The United Kingdom’s parliament recently passed a new series of tough security rules that aim to protect the country from potential 5G-related cyber threats. The Telecommunications Security Bill gives the government unprecedented authority over 5G security standards. The bill will also bolster the security framework for technology used in full fiber and 5G infrastructure.
These steps are in response to a recent increase in hostile cyber attacks by state actors and cyber criminals. Rising concerns over these attacks led parliament to include new national security powers that will permit the government to regularly issue new directives that can assist telecoms in managing high risk vendors.
A non-UK vendor may be perceived as high risk, for example, as they could integrate espionage equipment or malware into 5G components. Although high-risk vendors cannot access core elements of the UK’s 5G operating systems, worry abounds. The new Bill means that the government will keep a close eye on which types of goods, services or facilities can be used in the development of 5G infrastructure.
Companies that fail to meet these new security standards will face a number of potential consequences, including heavy fines. If they continue to defy the law, the penalty could total up to £100,000 per day. The Digital Secretary to the U.K., Oliver Dowden, emphasized how these efforts will help bring secure 5G to the country saying, “We are investing billions to roll out 5G and gigabit broadband across the country, but the benefits can only be realized if we have full confidence in the security and resilience of our networks.”
To learn more about the new UK telecommunications security law, check out this press release from the United Kingdom’s government.