5G security: Member States report on progress on implementing the EU toolbox and strengthening safety measures
Press release by the European Commission and the German Presidency of the Council of the EU
EU Member States, with the support of the European Commission and ENISA, the EU Agency for Cybersecurity, recently published a report on the progress made in implementing the joint EU toolbox of mitigating measures, which was agreed by the Member States and endorsed by a Commission Communication in January 2020. The toolbox sets out a joint approach based on an objective assessment of identified risks and proportionate mitigating measures to address security risks related to the rollout of 5G, the fifth-generation of mobile networks.
While work is still ongoing in many Member States, the report notes that all Member States have launched a process to review and strengthen security measures applicable to 5G networks, demonstrating their commitment to the coordinated approach defined at EU level. For each of the toolbox measures, the report reviews progress made since the toolbox adoption, showing what has already been done and identifying areas where measures have not been implemented so far.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, recently said:
“The timely rollout of 5G networks is strategically important for all Member States as it can open new opportunities for businesses, transform our critical sectors and benefit European citizens. Our common priority and responsibility is to ensure that these networks are secure and, while this report shows we have undergone great strides, a lot of work remains ahead.”
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, added:
“With 5G network rollout going ahead across the EU, and our economies increasingly relying on digital infrastructure, as the coronavirus crisis demonstrated, it is more important than ever to ensure a high level of security. Together with Member States, we are committed to put in place robust measures, in a coordinated manner, not only to ensure 5G cybersecurity but also to strengthen our technological autonomy. Today's report reaffirms our commitment and outlines the areas where further efforts and vigilance are needed.”
German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, recently said:
“The 5G network rollout will provide completely new opportunities for business and society. Due to the importance of 5G as a central critical infrastructure for future technologies, it is important that the rollout of 5G infrastructure can proceed quickly and safely - in all member states. The 5G toolbox report shows that we are on the right track.“
Horst Seehofer, German Federal Minister of the Interior, Building and Community recently said:
“The integrity of telecommunication networks is an essential part of the security architecture in all Member States. All risks – technical as well as non-technical – must be contained as much as possible. The progress report on the EU's 5G toolbox demonstrates that the common approach is the right way to synchronise national measures as far as possible.“
Ensuring resilience of 5G networks is essential to our society, since this technology will not only have an impact on digital communications, but also on critical sectors such as energy, transport, banking, and health, as well as on industrial control systems. 5G networks will be carrying sensitive information and will be supporting safety systems that will come to rely on them. Market players are largely responsible for the secure rollout of 5G, and Member States are responsible for national security – yet, collective work and coordinated implementation of appropriate measures is fundamental to ensure EU businesses and citizens can make full use of all the benefits of the new technology in a secure way.
Indeed, the toolbox implementation is the result of collective work and of the strong determination by all Member States, together with the Commission and ENISA, to cooperate and respond to the security challenges of 5G networks and to assure the continued openness of the digital single market. In the toolbox, Member States agreed to strengthen security requirements through a possible set of recommended measures, in particular to assess the risk profiles of suppliers, to apply relevant restrictions for suppliers considered to be high risk (including necessary exclusions for key assets considered as critical and sensitive, such as the core network functions), and to have strategies in place to ensure the diversification of vendors.
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