Assessing Risks of 5G: Comparisons Across End-to-End Elements and Interdependent System Risks

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Telecommunications systems are becoming increasingly connected to critical infrastructure systems. Maintaining functionality of telecommunications infrastructure is critical to support a range of functions of importance to national security, health, and safety. To increase the resilience of telecommunications infrastructure to potential disruptions, it is essential to understand the varying risks across the end-to-end elements of the system. This is particularly true in the transition to 5G for the cellular network, which is creating new and emerging risks to critical infrastructure systems and functions. In this talk, I will describe current and ongoing research in assessing risks of 5G across end-to-end elements of the system. Rather than assessing risks in siloes by individual element, we look at risks within a common framework across multiple disparate elements, including both physical and service-based elements. An emphasis is placed on providing quantitative rather than qualitative assessments of risk, facilitating comparisons across varying risk factors. In addition, we look beyond the telecommunications system itself to evaluate impacts of telecommunications risks on connected critical infrastructure functions. The outcomes of this work enable us to better understand risks on telecommunications and interdependent infrastructure systems. 


Dr. Iris Tien is Williams Family Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She joined the faculty in 2014 after receiving her Ph.D. in Civil Systems Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Tien’s research interests are in probabilistic methods for modeling and reliability assessment of civil infrastructure systems. She has a unique interdisciplinary background that encompasses traditional topics of civil engineering, sensing and data analytics, stochastic processes, probabilistic risk assessment, and decision making under uncertainty. Her work on interdependent infrastructure systems modeling and analysis has twice won 1st Place Paper Awards in resilient critical infrastructure. Dr. Tien’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Transportation, and National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Tien has been selected by the National Academy of Engineering to participate in three Frontiers of Engineering Symposia. She was also selected to organize the session on Resilient and Reliable Infrastructure at the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium; and speak on Community Resilience at the National Academies Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Symposium.