Cybersecurity specialists and decision makers from all over Europe gathered to Helsinki, Finland on 13th of February to discuss what the new 5G technology means to cybersecurity, digital infrastructure and user-centric services. Forum’s keynote speakers included leading global experts of the field such as Jakub Boratyński from the European Commission, Steve Purser from ENISA and Timo Harakka, Finland’s Minister of Transport and Communications.

Reasonably priced connections

The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, and The National Cyber Security Centre Finland operating as part of Traficom arranged the event. Traficom is a modern wide-scoped agency, which promotes the transport system and traffic safety, and boosts digitalisation and trusted digital services. Traficom supports sustainable development and ensures that everyone in Finland has access to high quality, secure and reasonably priced communications connections and services.

Changing the future of the society starts from vision and courage, and it starts today"

Safeguarding the future digital society and working on 5G cybersecurity form one essential part of Traficom's cutting-edge future-oriented work on improving via innovation. It focuses on the phenomena of the digital society, seeks solutions, builds networks and helps companies and other authorities to prepare for the future. "Changing the future of the society starts from vision and courage, and it starts today", says Kirsi Karlamaa, the Director-General of Traficom.

Fifth-generation wireless communication technology

The forum was preceded by the world’s first open 5G cybersecurity hackathon where 70 cybersecurity specialists and whitehat hackers from 15 different countries got a chance to test their skills on 5G technology provided by Ericsson, Nokia and Oulu University. Finland and Traficom as a visionary authority received praises for progressing and initiating the work focusing on 5G cybersecurity during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019.

Mr Jakub Boratyński, Head of Unit for Cybersecurity and Digital Privacy from the EU Commission presented the EU Toolbox for 5G cybersecurity and emphasized Finland´s proactive role in the EU work around 5G cybersecurity. This decade will see the expansion of 5G-based services and infrastructure, and cooperation between different players developing the fifth-generation wireless communication technology is essential.

Cybersecurity community

Focus on end-to-end thinking were recurring themes in the keynotes and presentations"

The first ever Leading Edge 5G Forum organized in Helsinki draw together companies, cybersecurity influencers and industry members, EU representatives and authorities, academics and members of the cybersecurity community to discuss the future opportunities and challenges concerning 5G.

"The Leading Edge 5G Forum indicated that there is a strong will within the community and industry to share experiences and discuss the future of 5G and cybersecurity. Going forward, Traficom will continue this cooperative work with all stakeholders and organize discussions where exchange of ideas is possible", says Kalle Luukkainen, the Deputy Director-General of The National Cyber Security Centre Finland.

Security and privacy risks

“We initiated this work but our vision is that going forward the cybersecurity hackathons and the Leading Edge 5G Forum could be a collaborative European wide activity. Therefore, we challenge all interested parties to get in touch with us and to join the effort of putting together the next cooperative actions and a cybersecurity hackathon in 2021. Our common aim is to safeguard the future digital society. Building digital trust globally, strengthening the existing ecosystem and focus on end-to-end thinking were recurring themes in the keynotes and presentations heard during the event.”

Forum speakers also emphasized that 5G is designed to be more secure than its predecessors and cybersecurity has received a massive focus in 5G’s development. However, there is work to be done as the diversity and volume of novel IoT devices and their control systems will continue to increase and pose a new kind of security and privacy risks and additional threat vectors as we move to 5G and beyond.

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