Network suppliers such as Ericsson, Huawei or Nokia can use the new scheme to independently check the IT security properties of their 5G products.
The Federal Office for Security in the Informationstechnik (BSI) launched a certification program for components of 5G telecommunications networks on July 1st. Network suppliers such as Ericsson, Huawei or Nokia can use it to independently check the IT security properties of their 5G products. Last year, the Bundestag included a certification requirement for critical components in networks in the Telecommunications Act (TKG) if there is an increased risk potential for the operator.
The new certification program follows the “Network Equipment Security Assurance Scheme Cybersecurity Certification Scheme – German Implementation” (NESAS CCS-GI). According to the BSI, the successive test steps and associated criteria are intended to help “assess the IT security performance of modern mobile phone components”.
“Model” for Europe?
The office also sees the national scheme as a “model for a future European certification scheme” with the designation EU5G after the Cybersecurity Act. Bring your own approach to the relevant international working groups. BSI President Arne Schönbohm spoke of a “decisive contribution to the security of 5G communication networks”. The certification enables a “quick and reliable IT security statement for the tested products”. This also benefits users and increases overall cyber security in Germany.
In addition to the TKG certification requirement, the Bundestag included another “Huawei clause” in the IT Security Act 2.0. This sets the hurdle for the exclusion of individual suppliers from network expansion, for example for 5G, comparatively high. The federal government should thus be able to prohibit the use of “critical components” in the case of “anticipated impairments of public safety and order”. Manufacturers must issue a guarantee statement. The Federal Ministry of the Interior can impose a ban. However, it must “get in touch” with the departments concerned, such as the Federal Ministry of Economics and the Federal Foreign Office.