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JUL 21, 2020

BSA Releases Policy Recommendations to Secure 5G

Agenda highlights key role of software in building and securing 5G networks

WASHINGTON – July 21, 2020 – 5G technologies will improve quality of life for billions of people, transform the digital ecosystem, and forever change how we interact with the physical world. To help governments around the world capitalize on the enormous potential of these software-powered capabilities, BSA | The Software Alliance today released a new policy agenda, “Securing 5G: A Call to Harness Software Innovation.” In its agenda, BSA urges policymakers to strengthen trust in 5G networks by leveraging innovative software solutions to build on 5G’s inherent security advantages.

5G implementation presents an important opportunity for governments to build security into 5G networks from the ground up. 5G’s cloud-based architecture, virtualization of network functions, and broad deployment of security tools like encryption create a strong foundation for securing networks. By building on these strengths, governments can build trust in the security and integrity of the next generation of telecommunications technology.

“Although public debate around 5G has often focused on the role of hardware, software is at the heart of what makes these new technologies unique and innovative. The software tools that underpin 5G will bring inherent security advantages if we embrace this opportunity to manage and secure networks,” said Victoria Espinel, President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “BSA calls on policymakers around the world to unlock the potential of 5G by facilitating the development of new security technologies and methodologies and building international consensus around security approaches.”

To capitalize on the economic and cybersecurity benefits of 5G, governments should:

  1. Harness Software Innovation: 5G networks embrace software solutions to security challenges, and governments should lead the adoption of such solutions by investing in promising technologies to virtualize key network functions, harnessing software innovation to enhance cybersecurity, and prioritizing security in 5G research and development.
  2. Secure the 5G Ecosystem: Securing 5G networks also means securing the vast ecosystem of devices that connect to them. Governments can accomplish this by promoting secure software, supporting strong encryption, leveraging machine learning and AI, securing IoT devices, and creating a zero-trust environment to build defense in-depth.
  3. Harden the Cloud: Cloud infrastructure will drive many of the security benefits of 5G. To create secure and trustworthy cloud environments, governments should adopt risk-based cloud security policies, align cloud security policies with internationally recognized standards, and work to understand roles and responsibilities within complex cloud environments.
  4. Manage Supply Chain Risk: Effective supply chain risk management practices limit vulnerabilities and make it easier to protect networks. Governments should adopt risk management approaches to supply chain security, advance policy interoperability, ensure transparent and fair supply chain policies, promote government-industry collaboration to strengthen security, and drive innovation and competition across the supply chain.
  5. Build Smart, Effective 5G Governance: Strong security controls and technical measures rely on effective 5G governance. To establish mechanisms for responsible governance of 5G networks and supporting technologies, governments should adopt open standards with built-in security, cultivate trustworthy open-source cloud architectures, and establish flexible and coordinated governance mechanisms.

By implementing these recommendations, policymakers can harness the security advantages of 5G technologies while addressing emerging security challenges. To read the full agenda, visit: https://www.bsa.org/policy-filings/securing-5g-a-call-to-harness-software-innovation




BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernize and grow.

With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.


Michael O’Brien

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