The European Commission recommends high level cybersecurity for 5G networks

A concept image of 5G to illustrare cybersecurity for 5G networks
© iStock/LHG

The European Commission has recommended ensuring a high level of cybersecurity for 5G networks across the European Union, through operational measures.

5G networks

Fifth generation (5G) networks will arguably form the backbone of our future societies and economies. 5G networks connect objects and systems in critical sectors such as:

  • Energy;
  • Transport;
  • Banking;
  • Health; and
  • Industry, in industrial control systems which carry sensitive information and support safety systems.

Democratic processes also are increasingly rely on digital infrastructures and 5G networks. The European Commission believes this highlights the need to address any vulnerabilities and makes the recommendations more pertinent ahead of the European Parliament elections this May.

The recommendations for 5G cybersecurity

The recommendations are a combination of legislative and policy instruments, which the European Commissions means to protect our economies, societies and democratic systems.

The European Commission’s comments

Vice-President Andrus Ansip, in charge of the Digital Single Market, said:”5G technology will transform our economy and society and open massive opportunities for people and businesses. But we cannot accept this happening without full security built in. It is therefore essential that 5G infrastructures in the EU are resilient and fully secure from technical or legal backdoors.”

Commissioner Julian King, in charge of the Security Union, added: “The resilience of our digital infrastructure is critical to government, business, the security of our personal data and the functioning of our democratic institutions. We need to develop a European approach to protecting the integrity of 5G, which is going to be the digital plumbing of our interconnected lives.”

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, in charge of the Digital Economy and Society, concluded:”Protecting 5G networks aims at protecting the infrastructure that will support vital societal and economic functions – such as energy, transport, banking, and health, as well as the much more automated factories of the future. It also means protecting our democratic processes, such as elections, against interference and the spread of disinformation.”

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