Cybersecurity of 5G networks: EU publishes report on the security of Open RAN

EU citizens and companies using advanced and innovative applications enabled by 5G and future generations of mobile communication networks should benefit from the highest security standard.

EU Member States, with the support of the European Commission and ENISA (the EU Agency for Cybersecurity) published a report analysing the cybersecurity implications of Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN). This new type of 5G network architecture will in the coming years provide an alternative way of deploying the radio access part of 5G networks based on open interfaces.

As Open RAN is a market trend in the evolution of 5G and 6G architectures, Member States have decided to conduct an in-depth analysis of the security implications of Open RAN to complement the coordinated risk analysis on 5G.

The timely deployment of secure 5G networks is a high priority for the European Union. EU Member States have developed a coordinated approach to assess the main risks related to 5G networks and defined a set of common risk mitigating measures in the EU 5G Toolbox adopted in January 2020.

This report marks another milestone in the work at EU level to jointly respond to the security challenges of 5G networks and to keep abreast of new trends and developments in the 5G technology and architecture (also read the Quarterly Report of the European 5G Observatory, monitoring 5G deployment in Europe).

The report found that while Open RAN could bring potential security opportunities, it could also exacerbate a number of security risks. To mitigate these risks and leverage potential opportunities of Open RAN, the report recommends a number of actions based on the EU 5G Toolbox.

Source: EU press release