IRG Webinar 2023, 13 June, online “Security, Cybersecurity and resilience in Telecoms infrastructures: state of play & Challenges”

The aim of the online workshop was to provide an overview of the existing current challenges regarding security, cybersecurity and resilience of electronic communications networks (current and future networks). The discussion equally enabled mutual learning and exchange of best practices on the basis of the country cases presented.

On the 13rd of June, IRG organised a webinar on security, cybersecurity and resilience’s ongoing challenges regarding current and future telecoms infrastructures ( including satellite and sub-sea cables). The event turned out to be extremely insightful thanks to the participation of a wide range of experts: Senior experts from ENISA, the European Commission, BEREC co-chairs as well as key NRAs’ Directors confirming the added value of mutual understanding and exchanges and validating an ever closer cooperation as the way forward. 

IRG is particularly thankful to Dr. Andreas Mitrakas, Head of Unit - Market, Certification & Standardisation European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, who opened the discussion presented the key role and coordination of ENISA with stakeholders and enshrined the expected key role of an harmonised and efficient risk assessment methodology supported by a commonly agreed EU 5G certification Scheme.

The first panel of the Webinar, moderated by Katja Kmet Vrcko Vodja, BEREC EWG co-chair, emphasized the significant role of the telecoms NRAs in security aspects regarding telecoms networks and infrastructures further to the NIS 2 Directive recently adopted with the aim to simplify and make more implementable cooperative actions. Concrete challenges were outlined, including reflections on technologies’ vulnerabilities that need to be coped with. (5G  infrastructures, satellite and sub-sea cable). The contributions of Ahmet Yeslihurt, Co-Chair of the ECASEC Expert Group, BNetzA, Boryana Hristova-Ilieva, Legal officer on cybersecurity and digital privacy policy, European Commission, DG CNECT, Thorleifur Jonasson, Director of Infrastructure Division, ECOI, Mélanie Scheidt, European Commission, DG CNECT, Vassiliki Gogou, ENISA were particularly enlightening on these points.

Solutions shaped by the NRAs were then suggested by Sheila Becker, Head of the NISS Unit (Network and information Systems’ Security), ILR and Costas Efthymiou, Coordinator of the Regulation, Strategy and Supervision Team, Digital Security Authority, Commissioner of Communications.

In order to complete the expressed perspectives by additional experiences, and under the moderation of  Zdravko Jukic, BEREC EWG co-chair, national approaches to telecoms security were exposed by the UKs, Swiss and Icelands experts: Ben Willis, Principal Technology Advisor, Steve Baker, Principal Technology Advisor Network Security Team, Ofcom, Michel Donzé, Telecom engineer, Federal Office for communications, Unnur Kristin Sveinbjarnardottir, Digital Security Division Director, ECOI. Furthermore, valuable advices to ensure networks’ resilience were provided by Lilia Malon, Commissioner, NCCIR, from Ukraine, and by Georg Serentschy, International Public Policy and Regulatory Advisor, Serentschy Advisory Services GmbH reflecting the industry perspective.

Out of the webinar a number of concrete, insightful and strategic conclusions were taken away opening new perspectives and a renewed interest paving the way for future discussions among the NRAs in cooperation with ENISA and the European Commission. 

On behalf of all the IRG Members, the IRG Secretariat would like to express its gratitude to all the participants for that highly fruitful event.