The European Commission and the European Agency for Cybersecurity have published a high-level report on the coordinated risk assessment of 5G networks security.
The report identifies a number of important security challenges, which the advent of 5G networks are likely to give rise to or intensify, while taking into account the evolving nature of the 5G technology and environment.
While 5G networks technology and standards will also bring certain security improvements compared with previous network generations, several important challenges derive from the novel features in the network architecture and the wide range of services and applications, which may in the future rely extensively on 5G networks.
These security challenges are also linked to the greater access of third-party suppliers to networks and to interlinkages between 5G networks and third party systems, as well as to the degree of dependency on individual suppliers.
The report identifies the main cyber threats and actors, the most sensitive 5G assets, key vulnerabilities and a strategic risks.
The toolbox on 5G networks security is expected to be ready by 31 December 2019.
Member States will now advance the work on a set of a possible risk alleviating measures to mitigate the cybersecurity risks identified at national and EU levels, together with the Commission and the European Agency for Cybersecurity.
Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, and Commissioner for the Security Union, Julian King, commented, “We greatly welcome the completion of the coordinated risk assessment of 5G networks by EU Member States with the support of the European Commission and the European Agency for Cybersecurity.
“Not only will the process and report help bolster the cybersecurity of our 5G networks for citizens and businesses but they also represent an important step forward in the trust Member States have shown in dealing with these issues together to remain resilient in a changing geopolitical climate.
“The security of 5G networks is and will be a top priority in the years to come as they will form the future backbone of our societies and economies, connecting billions of objects and systems, including in critical sectors such as energy, transport, banking, and health, as well as industrial control systems carrying sensitive information and supporting safety systems.
“Having completed the risk assessment the next step will be to produce by the end of the year a toolbox of possible responses for managing and mitigating these risks.
“This joint approach by all Member States will underpin secure roll-out of 5G networks across the European Union.
The report is part of the Commission’s Recommendation plan for a common EU approach to the security of 5G networks.
Worldwide 5G revenues are estimated at €225 billion in 2025. 5G networks are expected to play a central role in achieving the digital transformation of the EU’s economy and society.
The cybersecurity of 5G networks is therefore essential to protect our economies and societies and to enable the full potential of the important opportunities they will bring. It is also crucial for ensuring the strategic autonomy of the Union.