio, Boise State University, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, Virginia Technology University
WSI Industries - Nokia, QualComm, Cisco, Verizon Wireless/Skyward, InterDigital

Research of Future Technologies

As the Wireless Security Institute (WSI) team continues to grow we will lead improvements the national talent pipeline for wireless security of the future. Areas that the WSI expertise and capabilities are expanding to include are:

  • 5G security assessments
  • Wireless Security for Nuclear Power Plants
  • Wi-Fi 6E impact to Infrastructure control communications
  • National Center for Wireless Spectrum Research (SII – Center)
  • National Radio Dynamic Zones (NRDZ)
  • 5G impacts to Radio Altimeter (RA) operations (4.2-4.4 GHz)
  • 5G impacts and opportunities for law enforcement

Contact Information

Michelle Farrell

Idaho National Laboratory