Pentagon to establish new security standards for 5G technology

Written by

Jackson Barnett

The Ministry of Defense (DOD) is working on developing its own security standards for 5G, according to the chief director of the technology department.

At a 5G security summit hosted by Billington Cybersecurity, Joe Evans said the DOD needs to understand all of the hardware and software used – including cell towers and receptors – and that it would have its own security standards for sourcing 5G networks.

“We’re really working across the 5G initiative to understand and develop it [the] necessary security standards within DOD “, Evans said.

Evans is the Principal Director for 5G in the Director’s Office for Defense Research and Technology (Modernization). This department sits within the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering at DOD.

The new standards will dictate what requirements private companies must meet in order to work with the DOD to install the technology.

Security standards will play an important role in ongoing industry-government collaboration, as will many of the DOD’s strategy for 5G has so far focused on opening military bases for private companies to conduct research and development.

The implementation of uniform security standards is still at an early stage, and even a common definition of 5G technology has yet to be established.

In particular, Evans’ office and the DOD’s chief information officer are focused on ensuring that 5G technology does not compromise supply chain security.

The DOD has several test sites for the new technology in the United States, including in San Diego to Georgia. Private companies can test 5G technology in a safe but less regulated environment such as supply warehouses.

With the establishment and introduction of new security standards for 5G, some existing technologies become inadequate or incompatible.

“Not all old standards fit the new models,” added Evans at the event.

Security experts have raised concerns in recent years that China could leverage its large share of the 5G hardware market for espionage. So far, the US, UK and Australia have banned the use of Huawei in 5G networks. Other European countries are considering similar restrictions.