5G is set to pave the way for new products and services, transforming multiple industries with its super-fast speeds and low latency. However, with such a huge roll-out of new 5G technology, all deeply ingrained in our networks, come potential security threats.
However, the EU is determined to iron out these security concerns with its new ‘toolbox’, and become one of the main global powers in 5G.
"Two-out-of-the-three biggest suppliers of network equipment in 5G are European, but this is no guarantee of success for the future," the director for the Future Networks Directorate of the European Commission, Pearse O'Donohue said.
He acknowledges that there is somewhat of a grey area surrounding security and privacy issues, "This new technology is a priority for Europe due to its significant impact on economic development and European competitiveness, but it also presents security issues".
High degree of cybersecurity
“Cybersecurity is not only a security issue, but also an internal market issue,” O'Donohue explained. “Europe cannot have a safe internal market unless we have a high degree of cybersecurity so the individual citizen can have trust in his or her data that is on the internet and can be used for surveillance.”
As a result of this, the EU is planning to unveil its 5G cybersecurity ‘toolbox’ this month, whereby it will set up standards for 5G, and include recommendations to avoid the associated risks.
"The toolbox does not target a specific country or provider, it targets all countries and providers to ensure the integrity of 5G network across Europe, hopefully, in a harmonised way among member states," said O'Donohue.
"We will have to ensure a high level of security of all players in the global chain, either European, Chinese or American," he added.
This suggests that Huawei isn’t being written out of Europe’s 5G networks.
But the EU also understands that a lot of military operations will begin to rely on 5G networks, making cybersecurity more crucial than ever.
“Failing to ensure cybersecurity in the military domain could have important political implications," O'Donohue concluded.
The ‘toolbox’ should be a great way to ensure consistent security standards across the EU.